Ever wondered what the legal process and requirements are if you have a Celebrant led ceremony?
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Registry Office Requirements and Guidance
The exact costing for the registry legal marriage part will depend upon which county you fall under, as fees can vary slightly, and also your year of marriage, as prices can rise due to inflation every April.
Generally this is the process and what you will need:
You need to have a 'notice of intention to marry' (approx £35 each). Every person who has any type of civil ceremony has to pay for this.This is arranged through a pre-arranged appointment, at the local registry office where you CURRENTLY LIVE. You will need to provide evidence of who you are (passport/photo driving license) and where you live (utility bill/bank statement). You will have separate meetings where you will both be asked questions about each other and your intention to marry. A ‘notice’ will be published in this registry office for 28 days. On the 29th day you will be legally entitled to ‘marry’. This entitlement lasts for one year only and has to be renewed if the date changes beyond the 12 months, as many couples are unfortunately finding out with Covid-19, with some being charged a second time. The second part is the 'statutory signing'. This can be conducted at any Registry Office (once booked). Make sure you ask for the 'statutory signing' only at a cost of approx £46. You will need 2 witnesses to be present with you. You will be taken to a small room, reciting 49 words to legalise the marriage. You may wish to
exchange rings, or wait until the Celebrant ceremony. You will sign the marriage certificate, along with the Registrar and the 2 witnesses. The certificate costs approx £11 and I would always recommend getting two copies as you may have to send original copies away to change your name to your marital name on passports/bank accounts/driving license etc.
So in summary:
1) ‘Notice of intention to marry’ costing £35 per person at the local registry office where you currently LIVE, at least 29 days before your ‘statutory signing’. This only lasts for 12 months. If the follow up ‘statutory signing’ goes beyond the 12 months then this process has to be renewed.
2) Book the Registry Office to book the 'statutory signing' only, where you wish to register the marriage, this may be closer to the wedding ceremony venue or your childhood home etc. The cost is approx £46 plus two wedding certificates £11x2=£22. Only the couple, 2 witnesses and the Registrar present. You will recite the legal requirement of 49 words and sign the marriage certificate. Then you are recognised by law to be ‘legally’ married in Wales/England.
3) Have your amazing wedding ceremony with your Celebrant, as you planned and wished, to publicly celebrate your marriage, love and commitment to each other. You may wish to exchange rings here and sign a ‘commemorative certificate’.
At DMG Ceremonies, the essence of the service is always:
'Your Day, Your Ceremony, Your Way!'