Frequently Asked Questions - Updated 31 March 2021

Notice of Marriage/ Civil Partnership

I am giving notice of marriage 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 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.

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

You cannot give notice without producing an original copy of the decree absolute or dissolution order. Copies can be obtained from the county court where your divorce was heard.

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

Unfortunately we are unable to provide this service. If either of you does not understand or speak English, you need to provide an interpreter/translator to ensure you understand what you are agreeing, both when giving notice and at your ceremony. The interpreter must sign as a witness to the ceremony. If you have any other difficulties with speech or language, please let us know in advance.

Your Ceremony/ Formation

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. Registration staff cannot act as witnesses.

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.

How do I provide music for my ceremony?

If your ceremony is in a council ceremony room in Cambridge, Ely or Huntingdon, you can either provide a CD of your chosen music for our staff to play or ask a guest to use Bluetooth on our sound bar. The ceremony room at March has a Bluetooth connection on a sound bar. Approved venues will make their own arrangements with you directly.

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 prior to your ceremony. We offer the opportunity to do this as a couple or separately.

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.

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.

We have been asked by a film company to have our wedding 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.

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.’

Can I get married outside?

You can get married outside from 1 March to 31 October dependent on weather conditions. The Registrar will determine whether or not the ceremony can proceed outdoors (as agreed in our Terms and Conditions). Please click here to find out more.

Can our guests throw confetti?

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

Can our dog attend our ceremony?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. We don’t allow any animals to be in the ceremony room apart from formally registered assistance animals.


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

Fees are reviewed by the council each April so the price for future years may increase. Fees are presently set until 31st March 2022.

I want to apply in advance for a passport using my new name

If you want to change the name on your passport, this can be done 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:


If we cancel our marriage ceremony with you completely, can we still get a refund at least in part considering that we don’t live in Cambridgeshire and we are unable to re-book our venue.  Please advise how much this refund would be.

Our Terms and Conditions still apply in the case of cancellations. This is the section relating to cancellations by the couple:

'In the event that you need to cancel your ceremony you will be required to notify us in writing (including email). Any ceremony payments will be subject to the following refund schedule:

  • More than 6 calendar months before the ceremony date you will receive a full refund of the fees paid (subject to the deduction of the administration fee)
  • Between 6 calendar months and 3 calendar months before the ceremony date you will receive a 75% refund of the fees paid (subject to the deduction of the administration fee)
  • Between 3 calendar months and 30 days before the ceremony date you will receive a 50% refund of the fees paid (subject to the deduction of the administration fee)
  • Less than 30 days before the ceremony or failure to cancel in writing before the ceremony date no refund will be made on fees paid
  • Notice Fees are statutory fees and cannot therefore be refunded'

We can no longer marry in our preferred venue.  Can you advise what dates are available to re-book a Council Ceremony Room this year?      Will the cost be exactly the same for getting married in a Council Ceremony Room e.g. The Brooke Room?     Since we cannot get married at our preferred venue, are you are saying we will need to pay to give Notice again?

We have very limited availability in our Ceremony Rooms in the next six months. Please email us with a few preferred dates and we will let you know current availability. Please note that this changes all the time.

We will refund the difference if you would prefer to marry in one of our ceremony rooms. Fees can be found here.

The legislation regarding the location of your marriage remains in force so if you want to move your ceremony to a new location then you will need to give fresh notices and 28 clear days for the marriage authorities to be issued.

How many people can attend my ceremony?

Council Ceremony Rooms - The maximum number of people who can attend a ceremony or formation in one of our ceremony rooms is 11. This number includes the couple and two witnesses. Babies, children and photographers are included in this number. Venues Ceremonies - Please speak to your venue who will confirm the number of people that can attend your ceremony. Click here for information about the lifting of Covid restrictions