Renewal of vows

A renewal of vows ceremony is for couples who are already married or in a civil partnership together and wish to reaffirm their commitment, to each other. Although these ceremonies have no legal basis, they are a way for you to celebrate your marriage or civil partnership. You can choose to renew your vows in the presence of your family and friends, or you may decide to keep it intimate, between yourselves.

You may have a special anniversary approaching or been through a period of difficulty. Perhaps your family and friends were unable to attend your marriage or civil partnership. Our ceremony is particularly popular with couples who married abroad.

You might just be hopeless romantics!

Whatever your reason, our experienced registrars will ensure your ceremony is personal and memorable. They will also present you with a commemorative certificate as a keepsake of your special day.

You can hold your renewal of vows ceremony at our register offices in Guildford, Leatherhead or Weybridge, or alternatively at any of our licensed venues.

Ceremonies enquiry form

Please complete our online ceremonies enquiry form. Our ceremonies office will then check availability and will contact you by telephone. Please note that it may take up to 10 days to respond to your new booking enquiry.

A renewal of vows ceremony fee is payable in full at the time of booking. Fees are subject to change on 1 April each year.

Please ensure you have fully read and understood our ceremony booking terms and conditions.

Here's a rundown of what you can expect on your celebration day and the preparations you may need to make.

The information below will also help you to complete our checklist for your personalised ceremony

If either member of the couple has symptoms of COVID-19 the ceremony should not go ahead. If any guests or members of their household are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, they must not attend the ceremony.

Page contents:

Ceremony at a register office
Ceremony at a licensed venue
Ceremony checklist


Ceremony at a register office

Ceremonies will be held in the approved ceremony rooms within the register office building. It will not be possible to hold a ceremony outdoors in the grounds of the register office.

Arrival

Please arrive at least 20 minutes before your ceremony start time.

Your guests will be asked to wait outside the building until 15 minutes before the start time and they will then be invited into the ceremony room.

If your guests arrive early, please ask them to wait in their car/outside the building until 15 minutes before your ceremony. They may need to be prepared for inclement weather.

You must be ready to start your ceremony on time, it cannot be delayed by the late arrival of you or your guests. If you are late for your ceremony, you risk not being able to proceed as planned, a reduction to content may be necessary or we may have to conduct your ceremony at the end of the day.

Although it is no longer a legal requirement, we recommend that face coverings are worn when visiting the Register Office buildings. Your guests may also choose to do so during the ceremony to protect each other, particularly if you are inviting the maximum number of guests.


Entering the room

You can choose how to start your ceremony, whether you wish to be escorted by a family member or friend or together as a couple.


Ceremony script

It is important that your guests understand that you are already legally married or in a civil partnership and the Registrar will acknowledge this during the ceremony.

Please see the attached script which show the ceremony wording. The script cannot be altered, and we will not use scripts provided by anyone else.

Renewal of vows ceremony script (PDF)

You may wish to enhance your ceremony by providing your own music or adding additional vows or promises you would like to say to each other during the ceremony. For example, you might like to include:

  • Speeches and readings from your original ceremony or your special music played again.
  • New promises to reflect your plans for your continuing future together.
  • The rededication of any rings exchanged at your legal marriage or civil partnership or present new rings to each other.

Music

There are several ways to personalise your ceremony. One way is to use music. This can be played for your entrance, during photographs and for your exit from the ceremony room.

You must ensure that any music chosen has no religious content.

You can choose your own music and we will ensure that we have this music for you on the day. Your music will be played through our Bose music system. Please state the title of the song and the name of artist or group clearly on your checklist. You must ensure that any music chosen has no religious content.

Alternatively, you may wish to use the register office classical music selection:

  • Canon in D - Pachelbel
  • Clair de Lune - Debussy
  • Air on a G String - Bach
  • The Four Seasons, Spring - Vivaldi
  • Arrival of the Queen of Sheba - Handel

Readings

You may wish to further personalise your ceremony by including a maximum of two readings.

Readings can be a poem or piece of prose of your choice and will be read by one of your guests at the ceremony. Alternatively, you or a guest or family member may wish to write something to read at your ceremony. If they would like the reading to be a surprise, they can send it to us directly, with your names and ceremony date.

All readings should be short in length and must not contain any religious content.


Witnesses

Please provide two witnesses at your ceremony as they will sign your commemorative certificate. They must be included in your guest number.


Number of guests at a Register Office

From 19 July 2021 there is no legal limit on attendee numbers or social distancing requirements, other than capacity limits of venues and their risk assessment for safety. However, couples should remember that this does not guarantee that restrictions may not be imposed again, either at local or national level at short notice, dependent on the course of the pandemic.

If social distancing measures are reintroduced this will affect how many guests you are allowed.

Register office ceremonies will be restricted to the couple and the maximum number of guests that can be safely accommodated within the building and ceremony room. The maximum number of attendees in the Register Office is based on our COVID Risk Assessment. The maximum number of guests must include your two witnesses.

From 19 July 2021 these numbers will apply:

  • The couple and 40 guests at Rylston, Weybridge.
  • The couple and 48 guests at Artington House, Guildford.
  • The couple and 44 guests at the Mansion, Leatherhead.

Additional guests will not be permitted to enter any part of the register office building. Any attempt to exceed the number of guests will mean that your ceremony will not take place, as this will pose an increased risk to other users of the register office site.


Recording the event

The photographer/videographer may be in the room but must maintain social distancing from the registrars.

If you would like one of your guests to film or live stream the ceremony, they may do so from their seat, using their own equipment.

Please note we cannot accept any responsibility for any damage or loss of any equipment whilst on any premises.


Biodegradable confetti

Biodegradable confetti only, can be thrown outside the building.


Ceremony at a licensed venue

It is important that your guests understand that you are already legally married or in a civil partnership and the Registrar will acknowledge this during the ceremony.

Ceremonies can be held at Approved Premises venues permitted to open in the room(s) within the built premises which are approved and also at linked outdoor areas within the boundaries of the land on which the built premises stand, provided that certain conditions are met.

Approved Premises venues will need to consult, in advance, with Surrey Registration Service before arranging any ceremonies in the linked outdoor area, to obtain prior confirmation that the outdoor location fulfils the requirement to be seemly and dignified and all health and safety requirements can be met.

In the event of wet or inclement weather, venues are required to provide a wet weather option, which can accommodate all guests, so that the ceremony can proceed on time, without any delays to move the ceremony indoors or to a covered, dry area. Please consult your venue directly to find out if they will be able to offer an outdoor ceremony. Venues will be under no obligation to offer outdoor ceremonies if they do not wish to do so.

It will not be possible to hold an outdoor ceremony at a location that does not hold an approved premises licence.

Arrival

Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your ceremony start time.

You must be ready to start your ceremony on time, it cannot be delayed by the late arrival of you or your guests. If you are late for your ceremony, you risk not being able to proceed as planned, a reduction to content may be necessary or we may have to conduct your ceremony at the end of the day.

Although it is no longer a legal requirement, we recommend that face coverings are worn in the ceremony room buildings. Your guests may also choose to do so during the ceremony to protect each other, particularly if you are inviting the maximum number of guests.


Entering the room

You can choose how to start your ceremony, whether you wish to be escorted by a family member or friend or together as a couple.


Ceremony script

Please see the attached script which show the ceremony wording. The script cannot be altered, and we will not use scripts provided by anyone else.

Renewal of vows ceremony script (PDF)

You may wish to enhance your ceremony by providing your own music or adding additional vows or promises you would like to say to each other during the ceremony. For example, you might like to include:

  • Speeches and readings from your original ceremony or your special music played again.
  • New promises to reflect your plans for your continuing future together.
  • The rededication of any rings exchanged at your legal marriage or civil partnership or present new rings to each other.

Music

You can choose your own music for your ceremony. You must ensure that any music chosen has no religious content. Please state the title of the song and the name of artist or group clearly on your checklist.

We recommend that you speak to your venue about playing your music choices on the day.


Witnesses

Please provide two witnesses at your ceremony as they will sign your commemorative certificate. They must be included in your guest number.


Number of guests

From 19 July 2021 there is no legal limit on attendee numbers or social distancing requirements, other than capacity limits of venues and their risk assessment for safety. However, couples should remember that this does not guarantee that restrictions may not be imposed again, either at local or national level at short notice, dependent on the course of the pandemic.

If social distancing measures are reintroduced this will affect how many guests you are allowed.

The number of attendees will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate, including guests of all ages and anyone working at the event. This will be based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of the venue, and the measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Please check with your venue about their maximum capacity.


Recording the event

The photographer/videographer may be in the room but must maintain social distancing from the registrars.

Please note we cannot accept any responsibility for any damage or loss of any equipment whilst on any premises.


Checklists for your personalised ceremony

Please complete the relevant ceremony checklist online no earlier than no earlier than two to four weeks prior to your ceremony date. The ceremony checklist will help us personalise your ceremony with details of your celebration, such as your choice of vows or promises and music.

Renewal of vows checklist


Files available to download