Choice of legal wording for marriage

Coronavirus: Important information

Surrey will move into Tier 2 of the government's restrictions on Wednesday 2 December 2020.

Marriages and Civil Partnerships will be able to take place with a maximum of 15 people (where possible with social distancing). This maximum number includes the couple and guests but does not include anybody working at the ceremony e.g. registrars or photographer.

For Surrey Register Offices, with social distancing, the following applies:

  • Guildford - Artington House six guests and the couple
  • Leatherhead - The Mansion six guests and the couple
  • Weybridge - Rylston four guests and the couple

Our registrar will deliver the ceremony you have chosen.

During the ceremony you will each be asked, in turn, to repeat the declaratory and contracting words. Additional vows and/or promises may be used, but these cannot have any religious connotations and need to be approved, at least three weeks prior to the ceremony, by the registrar. You may wish to print them out to read to each other at the ceremony.

After you have been declared legally married, the formal checking and signing of the register will take place.

Declaratory words

(a) " I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I ..., may not be joined in matrimony to ..." (Traditional since 1837)


(b) " I declare that I know of no legal reason why I ... may not be joined in marriage to ..."


(c) by replying "I am" to the question "Are you ..., free lawfully to marry...?"

Contracting words

(a) "I call upon these persons here present to witness that I..., do take thee..., to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)." (Traditional since 1837)


(b) "I..., take you..., to be my wedded wife (or husband)"


(c) "I..., take thee... to be my wedded wife (or husband)"

Files available to download