Before a Wedding Ceremony can take place, there are a number of legalities which must be carried out to ensure full compliance with UK marriage laws.
Every couple planning to get married, if not marrying in an approved church, must notify their local Registry Office - 'give notice' of their intention at least 28 days prior to a 'wedding' date.
They are then advised as to the options available to ensure their ceremony is legally binding.
1. A statutory marriage at a civil registry office requires 2 witnesses only, and only consists of the legal formalities, (normally 15 minutes duration), provided the correct notice period has already been given (28 days).
2. A marriage ceremony delivered by local 'Registrars' at an approved non religious venue.
The ceremony follows a set pattern with some options for slight wording variations for which 30 minutes is normally allowed. This is preceded, immediately prior to the ceremony, by short separate interviews with the bride and groom to check the details which will appear on the marriage certificate.
3. A personalised bespoke Wedding Ceremony conducted by a qualified Celebrant, provided option 1 also takes place.
Your personalised ceremony
For option 3, once the legalities have been performed by local registrar(s) at a registry office, (either on an earlier day, or the same day) you can celebrate your marriage in any way you choose now the civil registration has been concluded.
Some Registrars now work with Celebrants to provide
a shared ceremony, at approved venues completing the legalities at the beginning or end of the ceremony. This service can be requested during your registry booking appointment.
Your chosen venue will provide you with details of a qualified Celebrant.
Some couples may wish to have a simple Blessing Ceremony (usually conducted by a religious celebrant) or a more personalised ceremony by a qualified Celebrant.
For a Celebrant-only ceremony, you can choose any venue, e.g. your own home or family back garden, community hall or restaurant/hotel and the ceremony can take place at any time of day or night.
Sports clubs, leisure parks and beaches and other significant places are also popular locations. The choice is yours. Your celebrant works with you to plan and deliver the ceremony of your dreams.