Your Questions Answered
Who can I have as witnesses?
You are required to provide two witnesses to sign the register/schedule. They can be friends or family and should be over the age of 18. In exceptional circumstances additional under 18 witnesses (maximum of two) may be accepted. Ultimately the registrar on the day must be satisfied that any witness understands fully the nature and meaning of the ceremony being witnessed.
If an interpreter is used they must sign the register/schedule as one of the witnesses. Your witnesses’ names will be included on your certificate.
Please note civil partnership schedules only have space for two witnesses.
We are unable to provide witnesses for couples.
What name do I use to sign the register/schedule?
You will need to sign the register/schedule with the name that you gave at your notice appointment. This is so that the signature matches the name entered in the register/schedule.
Will I have to change my name?
This is a personal choice as there is no legal requirement for either party to change their name. If you do decide to change your name you have to inform all organisations concerned, such as your bank, and you may have to produce the certificate at this stage. You can change your passport details any time within three months prior to the marriage or civil partnership, see further details on this service.
Can my stepfather be named in the register/schedule?
You can have your stepfather named in the marriage register or civil partnership schedule if you wish, as long as he is, or was, married to your mother at some point in time. The Registrar will confirm the details with you on the day of the ceremony and his name will then be entered in the register/schedule followed by the qualification 'stepfather'.
Are photographs allowed at the ceremony?
Your photographer will be able to take photographs throughout the ceremony, although the Registrar on the day will discuss where they can stand during the ceremony. Your guests will be asked to limit their photographs until the end of the ceremony after the signing of the marriage register/schedule, when the Registrar will set up a mock signing and invite all of the guests to take pictures.
When should we arrive on the big day?
On the day of your marriage or civil partnership, the Registrar will interview both of you privately before the ceremony to check that all the details for the registration are correct and to confirm arrangements for the ceremony.
If you are getting married or forming a civil partnership at a Registration Office please arrive 10 – 15 minutes before the ceremony. If you are getting married at an Approved Venue and want to arrive separately, the first person should arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony and the second person 15 minutes before the ceremony. Couples are asked to be punctual and to factor in possible delays, such as traffic or if you wish to hold a photo shoot before the ceremony.
Where do I park on my big day?
Each venue has its own parking arrangements and you should ensure that you are aware of any restrictions that may apply. Registration office parking arrangements for you and for your guests can be discussed with you when you book.
Do we have to re-register our children?
After the marriage or civil partnership of a child's natural parents you must re-register the child under section 41 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act. You must obtain form LA1 from a registration office or download it at www.gov.uk. This must be completed and signed by both parents after the marriage or civil partnership ceremony and an appointment booked at a registration office, which one or both parents must attend. Certificates can then be purchased at the appointment.