Arranging a marriage or civil partnership ceremony
We strongly advise that couples contact the Register Office or an Approved venue where they wish to have their marriage or civil partnership ceremony prior to giving notice in order to first ascertain whether they will be able to marry or form civil partnership at the time and date when they wish.
- most Register Offices or Approved Venues in England and Wales will accept a provisional booking up to twelve months in advance of the wedding or civil partnership. Barnet has a number of approved premises for marriage and civil partnership ceremonies
- in addition to paying a fee to hire the approved venue for your marriage or civil partnership ceremony, you will also need to pay a fee for the attendance of a Superintendent Registrar to conduct the ceremony and a Registrar to register the event.
All required documentation must be is presented to Barnet Register Office prior to the ceremony date. Where either or both parties to a marriage ceremony have conducted their legal preliminaries outside of the Barnet registration district, it is the responsibility of the parties to ensure that Barnet registration service has the required authorities for marriage in advance of the ceremony.
On the day of the marriage ceremony the Registrar for marriages will take the bride and groom into the marriage room and check the particulars on the marriage authorities to ensure the details about the parties are correct as at the date of the marriage. If required, the bride and the groom can be interviewed separately. The Registrar will then invite the guests into the marriage room and the Superintendent Registrar will conduct the ceremony.
The law requires that both parties to marriage must make a declaration that they are free to marry and they take each other to be husband and wife. Each party has to have at least one witness to the marriage (maximum four) and they can exchange rings if they wish. Once the contracting words are completed, the bride, groom and witnesses sign the register. The bride and groom are then presented with their marriage certificate.
There is no requirement for civil partners to say particular contractual words as part of the registration process nor is there any legal necessity for any form of ceremony. The minimum requirement is for the couple to attend before a Registrar to sign the registration in the presence of two witnesses.
Barnet Register Office wishes to make marriage or civil partnership ceremonies a memorable event for the couple and their guests and we have a selection of ceremony scripts which you can tailor to your personal needs.