Your wedding day

Coronavirus: Important information

Due to the current volume of enquiries we are currently receiving, it may take up to 10 working days to respond to enquiries.

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

The information below will also help you to complete the checklist for your ceremony requirements.

Please also ensure you have read and understood the ceremony terms and conditions.

If either member of the couple have 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:


Register office ceremony

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

It is a legal requirement that you are interviewed by a registrar prior to your ceremony. Please be ready for your interview 20 minutes before the start time.

The pre-ceremony interview will be held in a different room to your ceremony. You can be interviewed separately if you choose.

If you would like to be interviewed separately, the groom / partner 1 must be ready for the interview 20 minutes before the start time and the bride / partner 2 must be ready for the interview 10 minutes before the start time.

If you wish to see the registrar together, please be ready for your interview 20 minutes before the 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 in to 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. You may also choose to be accompanied by bridesmaids or page boys.


Ceremony script

Please see the attached choice of three Surrey ceremonies which show the ceremony wording and a choice of the legal declaratory and contractual words that you are required to say to each other during your marriage or civil partnership. These ceremonies cannot be altered and we will not use scripts provided by anyone else.

You may wish to enhance your ceremony by providing your own music or adding personal vows or promises you would like to say to each other during the ceremony.


Music, reading and vows


Witnesses

On the day you must provide two witnesses who are able to speak and understand English. These may be relatives or friends who will be required to sign the marriage or civil partnership schedule.


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.

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 and interpreter, if required.

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

One photographer will be able to enter the room to take photographs during the ceremony. Further photographs may be taken in the garden after your ceremony.

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.


Interpreter

If you do not speak or understand English, you must provide a suitable interpreter to attend with you. They will sign a declaration to confirm that they have translated all content for you and are satisfied that you understand the nature and purpose of the ceremony.

Any interpreter used will also be required to sign the marriage or civil partnership schedule as a witness.


Registering your marriage or civil partnership and your certificates

At the end of the ceremony you will be invited to sign the marriage schedule or civil partnership schedule.

A marriage or civil partnership schedule document is required to complete a legal marriage or civil partnership and will be signed by you and your witnesses at the ceremony. The marriage or civil partnership will then be registered in the electronic register by the Registration Service, on receipt of the Marriage Schedule following the ceremony.

Your marriage or civil partnership certificates ordered at the time of booking your ceremony, will then be issued and sent to you within seven working days of receipt of your schedule after your ceremony.


Ceremony at a licensed venue

Civil marriages and civil partnerships can be held at Approved Premises wedding 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 wedding 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 legal requirement to be seemly and dignified and that all health and safety requirements can be met.

In the event of wet or inclement weather, wedding 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

It is a legal requirement that you are interviewed by a registrar prior to your ceremony. Please be ready for your interview 30 minutes before the start time.

The pre-ceremony interview will be held in an appropriate room. You can be interviewed separately if you choose. Your guests will be assembled in the ceremony room.

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. You may also choose to be accompanied by bridesmaids or page boys.


Ceremony script

Please see the attached choice of three Surrey ceremonies which show the ceremony wording and a choice of the legal declaratory and contractual words that you are required to say to each other during your marriage or civil partnership. These ceremonies cannot be altered and we will not use scripts provided by anyone else.

You may wish to enhance your ceremony by providing your own music, reading or adding personal vows or promises you would like to say to each other during the ceremony.


Music, reading and vows


Witnesses

On the day you must provide two witnesses who are able to speak and understand English. These may be relatives or friends who will be required to sign the marriage or civil partnership schedule.


Number of attendees

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.


Interpreter

If you do not speak or understand English, you must provide a suitable interpreter to attend with you. They will sign a declaration to confirm that they have translated all content for you and are satisfied that you understand the nature and purpose of the ceremony.

Any interpreter used will also be required to sign the marriage or civil partnership schedule as a witness.


Registering your marriage or civil partnership and your certificates

At the end of the ceremony you will be invited to sign the marriage schedule or civil partnership schedule.

A marriage or civil partnership schedule document is required to complete a legal marriage or civil partnership and will be signed by you and your witnesses at the ceremony. The marriage or civil partnership will then be registered in the electronic register by the Registration Service, on receipt of the Marriage Schedule following the ceremony.

Your marriage or civil partnership certificates ordered at the time of booking your ceremony, will then be issued and sent to you within seven working days of receipt of your schedule after your ceremony.


Files available to download