As you know at Rock My Wedding we love ALL weddings, be that a registry office wedding or an at-home celebration (your day your way). We wanted to dedicate this post to the registry office. So let's take a look back at some of our most inspiring civil ceremonies and give you a brief rundown of the legalities for holding your own, and how to make best use of those amazing buildings for fabulous photo opportunities. You can also check out our article on registry office wedding dresses if you need some outfit inspiration.
Your first step is deciding where you'd like to get married. You aren't restricted by location when it comes to having a registry office wedding so you could choose your local one or one in a place that means a lot to you. You can search for registry offices here.
Once you have decided where you would like to have your registry office wedding you should 'give notice'. You give notice by signing a legal statement at your local registry office (even if you choose to marry at a registry office in another location) to say you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. This should be done at least 28 days before you wish the marriage to take place and it is valid for 12 months. There is a fee of £22 per person to give notice - and you each have to give notice. To solemnise (make official) your civil ceremony you will pay a fee for your registrar. This fee starts from £36 if you are both from within the EU.
Please check out this post from the government that outlines all possible fees. Bear in mind that if you are having an alternative person to the registrar carry out your ceremony; a humanist celebrant for example, then you will have differing costs to pay. Please check out this link for costs that apply for different times of the day. To make your marriage legal you must have a registrar/official celebrant present at your civil ceremony and you must have a least two witnesses.
It's worth noting that you can't have any religious aspects in your registry office wedding. For example, you cannot play any songs with religious connotations or have any religious readings. And that's pretty much it when it comes to the legal stuff. Let's get to the fun stuff; starting with your vows. You can write these yourself or a registrar will help you. If you do fancy writing them yourself, check out this post for some really useful tips. Civil ceremonies can also include readings, songs and/or music. If you need any help choosing non-religious readings we have an article full of inspiring words.
Town halls and registry offices are usually beautiful buildings with plenty of places for photo opportunities. The captures below make full use of the grand staircases, long corridors, and high ceilings. Take a wander around your building to see what photo opportunities there are. And don't be afraid to decorate the ceremony room with flowers or neon signs. Even better if they are mobile and can be taken with you to your reception venue!
Confetti isn't just for churches dontchyaknow. Exiting any wedding venue as a newly married couple should feel special and amazing. You're finally married and the moment definitely needs documenting and it's a good opportunity for that classic confetti shot. Line your guests up on the stairs for a group portrait or have them throw confetti over you as you walk out the doors. Just priceless! And whether you choose to pop to the nearest cafe for a slice of cake or climb aboard a bus and whisk your guests off to a reception venue for extended celebrations, the place where you said 'I Do' will always hold a special place in your heart.
• You must be at least 16 (with parental permission until you are 18)
• You need to give notice of marriage a minimum of 28 days before the wedding takes place and there is a fee associated to this.
• There must be 5 people in attendance for it to be legal; you, your partner, your registrar and two witnesses.
• You cannot have any readings, music, or songs with religious connotations as part of your ceremony.
• You can decorate your registry office and think about ways in which you can repurpose that decor at your next venue
• Don't forget to celebrate with that all important confetti shot after you've said 'I Do'!
Check out these posts to help you have the best possible wedding ceremony at a registry office
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