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Your ceremony day

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

To help you complete the checklist for your ceremony requirements, please see the following details of your day below.

Arrival

Are you getting ready for your big day at your ceremony venue or at a different location and being transported to your venue or one of our register offices? Either way, on the day of your marriage or civil partnership, it is a statutory requirement that you are interviewed by a registrar immediately prior to your ceremony. You will need to be ready for your pre-ceremony interview 30 minutes before the start time of your ceremony.

To make certain you are at the interview room on time, please ensure any pre-ceremony plans you have, such as photos with your family, friends or, maybe, the ceremonial car, are completed in time for your meeting with the registrar as these interviews will not be delayed to allow them to finish. You will proceed directly to the ceremony room after your interview has taken place.

The ceremony cannot be delayed for the late arrival of you or your guests. You must be ready to start your ceremony on time – we are unable to delay the start of your celebration as we may be conducting another ceremony after yours and cannot risk being late for another couple. If you are late for your ceremony, you risk not being able to proceed as planned, and we may have to conduct your ceremony at the end of the day. Therefore, please make sure that you allow enough time to get ready and arrive at the venue promptly.

Ushers should be appointed to ensure that the guests take their seats to enable the ceremony to commence on time and to minimise any disturbance whilst it is being conducted. You do not need to bring any documents to this interview but you must each be ready in good time for your meeting with the registrar. As well as a necessary legal requirement, it is also an opportunity for you to ask any 'last minute' questions.

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 including readings, or adding personal vows or promises you would like to say to each other during the ceremony.

Witnesses

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

Number of guests

Each ceremony room is licensed for a particular number of guests and you must adhere to these numbers as they are laid down according to fire regulations. No extra guests are permitted to stand in the ceremony room, unless stated. Please note that any children over two years old are counted as individual guests and must be included in your overall numbers.

Children over the age of two must be counted as individuals and form part of your total guest numbers permitted at the ceremony. If they become noisy or upset during the ceremony, please feel free to take them out of the room if possible so that the ceremony is not disturbed. Children must be supervised at all times whilst on the premises.

Recording the event

We are happy to allow photographs at particular points during the ceremony, although we request you keep flash photography to a minimum.

A single video recording is also permitted but please inform the superintendent registrar beforehand. The equipment should be battery operated (unless you have a special arrangement with the licensed venue) as the Registration Service cannot provide any power source, and will not accept any responsibility for any damage or loss of any equipment whilst on any premises. No additional filming lights are permitted and the operator must remain stationary throughout the ceremony.

Biodegradable confetti

Please ask your chosen venue to see if you can use confetti. At our Surrey register offices in Guildford, Leatherhead and Weybridge, the use of biodegradable confetti or bubbles are not permitted in the ceremony room, however, it may be used outside the building in the gardens. Please do not use rice.

Interpreter

If there are any language difficulties, you must provide a suitable interpreter to attend with you who 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 register or civil partnership schedule as a witness.

Enquiries

If you have enquiries regarding your ceremony, please complete our:

Ceremonies enquiry form

Our ceremonies office will then contact you within two working days.

Files available to download

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