Your wedding day

Coronavirus: Important information

Please read the following information before progressing.

Marriage and Civil Partnerships: We are currently dealing with a high volume of ceremony enquiries. We aim to respond to ceremony amendment requests within six working days and new ceremony bookings within ten working days. Please see our marriage and civil partnerships guidance for further details.

Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership: If you have a marriage or civil partnership booked to take place in the next three months and you are a Surrey resident, you can book your notice appointment at Guildford, Leatherhead or Weybridge Register Offices.

Birth registrations: Appointments are now available to book at Guildford, Leatherhead and Weybridge Register Offices. We are looking forward to seeing you but we have a large backlog of births to register, so please bear with us as we try to offer as many appointments as is safely possible. Guildford is now fully booked until 21 October. Leatherhead and Weybridge offices are now fully booked until 5 October. If you are registering a multiple birth, please complete the birth enquiry form and we will assist you in making an appointment.

New parents can register their baby with a GP practice without a birth certificate.

Claims for Child Benefit and Universal Credit can be made before you register the birth. Visit the Child Benefit and Universal Credit pages for details on how to make a claim.

Certificates: We are currently running a limited service and are only able to process copy certificate applications that are essential, such as for legal proceedings, job recruitment etc. We can issue a maximum of five certificates per person. Please do not apply for certificates for the purposes of family history research at this time. If you require certificates for other purposes, please contact the General Register Office who should be able to supply certificates for you.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

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.

All individuals involved in the ceremony (including attendees, guests and photographers etc.) should be signposted to the current stay alert and social distancing guidance and that they or members of their household should not attend the marriage or civil partnership if they are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19. If either member of the couple have symptoms of COVID-19 the ceremony should not go ahead.

Page contents:


Register office ceremony

Arrival

It is a legal requirement that you are interviewed by a registrar prior to your ceremony. Please be ready for your interview 10 minutes before the start time.

The pre-ceremony interview will be held with the couple in the ceremony room. It will not be possible to hold the interviews separately. Your guests will be invited to join you in the ceremony room after your interview has taken place.

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.


Ceremony script

Please see the attached choice of two 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 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 register or civil partnership schedule.


Number of guests

Register office ceremonies will be restricted to the couple and the maximum number of guests that can be socially distanced safely within the building and ceremony room. The maximum number of guests must include your witnesses and interpreter, if required.

Capacity at register office ceremony rooms will be restricted to the couple and:

  • Four guests at Rylston, Weybridge
  • Six guests at Artington House, Guildford
  • Six guests at the Mansion, Leatherhead
  • Additional guests will not be permitted to enter any part of the register office building, grounds or gardens. 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 at the end of the ceremony only to take photographs in the ceremony room. 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 that there is no WiFi within the register office building.

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


Biodegradable confetti

The use of biodegradable confetti or bubbles are not permitted in the ceremony rooms at our register offices. Biodegradable confetti only 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. 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 register or civil partnership schedule as a witness.


Ceremony at a licensed venue

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 an appropriate room maintaining social distancing. 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.


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. However, please consider whether it will be safe to be escorted into the room by a family member or friend. You must maintain a social distance of two metres from anyone who is not from the same household or support bubble.


Ceremony script

Please see the attached choice of two 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.


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 register or civil partnership schedule.


Number of attendees

Up to 30 people, but no more, can attend a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 secure venue. Please check with your venue about their maximum capacity.

This maximum number includes all those at the ceremony, including the couple, witnesses, two registrars and guests. It also includes any staff who are not employed by the venue, which may include photographers, security or caterers. It does not include staff employed by the venue.


Recording the event

One photographer/videographer may be in the room but must maintain social distancing and must also be included in the total of 30 people in the room or the maximum permitted by the venue if this is less.

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


Interpreter

If there are any language difficulties, 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 register or civil partnership schedule as a witness.


Files available to download