UPDATE 02 November 2020
On Saturday 31 October the government announced a national lockdown from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December. We will shortly be contacting couples affected by this announcement.
If your ceremony is on, or after 3 December 2020 please visit this page for updates.
If your ceremony is booked for a date before 5 November, your ceremony will proceed as arranged and you will need to follow the guidance below.
The Government has updated its guidance on face coverings at weddings and civil partnerships in England.
Where 2m social distancing is in place ALL guests will be required to wear face coverings at ceremonies. This does not include the couple or registration officers.
Where 1m + social distancing is in place nothing has changed. So ALL parties including the couple, witnesses, guests and registrars are still required to wear face coverings throughout the ceremony.
These rules apply to weddings and civil partnerships taking place in register offices and approved venues.
Below we have detailed the terms by which the ceremony/formation can take place in one of our Approved Venues.
UPDATE 24 September 2020
From 28 September in England all weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and any associated receptions will be restricted to 15 people. This number includes all those attending, including the couple, witnesses and guests. Officiants, photographers, security, staff employed by the venue, third-party suppliers and catering staff do not need to be considered in this number.
Speak directly to the venue to confirm the maximum number of people that can be safely accommodated.
Seating and circulation space within the ceremony room must be socially distanced
If your ceremony is taking place outdoors the outside structure must be sufficiently large to allow social distancing between you, your two witnesses and the two registrars, all of whom need to be present inside the structure throughout the ceremony. This remains a legal requirement.
Below we have detailed the terms by which the ceremony/formation can take place in one of our Council Ceremony Rooms
The maximum number of people you can have in our Council Ceremony Rooms is SIX. This number will include the couple, two witnesses and two guests (children/ babies and the official photographer are also counted in the six permitted). No additional guests will be allowed, and should not wait outside due to social distancing space for other appointments.
You, your witnesses and guests will need to adhere to the following health and safety restrictions when you attend your ceremony.
No person will be permitted to enter the building if they show any symptoms of Covid-19 or are currently quarantining. Two metre distancing will be maintained at all times in line with government guidelines and health and safety requirements.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your ceremony. On arrival wait outside the main entrance with your witnesses and guests. All people entering the building must wash their hands with the hand gel provided at the entrance.
A member of our staff will come to the door and collect you and take you to the ceremony room for the pre-ceremony interview. Once this has been completed your witnesses and guests will be invited to join you in the ceremony room.
The toilets in the building will be closed so neither you, your witnesses or guests will be able to use them. Please advise people in advance.
To ensure your health and safety, we will be cleaning the ceremony room between ceremonies, so please ensure that you, your witnesses and guests are on time.
If you are exchanging rings, please have them in your possession before the ceremony starts. Only you will pick up your partner’s ring and place it on their finger.
We will provide wipes and tissues for your use. Please dispose of them in the bin provided.
You are welcome to kiss each other at the end of the ceremony, if you so wish, but for your own safety we advise you not to kiss, hug or shake the hand of any other member of your party unless they are living in your immediate household.
Photographs can be taken from your seat to maintain social distancing. Please do not ask the registrars to take any photos for you.
A separate fountain pen will be supplied for you and your witnesses when signing the register. This will be disinfected between each use.
At the end of the ceremony the couple will exit as directed by the registrar. They will be followed by the witnesses and guests, at socially distanced intervals. Please ensure that all personal items are removed from the ceremony room as there will be no opportunity to return to collect them after the ceremony has ended.
You can choose to proceed with your booking on the planned date with rules above or alternatively move your ceremony to a new date when the current restrictions are eased.
If you move your ceremony you may need to give new notices (which have a statutory fee of £35 each) as these legal documents expire after a year.
If your original ceremony was/ is booked for a date after 1st September 2020 then all normal Terms and Conditions apply if you decide to move your ceremony.
We are very busy so please expect to wait up to 10 working days for a reply as we give priority to those most immediately affected by the situation. We thank you all in advance for your understanding and patience.