FAQs

Questions and answers about your ceremony.  If it's not here contact us

  • How much does the ceremony cost and when do we need to pay?

    For Registration Service costs associated with a civil marriage/partnership, renewal of vows or baby naming ceremony, see the ceremony fees page. Please also check with your venue to find out what their fees are.

    On booking your civil marriage/partnership you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit, depending on your choice of venue. The full balance is due at least two months before the ceremony date. Should you need to, it is possible to change your ceremony date, subject to availability, for a £25 administration fee.

    The only money needed on the day is £4 per marriage certificate. There will be other items available for purchase such as commemorative certificates and certificate boxes. These additional items can be purchased in advance or on the day. You will find further information in your marriage pack.

    Are ceremonies conducted by an independent celebrant regarded as legal?

    No. An independent celebrant can perform celebration or renewal of vows ceremonies. An independent celebrant is not licenced by law to marry you. You would first need to have a civil marriage in a register office or other licensed venue, and this would incur additional costs.

    Can we have a wedding ceremony rehearsal?

    Many couples find it beneficial to have a ceremony rehearsal discussion. This will take you through your ceremony step by step, helping to put you at ease on the day so that you can really enjoy the occasion.  

    To book or for further information please email: weddings@nottscc.gov.uk  with details of the date and time, the date and location of your ceremony and your contact telephone number.

    Do we have to have our banns read?

    No, that is only in the Church of England. However, for civil marriages this formal process is called ‘giving notice’ of intention to marry. If you are planning to marry in church you need to speak to your vicar/minister. For more information, read about 'giving notice' or talk to the registration team.

    Do we need witnesses and who can they be?

    Your ceremony must be witnessed by two people who can speak and understand English and who are fully aware of the nature and meaning of the ceremony. Conventionally we ask that witnesses should be over the age of 16 and that they should be known to you. Registration Service staff cannot act as witnesses.

    Can I get married if I'm under 18?

    If you are under 18 when notice of intention to marry is due to be given you will need to obtain consent. In order for us to establish whose consent is required by law, please speak to the registrar where you are due to give notice.

    Can we use our own ushers?

    Yes, though there will be members of the Registration Service on hand (at our office ceremonies) to direct you and your guests. Approved premises (licensed venues) should have a ceremony team available on the day; speak to your venue’s ceremony co-ordinator. 

    Is it possible for a couple of the same sex to get married?

    Following the implementation of The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act (2013) partners of the same sex who are not already in a legal relationship (married or in a civil partnership) are able to marry. It is also possible for couples who are currently in a civil partnership to have their union converted to a marriage.  All marriages and civil partnerships can take place at any of our Nottinghamshire Licensed Venues. More information about same sex marriage and civil partnerships can be found here.

    Can we write our own vows?

    Yes. Although, for a civil ceremony, there is a choice of legal declaration and contracting words that the couple must say to each other, our highly popular Enhanced Ceremony allows you some freedom to personalise the content, which could include personal vows or promises in your own words. Please see your ceremony information pack for details.

    What is the difference between the standard and enhanced civil ceremony?

    The popular enhanced ceremony allows you as a couple to plan your wedding ceremony with the opportunity to include music, readings and your own vows.

    The standard ceremony contains the necessary legal requirements without any personalisation, readings or music.  These are held in registration offices only.

    Nottinghamshire wedding celebrants also provide celebratory ceremonies in other locations, or for example on return from marriage overseas, giving family and friends the opportunity to share the experience and hear you say “I do”.

    Please note that since the two types ceremonies are subject to different conditions including time of day, number of guests, price and location, it is important that you contact us for advice and to discuss your wishes in detail.

    What time can we have our ceremony?

    Although there are now no legal time restrictions, please talk to the Registration Service and your chosen venue regarding availability.

    I don't live in Nottinghamshire but we want to have our ceremony in Nottinghamshire. What do I need to do?

    If you plan to marry in a licensed venue, you should first of all contact your chosen venue to check available dates and times. Then you must contact Nottinghamshire Registration Service to enquire about registrar availability and to book the date and time with us as our team needs to conduct and register the ceremony.

    You and your partner need to give formal notice of intention to marry at the register office in the area where you live. You are required to give notice a minimum of 28 days before your ceremony date, however we recommend that you give notice at least three months prior to your ceremony (if resident outside Nottinghamshire) because you will need to deliver paper which authorises your ceremony can take place, sometimes referred to as ‘authorities’.

    Can we film the ceremony?

    Yes, of course! Why not book a rehearsal discussion? As well as guiding you through your ceremony step by step it will also be an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the room and decide on the best position from which to film.

    To book or for further information please email: weddings@nottscc.gov.uk  with details of the date and time, the date and location of your ceremony and your contact telephone number.

    What is the difference between a civil marriage and a civil partnership?

    There are differences in law between civil partnership and civil marriage. A civil partnership is legally formed when the second partner signs the Civil Partnership Schedule. A civil marriage is legally formed when the couples have exchanged their declaratory and contracting vows. 

    At the time of writing only couples who are both legally the same sex can have a civil partnership.

    Where in Nottinghamshire can we get married/have our civil partnership?

    You can have your ceremony in any register office, or any approved premises that have been licensed for marriages and civil partnerships. There are venues to suit all tastes and styles including country parks, stately homes, sports grounds, hotels and even a pumping station! For a religious ceremony in church, please talk to your faith leader or check with our team to see if you need to involve the Registration Service as well.

    How do I book a wedding or civil partnership at a licenced venue?

    Firstly you should contact your chosen venue to check available dates and times. Then you must contact Nottinghamshire Registration Service to enquire about registrar availability as our team needs to conduct and register the ceremony.

    We want a church wedding, where do we start?

    In order to marry in a Church of England building you should contact the minister responsible who will advise you further. For marriage in a church or a religious building of any other denomination, as well as making the arrangements with the minister, you will also need to give notice of intention to marry.   

    Please contact contact Nottinghamshire Registration Service if you are unsure.

    How quickly can we get married?

    Legal notice of intention to marry must be given at least 28 days in advance of your ceremony. First of all, you must have lived in a registration district in England or Wales for at least nine days immediately before notice is given. In exceptional circumstances, for example a terminally ill partner, it can sometimes be possible to have this shortened. Please contact the Registration Service for guidance. Our giving notice page will give you more details on the subject, alternatively talk to the Registration team for more information.

    Can my partner and I get married or form a civil partnership in Nottinghamshire even if one of us is not a UK or EEA citizen?

    You can, but if either of you is subject to immigration control, there is a slightly different process to be followed. For further information read more about marriages and civil partnerships in the UK. If you have other queries about immigration matters, please visit GOV.uk's immigration section

    Can we choose our own music?

    Yes, if you book an enhanced ceremony at one of our offices or at a licensed venue. Please discuss this with us and bear in mind that all music must be free of religious content.

    For ceremonies at our registration offices, we recommend that you take your CD to be tested on that equipment, to make sure it will play. Please contact us to arrange that. The CD must be clearly labelled with your names and music titles. We recommend three or four tracks only (guest arrival/waiting, entrance of the bride/couple, signing of the register and exit). Licensed venues are responsible for your ceremony music, so please discuss this with them directly. Please note that the Registration Service cannot accept responsibility if a CD will not play, so it's advisable to test it out before the day.

    Why not book a ceremony rehearsal discussion? It's the perfect opportunity to talk through the details of your music choices. To book a ceremony rehearsal discussion, or for further information, please email weddings@nottscc.gov.uk with details of the date, time, and location of your ceremony, together with your telephone number.

    How many guests can we invite to the ceremony?

    It is up to you how many people you invite, however all venues do have a maximum capacity which cannot be exceeded. Details of venue capacities can be found in the venues section. 

    Can we get married outside?

    Under current marriage laws in England and Wales it is not possible, strictly speaking, to have your legal ceremony outside, it must take place in a fixed building. However, some of our venues do offer outdoor structures which are currently used for legal ceremonies (when the weather permits).

    For further information please email weddings@nottscc.gov.uk.