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Are you contacting us regarding:
Before contacting us, would you like to take a look at some frequently asked questions?

What will happen if I don't return my ceremony planner?

If your ceremony planner is not received within 1 week of the ceremony then we will deliver a basic ceremony.

The Law Commission are making changes to the way that weddings are delivered. When will it become law?

The Law Commission has published its final recommendations on the reform of weddings law in England and Wales.  The report only contains proposals for reform and has no legal foundation.  The government has up to 12 months to respond and then any changes will then need to be laid in law so, for now, nothing has changed.

A summary of the report has been published at:

How do I apply in advance for a passport using the surname I will use after my marriage / civil partnership?

If you want to change the surname on your passport, this can be done up to 12 months before the ceremony. You need to send a completed PD2 form, available from GOV.UK or from Post Offices, to Cambridgeshire Registration Service, Huntingdon Library, Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA with a stamped addressed envelope.  Registration Officers will contact you to take a Payment of £37, complete the form and return it to you so that you can include it with your passport application. Your passport will be issued three months prior to your ceremony.

Details can be found on GOV.UK at:

Will the cost of my ceremony increase after I’ve booked and paid?

When you book a ceremony you are accepting our terms and conditions, which include your liability for any fee increase.

Locally set fees

Fees are reviewed by the council each April so the price for future years may increase. They are presently set until 31 March 2024.  Details can be found at:

Statutory Fees

Fees are set by the Treasury. These can be changed at any point during the year, and this can sometimes be at short notice.

Can I give notice and / or have a ceremony virtually?

Legislation in England and Wales does not permit legal notice, civil partnerships or marriages to be done in any way other than in person face-to-face.

Can we convert our existing legal civil partnership to a marriage?

There is no current legal option in England or Wales that allows for the conversion of a mixed sex civil partnership into a marriage.

If you have a same sex civil partnership then there is a legal option to convert from that to a same sex marriage. Details can be found at:

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

A civil marriage is a marriage that takes place with 2 registrars present (one to conduct the ceremony and one to complete legal paperwork). It is a spoken contract witnessed by 2 people and has no religious content, the ceremony can take place in an approved premise or a register office but because of the spoken nature of the contract it is not possible to just come in and sign the paperwork. A civil marriage is called a wedding, and you will legally be husband and wife after the ceremony and will be Mr and Mrs whether you choose to have the same surname or not.

A Civil Partnership is a written contract between 2 people, with 2 witnesses. You do not have to say anything at all if you do not wish to, you can just sign the paperwork or you can have a personalised ceremony. After a civil partnership formation, you will legally be known as Civil Partners. If you are a heterosexual couple and you change your mind about being in a civil partnership you CANNOT convert to a marriage. To end a civil partnership the process is the same as ending a marriage but instead of being called divorce it is called a dissolution.

A civil marriage and a civil partnership have the same legal standing for couples in this country but Civil Partnerships are not recognised in many countries abroad so if you intend living outside of the UK in the future please do not presume you will have the same legal rights as a married couple and you should seek professional legal advice for further guidance.

To see a comprehensive list of differences go to:

Can I re-register my child(ren) after marrying/ forming a Civil Partnership?

If parents have married or formed a civil partnership after their child was born, they are required to re-register the birth to have the natural father’s details added to the birth record.

You must use form LA1 to re-register your child’s birth.  The form can be found at:

Why doesn't my certificate show the surname I have decided to use after my marriage / civil partnership, and can it be added?

In England and Wales (unlike some other countries) the law means that a certificate will only show the name in which you contracted your marriage / civil partnership, and not the surname you now wish to use.

It is not possible to add this to a certificate.

Most places you contact to inform them of your name change will simply expect to see it as a reflection of the names on your certificate (for example if you decide to double barrel the seperate surnames previously held by both of you).

There is an error on my certificate, how do I correct it?

On the day of the ceremony it is your responsiblity to check that the information on the schdules is all correct before signing it. The person conducting the ceremony must also then note how each person has signed, in pencil, fo us to copy as we enter details onto the system in due course.

We will of course first check that it is not a simple copying error made by ourselves when adding the completed schdule to the system. To report a problem go to:

; and use the form to state the date and location of your ceremony, your names, what the error is and what the correct details are.

We will then check for any error on our part. If it is our mistake, and within legal permissions, we will arrange for you to return the certificate and issue a replacement.

If not then there are legal processes, timescales and statutory fees which apply for all corrections depending on the type of error. Details will provided when we reply to your initial query.

I have received my certificate but it says 'Certified Copy' on it. Where is the original?

The legal record of a marriage or civil partnership is the computer entry made after the ceremony. This means that every certificate we issue is a certified copy - there is no 'original' for you to receive, nor any "digital" copy.

How do I order certificates after my civil / religious ceremony has taken place?

Once your ceremony has taken place it will be added to the computer system within 7 days, provided there are no issues with your completed schedule (and in the case of any religious ceremony that the schedule has been received back from the minister of religion).

Please go to:

;to order your certificates.

Please note the various postal options and timescales before ordering.

I have had my ceremony, where are the certificates I had pre-paid for?

Once your ceremony has taken place it will be added to the computer system within 7 days, and then any pre-paid certficates will be posted within a further 14 days via second class Royal Mail (currently post is then taking 2-3 weeks to then be delivered).

Please therefore allow at least 28 days after your ceremony for receipt.

I can't remember if I have pre-ordered any certificates - how can I check?

If you booked and paid for ceremony on-line you will need to log into your online account to check.

If you did not book and pay on-line please call our colleagues on 0345 045 1363 who can check for you.

Please note that you will not have pre-paid for any certficates for a religious ceremony that we are not / did not attend.

I need a copy of my certificate on the day of the ceremony, can I have one?

The certificate cannot be issued until due process has been followed so unfortunately this will not be possible.

If you want something to use to perhaps assist with upgrades on travel or accommodation for a honeymoon, or similar, you will need to ask what else they will accept from yourselves.

In a few scenarios we do understand a suitable document may be required for urgent legal purposes (such as the country you are travelling to has a law preventing couples that are not in a legal marriage / civil partnership from sharing a hotel room). If you feel this applies in your case then please contact us at least 28 days before your ceremony. We can then consider your request further, explain what evidence will be required to support it and the format the document (which is not a certificate) will take.

I have had a ceremony abroad. Do I need to register it here; can I get a certificate from you; can I have a ceremony here too?

If your ceremony is legally recognised in the country where it took place, and does not contravene the relevant laws of this country, it will be recognised here. You can not register it here and we can not provide any certificates. You can not have another legal ceremony here, as it would bring into question the validity of the first ceremony, but we do offer celebratory 'renewal of vows' instead.  To find out more go to:

I am having a legal ceremony abroad and have been told I need a 'Certificate of No Impediment'. Can I get one from you?

You can only do so if you are British and physically live here in Cambridgeshire (this does not include Peterborough), and if required by the country where you are having a ceremony.   

You can find out what is required by going to:

Some countries also require the Certificate of No Impediment to be issued within X months of your ceremony date. Please note that once notice is given then, after at least 28 clear days, the document will be issued and posted to you. If the link above indicates that you require a CONI, you can book an appointment from the link on the front page:

We have been asked by a film company to have our ceremony filmed. Is this ok with you?

You need to ask the film company to get in touch with us first as there are legal agreements to be considered which must be checked in advance.  If they just turn up on the day, they will not be allowed to film.

Can our guests throw confetti?

You can throw confetti outside of the ceremony room.  We would ask that you use bio degradable confetti.

Can you ask our guests not to post anything on social media until we have posted first?

If you have any specific requests about photography or social media during the ceremony, you can ask the registrar on the day to announce them just before it starts. We would also suggest that you make your guests aware of this request in advance by including it on the invitation or order of service. Please note we accept no resonsiblity or liability if anyone fails to comply.

Can our dog attend our ceremony?

Animals (with the exception of assistance dogs) are not permitted at our own ceremony rooms but this is discretionary for Approved Venues and MUST be discussed at the time of booking and after prior agreement with your venue. 

An additional charge of £40.00  will be applied to your booking and is a non-refundable payment. A member of the Ceremonies Team will contact you to complete a checklist before the ceremony date, animals will not be permitted to attend a ceremony without this.

Can I bring fresh flowers for my ceremony at a council ceremony room?

If you wish to bring small flower decorations, you can place them in the room at the start of the ceremony.  The arrangements will need to be removed at the end of your ceremony.  We cannot arrange access to the room in advance.  Please remember that there is limited space in the room.

How do I provide music for my ceremony?

If your ceremony is in a council ceremony room you can either choose for us to play a selection of music or ask a guest to use a digital device to play the music via Bluetooth on our sound bar.  Approved venues will make their own arrangements with you directly.

How do I sign the marriage schedule or civil partnership schedule?

You will need to sign with your usual signature using the name you have before the ceremony/ formation takes place or ‘the name you entered the ceremony room with'.

What time should I arrive for my ceremony?

If your ceremony is in a council ceremony room, please arrive no less than fifteen minutes before the ceremony start time.  If your ceremony is at one of our approved venues, please arrive at least 30 minutes before your ceremony is due to begin.  You will both need to meet with the registrars separately prior to your ceremony.  

Do I need to bring ID on the day of my ceremony?

Generally, no.  If you change your name by Deed Poll between giving notice and the ceremony, you will need to bring an original copy of that Deed Poll.  Witnesses do not need ID.

Do I have to provide witnesses?

It is your responsibility to provide two witnesses.  There is no lower age limit for witnesses, but they must be old enough to understand what is taking place and to be able to testify to what has taken place should this be necessary.  They must be able to speak and understand English.  They must be present throughout the ceremony.  The Registration Service are unable to provide, or act, as witnesses.

Can we have a ceremony at any religious building we want to?

For all Anglican buildings you need to talk to the church team before contacting us.  In most cases you will not need to give notice, or ask us to attend, because you will be able to use religious preliminaries instead.

The law for all non-Anglican buildings is very specific so please take a look at:

Please discuss it with the religious team at the building where you intend to have your ceremony.

Can I have a ceremony outside?

You might be able to have your ceremony outside from 1 March to 31 October, at an Approved Venue,  dependent on weather conditions.  The Registrar will determine whether or not the ceremony can proceed outdoors.

To find out more go to:

My partner does not speak English. Can you provide a translator/interpreter?

If either of you does not understand or speak English, you need to have an interpreter/translator to ensure you understand what you are agreeing, both when giving notice and at your ceremony. This can't be either of you but can be a family member, friend, neighbour, colleague etc. The interpreter must sign as a witness to the ceremony. If you have any other difficulties with speech or language, or don't know anyone, please let us know in advance.

I have lost my decree absolute (marriage) or dissolution order (civil partnership). Can I still give notice?

No. At the appointment you must produce an original court stamped (and fully signed) copy of the decree absolute or dissolution order.  Copies can be obtained from the county court where your divorce was heard. Terms and conditions apply to any appointments booked.

Terms and Conditions can be found at:

I am giving notice but my decree absolute only shows my married name and I have reverted to my maiden name. Is this ok?

You will need to bring your marriage / civil partnership certificate to show the link between the surnames; alternatively, if you have a child bring their birth certificate as it will show your maiden name.

Can I give notice for a religious building, even if we don't live in that District or worship there?

For all Anglican buildings you need to talk to the church team before contacting us.  In most cases you will not need to give notice, or ask us to attend, because you will be able to use religious preliminaries instead.

The law for all non-Anglican buildings is very specific.  Details can be found at:

; and discuss it with the religious team at the building where you intend to have your ceremony. 

Can you remind me what documents I need to bring to my notice appointment

Go to:

After answering the questions it will display a summary of the documents required.

When do I have to give notice by?

You can give notice up to 12 months before the date of your ceremony but we would suggest that you give notice 4-6 months before the date of your ceremony for a number of reasons:

1.  Your notice is venue specific. If your circumstances change and you decide to go to a different venue after having given notice then you will need to give notice again; pay a new fee and wait a further 28 days for your legal preliminaries to be completed. 

2.  If you are marrying/ forming a civil partnership in England or Wales then you must intend to marry/ form your civil partnership within 1 year of the date of your appointment.  If your appointments were on different dates then notices will expire one year after the date of whichever of you gave notice first. 

If you give notice too early then a delay to the date of your ceremony caused by a change of circumstances or e.g. government restrictions to a global pandemic, may mean that you are required you to give notice again because your legal right to have your ceremony will have expired.  You will then be required to wait a further 28 days to complete the legal preliminaries and incur a new fee.

3.  The notice process can be completed comfortably within 4-6 months.  Booking too late may mean that you are unable to secure an appointment or complete legal preliminaries in plenty of time.  This is particularly important if you or your partner have divorced overseas since the documentation will have to be referred to The General Register Office which could cause a delay which is outside our control.

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By Post

Cambridgeshire Registration Service

Huntingdon Library

Princes Street


PE29 3PA

By Phone

0345 045 1363

Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm

Contact - Cambridgeshire Ceremonies

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