Marriage and Civil Partnership Ceremonies

How to book a registrar, current pandemic restrictions in place and venue details.

Find out how to make an ceremony enquiry online. We recommend you complete our online form rather than phone due to a high demand for our ceremony services.

Outdoor ceremonies from 1 July 2021

The Government has introduced new temporary legislation to enable marriage and civil partnership ceremonies to take place outdoors. This is effective from 1 July 2021 in venues that have been approved under the ‘Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005’ and is in place until the end of March 2022.

Outside areas will not be available at all venues so couples are advised to check with their chosen venue to see what may be possible. More information is available at GOV.UK.


 

Ceremony Information

COVID 19 – The majority of restrictions to ceremony content and numbers attending have been removed, but you may still find that your chosen venue is not operating exactly as it would have done before the pandemic began.

In some locations the actual number permitted may be lower than you might expect. You must check with your venue to confirm the number they can allow.

Check the numbers allowed and arrangements for couples marrying in our Local Authority Rooms.

Our registrars may still choose to wear a face covering when attending ceremonies and we will continue to maintain a 2 meter distance from the ceremony party.

We will do our best to accommodate your wishes for photography, but we would ask that photographers also allow a 2 meter distance between themselves and our staff.

It remains the case that anyone should not attend if they are showing any symptoms or are awaiting test results for COVID-19. Particular care needs to be shown for guests that are in the categories that the government defines as vulnerable.

Signing the Marriage Schedule

Particular care must be taken when signing the Marriage Schedule as this is the legal record of your marriage or civil partnership. The responsibility to ensure the information is correct passes from the Registrar to the couple at the point of signing. Any errors found after the signing are subject to the General Register Office correction process and a fee of £90 which is payable by the couple.

Marriage/Civil partnership certificates will be posted out to you afterwards and not presented at the ceremony.

Fees, ceremony terms and conditions

All Fees and Terms and Conditions

Notices of Marriage and Civil Partnership (which expired during current Pandemic)

We are only able to do Notices of Marriage for Suffolk residents. If you are marrying in a Suffolk venue but live elsewhere you will need to attend your local register office to prepare this document.

Notices of marriage and civil partnership remain valid for 12 months only.  If you have changed the date of your ceremony during the pandemic, it is possible that your notice will not be valid for the new date.  If you are unsure, please check with your local office.

If you need to prepare a new notice because your original one has expired, you will both be required to attend an appointment to do this.  In light of the current situation, we are only preparing new notices for ceremonies due to take place in the next 8-10 weeks or where there is an urgent need.  You will need to bring up to date documentation with you.  Once you have completed the new notice, it will be valid for a further 12 months, less a 29 day waiting period from the date it is prepared.  If you are subject to immigration control, the waiting period may be extended to 70 days.

A statutory fee of £35 applies for most notice of marriage appointments.  This is increased to £47 if you are subject to immigration control.

In some situations, the fee will not be charged.  These are listed below.

We will not charge you the statutory fee for a notice of marriage or civil partnership if:-

  1. Your ceremony was booked to take place between the following lockdown dates
    23 March 2020 to 4 July 2020
    5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020
    26 December 2020 to 19 February 2021 (or end of current restrictions)

    AND
  2. You have transferred your booking to a new date.  Couples who chose to cancel outright and receive a refund of their deposit and/or fees will not be eligible.

    OR
  3. If your venue did not re-open for business on the date of your ceremony.

You may be asked to provide evidence in some cases, for example, if your ceremony was booked for a venue outside of Suffolk or in a religious building.

 

 

 

 

Marriage legislation

New marriage legislation

Since 4 May 2021 marriages are no longer recorded by hand in a marriage register. Instead a marriage schedule, issued by the Registration Service, or a marriage document issued by the Church of England or Church of Wales will be issued and signed.

  • You are each be allowed to have four people's details recorded for mother/father/parent
  • No handwritten certificates are issued or presented on the wedding day
  • Certificates are now posted after the details have been entered onto the computer system, which will take place within seven days of the schedule being received by the Registration Office
  • If you are having a religious ceremony, you will be advised which Registration Office to collect the schedule from in advance of the ceremony
  • After a religious ceremony, the signed schedule or marriage document must be returned to the Registration office as soon as possible to enable the marriage to be recorded - marriage certificates cannot be issued until this process is complete. It is the responsibility of the authorised person or the minister to arrange for the return of the schedule - they may ask yourselves, or one of your guests to do this on their behalf.