Your wedding day

Coronavirus: Important information

Marriages and civil partnerships will still be able to go ahead when Elmbridge moves to COVID-19 alert level high from Saturday 17 October 2020.

For the latest updates please see our marriage and civil partnerships during coronavirus guidance.

From Monday 28 September 2020, the maximum number of people at a marriage or civil partnership will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people, (the couple and up to 13 guests).

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.

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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 asked to wait outside the building until the interviews have been completed and they will then be invited to join you in the ceremony room.

Your guests will be asked to wait outside the building until the interviews have been completed and they will then be invited to join you in the ceremony room. This means you won't be able to make a formal entrance into the room.

If your guests arrive early, please ask them to wait in their car / outside the building until 5 minutes before your ceremony. We do not have any waiting rooms available inside the building, so they will be required to wait outside until the time of your ceremony and 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.


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

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government have advised that confetti must not be thrown


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 15 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.

This maximum number includes the couple and up to 13 guests. It does not include anybody working at the ceremony, such as the two registrars and photographer. When considering maximum numbers, please remember that there must be enough space in the room for everybody present, including those that are working in the ceremony room, to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Please check with your venue about their maximum capacity.


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 15 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