Every couple will want to plan their own, very special wedding day ceremony. Venue choice will be their priority, as many get booked up 2-3 years in advance. Cost, once the type of venue they would like has been decided, will be a deciding factor for many couples.
When you have decided to get married, you should give the local registry office a minimum of 28days's notice to comply with statutory requirements.
Choosing your venue
‘Approved’ (licensed) venues (approved by the Registrar General) provide a legal ceremony service, provided by the local registry office legally appointed Registrars, who concentrate on the legislative content of the ceremony and prohibit any content or reference which may be considered religious, ritualistic or symbolic during the legalities. The cost for (2) registrars to attend an approved venue is around £600 +, and £35 per person (x 2) and statutory paperwork (registration) £50, including marriage certificate.
However, some Local Authorities are now working closely with Celebrants to provide bespoke shared ceremonies, with the Registrars conducting only the legal elements and the Celebrants conducting the more celebratory elements including the personalised vows and exchange of rings. Once the Registrars have left the premises, religious, ritualistic or symbolic elements can be included in agreement with the Celebrant.
Alternatively, you may wish to get married in a church where the church minister is responsible for the statutory paperwork and register as well as the ceremony. A minimum 28days notice is required (known as the 'reading of the Banns'). Most standard church weddings cost around £600. Bells, organ and choir will normally be charged as additional extras.
Alternative non-approved wedding ceremony venues, of any type, when the legal requirements have already taken place, can be conducted at any time, in any location, by a ceremony celebrant, not restricted by registry office hours. The possibilities are endless! Even your own home and garden may be used!
Bespoke ceremonies are written by the celebrant, with the couple, to ensure the event is unique and reflects the wishes, (and dreams) of the couple involved.
Qualified celebrants will charge between £300- £600 (depending on ceremony options) to write the script and deliver the wedding ceremony.
Any venue can be used to deliver a wedding celebration ceremony, provided that the marriage legalities have already taken place, including 28day’s notice to the local registry office (£70 for the couple (£35 each). The statutory paperwork must have been completed in front of two witnesses prior to the celebratory ceremony (£50 including legal marriage certificate). The alternative venue, (other than the registry office), will not be named on the legal marriage certificate, but your celebrant may provide a celebratory wedding certificate for the couple in their own ceremony presentation pack if they wish. This is in addition to the marriage registration certificate (legal version) which the couple would have already received from the registrar at the local registry office.
Non-approved venues are becoming increasingly attractive to the growing number of couples who wish to have a very special, unique, bespoke ceremony, which may also contain religious references, Bible readings, prayers and other symbolic activities as well as exchange of rings.
Having completed the statutory paperwork, couples can have their entire wedding celebration ceremony in one place, including the reception. Unlike approved venues, marquees and non-permanent structures as well as any outdoor area (preferably with contingency weather cover!) can be used.
The non approved venue works closely with the celebrant to ensure that the ceremony is all that the couple wishes for – making their day and celebration perfect.
One of the ways forward to creating your perfect wedding day is to visit suitable venues and then discuss your dream wedding ceremony with your chosen celebrant who will be able to advise you.