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Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies during the coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus: Important information

Please read the following information before progressing:

  • Death registrations: All death registrations are now over the telephone. You will not be required to attend the register office in person. See our death registration guidance page.
  • Marriage and Civil Partnerships: Further to the Prime Minister's announcement on 10 May 2020, there has been no change to the Government's decision to suspend all marriages and civil partnerships until further notice. In England and Wales, legislation does not provide for marriages or civil partnerships to be contracted / formed by telephone, online or by video conference and there are no current plans for this to change. See our marriage and civil partnerships guidance page.
  • Birth registrations: Unfortunately we are not able to carry out any birth registration appointments until further notice. You can make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered. The 42 day requirement to register a birth has been relaxed and no action will be taken if you have not registered within that time frame.
  • 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. You should also note that we can only issue a maximum of five certificates per person. Please do not apply for copy 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 understanding at this difficult time.

Postponement of marriages and civil partnerships

Further to the Prime Minister's announcement on 10 May 2020, there has been no change to the Government's decision to suspend all marriages and civil partnerships until further notice. In England and Wales, legislation does not provide for Marriage and Civil Partnerships to be contracted / formed by telephone, online or by video conference and there are current no plans for this to change.

More information will be made available following further government announcements.

Unfortunately, during this unprecedented worldwide pandemic, you will appreciate we cannot be certain how events will unfold, or indeed what the Government advice and guidance will be at the time of your ceremony.

We appreciate that this may be extremely disappointing, but we remain wholly committed to doing everything we can to make your day special and memorable, whilst taking a responsible stance during this unprecedented public health crisis. Whatever the circumstances, we are committed to providing you with the best possible service we can, subject to the prevailing conditions.

Postponing your booking

If you have a ceremony booked in 2020 and you wish to postpone your booking, we would be happy to reschedule your marriage / civil partnership booking and we will waive the admin fee for ceremony changes in these circumstances.

As you will appreciate, we are receiving a high number of calls at the moment, so if you wish to postpone your booking, please send an email as soon as possible before your ceremony with the following information to: registration.ceremonies@surreycc.gov.uk and a member of our team will contact you within five working days to reschedule your booking.

  • Your and your partner's names
  • Date of your ceremony
  • Time of your ceremony

If you do not wish to postpone your ceremony

You do not need to contact us to confirm this.

Do you need to give notice again if you are postponing your booking?

The government has suspended all notice appointments for marriages and civil partnerships until further notice. In England and Wales, legislation does not provide for Marriage and Civil Partnerships notices to be taken by telephone, online or by video conference and there are no current plans for this to change.

At this stage, there has been no change in legislation to allow the validity of the notice period to be extended. If you have already given your notice of marriage / civil partnership, your notice will be valid for a period of 12 months only from the date you gave notice.

If you reschedule your marriage/civil partnership to more than 12 months after the date on which you originally gave notice, you will be required to give notice and pay the statutory notice fee again. If you have chosen to move your ceremony to another venue, you will also be required to give notice and pay the statutory notice fee again.

The fee for giving notice is a government set statutory fee and we are therefore not able to waive the notice fee at this time.

Cancelling your booking

If you have a ceremony booked between 24 March – 31 July 2020 and you wish to cancel your booking, we are able to offer you a full refund. If your ceremony is booked between 1 August and 31 December 2020 and you wish to cancel, you will receive a full refund of the fee, excluding the £100 non-refundable administration fees.

As you will appreciate, we are receiving a high number of calls at the moment, so if you wish to cancel your booking, please send an email with the following information to registration.ceremonies@surreycc.gov.uk and a member of our team will contact you within 10 working days.

  • Your and your partner's names
  • Date of your ceremony
  • Time of your ceremony

Our message to you

We appreciate that a great deal of planning goes into a wedding day, so these measures have not been taken lightly.

This is a fast-moving situation and we will do all we can to ensure that you are kept up to date with any new developments.

Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

Surrey Registration Service, 11 May 2020

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