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Marriage in a church or other religious building

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. Please see our death registration guidance page for more information.
  • Marriage and Civil Partnerships - Unfortunately we are not able to carry out any marriages or civil partnerships until at least the 1 June 2020. Please see our marriage and civil partnerships guidance page for more information.
  • Birth registrations - Unfortunately we will not be able to carry out any birth registration appointments for the next 21 days. This will come into effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020 onwards. 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 only able to process certificate applications where the certificate is required for urgent legal or administrative purposes. We can issue a maximum of 3 certificates per person only. We are not able to deal with applications for certificates for the purposes of family history research at this time. If you require additional certificates, you can order certificates from the General Register Office.

Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

If you would like a religious marriage ceremony, you can get married in:

  • an Anglican church (Church of England or Church in Wales)
  • any other religious building registered for marriage.

Same sex couples

Marriage

If you are a same sex couple, as the law stands you are unable to be married in an Anglican church.

You can get married in other religious buildings if:

  • the religious organisation allows same sex marriage to take place
  • the premises have been registered for the marriage of same sex couples.

Civil partnership

It is possible for same sex couples to hold a civil partnership ceremony in a religious building that has been licensed by the local authority, but currently there are no religious buildings in Surrey licensed to hold civil partnerships.


Anglican church (Church of England or Church in Wales)

If you want to be married in an Anglican church (Church of England or Church in Wales), you should speak to the vicar of the church to arrange your ceremony date and time; they will also be able to advise you of the process and costs involved.

You do not usually need to give notice of marriage at a register office if you are getting married in an Anglican church and both you and your partner are British, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss nationals.

If you or your partner are not British, EEA or Swiss nationals, you will need to give notice of marriage together at a designated register office in England or Wales. The designated register office in Surrey is Weybridge.


Any other religious building registered for marriage

Examples of other religious buildings include Methodist, Baptist, Catholic and Unitarian churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship that are registered for marriage.

If you want to marry in a religious building, you should first arrange to see the minister or other person in charge of marriages at the building to arrange your ceremony. However, the church or religious building in question must normally be in the registration district where you or your partner live or be your usual place of worship.

Once you have booked your ceremony with them, each of you must give formal notice of marriage to the superintendent registrar of the district(s) where you live. Please contact us to book an appointment and we will also explain the documents you will need to provide.

Some religious buildings have an authorised person who is responsible for registering marriages there. However, if the building where you are marrying does not have an authorised person or that person is not available, you will need to book a registrar to attend and register the marriage instead. If you require a registrar to register your marriage, please contact us as soon as possible to book their attendance.

It costs £86 for the registrar to attend and register your marriage and certificates are £11 each. Additional certificates purchased after the date of your ceremony will cost more.

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