National Registrars Week 2024

A week in the life with Steph from Surrey Cermonies

From 8 to 14 July, we are celebrating National Registrars Week.

Surrey's Registration and Nationality Service look after Surrey residents during some of the most important moments of their lives, including:

  • registering the birth or death of loved ones
  • conducting their marriage or civil partnership ceremony
  • celebrating residents being granted British citizenship

In fact, Surrey is the second busiest service in England and Wales for births and the third busiest service for deaths, based on 2023/24 figures.

Steph, a member of the Surrey Ceremonies Team, has worked for Surrey County Council for nine years. In the week, she helps customers book and plan their ceremonies. At the weekend, she conducts them. Here's a bit more from Steph about her role and why she believes she has the best job in the world!

"During the week, I help couples plan their ceremony. We review their choice of ceremony script, secure their music choices, and sign off their personal vows. It is such a joy to see a couple's plan come together. It is also very interesting to see how different everyone's choices are. We do everything we can to make each ceremony as personal as possible.

At the weekend, I have the honour of conducting ceremonies for couples, both in-house at our Register Offices in Leatherhead, Weybridge and Guildford, and at over 100 licenced venues in Surrey.

For a wedding, we always work in pairs. The Deputy Superintendent Registrar will conduct the ceremony. Meanwhile, the Deputy Registrar handles the legal paperwork. Sometimes, we can do up to eight ceremonies in a day! This isn't surprising as so many people choose to get married in our beautiful county.

N and F who married at the Mansion, Leatherhead. Photograph taken by @sophotographyuk.weddings

It's an absolute privilege to be so involved in this huge milestone moment. Brides and grooms are understandably very anxious before we get started, but we do what we can to calm those nerves. One of my favourite moments from any ceremony is when you see the couple make eye contact down the aisle. Those pre-ceremony worries just melt away! Seeing the happiness on the wedding parties' faces as you pronounce them married really makes me think I have the best job in the world!

It's important to celebrate Registrars and the work that they do. We see people at their happiest, when they are registering the birth of their new baby or marrying their soulmate. We also meet people at the worst of times, when they are registering the death of someone they hold dear. Registrars are there to make sure every single customer feels supported and cared for no matter what stage they are at in life."

To find out more about Registration and Nationality services, visit our website or follow us on Instagram.

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