Your Marriage Ceremony

As soon as you have given your Notice of Intention to Marry (either in Cumbria or elsewhere, depending on where you live), we will send you a booklet entitled "Your Marriage Ceremony Plan".  This explains what will happen during the ceremony and help you to plan your special day. 

In a Register Office

On this special day please help us and other couples who are being married or forming a Civil Partnership on the same day by arriving at the register office thirty minutes before the ceremony.

We don't want to rush your ceremony or be forced to cancel it, so please ensure you and your guests arrive on time.  Remember there may be traffic delays or a photo call before the ceremony.

Please note we cannot guarantee to reach your venue during periods of extreme weather.  We will however endeavour to attend as soon as it is safe to do so and regret we will not accept liability for any loss in such instances.  We would be obliged if you could take this in to account when choosing the venue and date for your ceremony.

The ceremony is conducted by the Superintendent Registrar and registered by the Registrar, who is also responsible for ensuring that all information which is to be entered into the Marriage Register is correct on the day.  He/she will see you and your partner in private to check the details and will be happy to answer any last minute questions you may have about the ceremony or any of the other arrangements.

 You will each be asked for the following information:

  • Your full name, age, marital status, occupation and the address of your residence on the day of your marriage.
  • The full name and occupation of your father, and whether he is retired or deceased.      

You will then be asked to confirm that the information is correct as this will be the information that will be recorded into the register.

It is very important that you check the information carefully.


Witnesses

You will need to ask two people, who may be friends or relatives, if they will witness your marriage. Your witnesses must be old enough to understand the ceremony and their role in it, preferably over the age of eighteen.  All they will have to do is watch and listen to the ceremony and sign the register.

Should the services of an interpreter be required, please contact the Superintendent Registrar of the district where the marriage is to take place for advice.

Once the marriage vows have been exchanged, the Registrar will ask you to check that your details have been correctly recorded in the Marriage Register.  Please check this carefully, as any mistakes made and not highlighted before the Registrar's have signed and are to be corrected at a later will incur a fee. If you are sure that everything is correct you will both then be asked to sign the Register.  The bride should sign in the name she was known by immediately before the ceremony.  Your two witnesses will then be asked to sign.

In an Approved Premises

Since April 1995, civil marriages have been allowed to take place in other buildings, apart from register offices, that have been approved by local authorities as a suitable venue for civil marriages. These are known as Approved Premises and generally include hotels, stately homes and other historic buildings.

Please note that currently the law does not allow for a civil marriage to take place in a private house, in open air, a marquee, or in any other moveable structure, such as a boat or hot air balloon. Permission has been granted in some instances to be able to get married outdoors in a permanent structure that has been licenced for ceremonies. 

You can get married in any Approved Premises in any district in England and Wales, although you will still need to give Notice of Marriage in the district(s) where you live.  A full list of all Approved Premises for Cumbria can be found at our A to Z of Venues.  You can also see where they are on the map of Cumbria by looking at Find my nearest for locations of these venues.

Ceremonies at Approved Premises will follow a similar format to that in Register Offices. Timings are very important and we must start our ceremonies on time.  Please ensure that partner one is ready for the first pre-ceremony interview at 30 mins before and then partner two 15 mins before the start of the ceremony.

Many of our Approved Premises are set amidst landscaped and beautiful gardens in which to have your photographs taken.  The staff at Approved Premises will be delighted to discuss various arrangements that can be made to make your day really special. Please make sure that you allow enough time as we have to start all our ceremonies on time.

To arrange a wedding in an Approved Premise you must first contact the manager or owner of the premises of your choice to make provisional arrangements.  You must then contact the relevant Registration Office to ensure that the registration officers are able to attend your marriage on that date and time. Enquiry Form

Please note we cannot guarantee to reach your venue during periods of extreme weather.  We will however endeavour to attend as soon as it is safe to do so and regret we will not accept liability for any loss in such instances.  We would be obliged if you could take this in to account when choosing the venue and date for your ceremony.