Coronavirus (COVID-19) - wedding and civil partnership ceremonies

Ceremonies Update 5 January 2021 - National Lockdown

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 4 January about the new national lockdown, the guidance is that weddings and civil partnerships should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.  Where ceremonies do go ahead, a maximum of 6 people are allowed to be present, not including staff working at the event:

Guidance on Gov.uk

The new restrictions will be in place until mid-February at the earliest and are expected to be reviewed around the half-term date for schools.  This unfortunately means that all ceremonies booked up to 21 February must be cancelled or rearranged.  

We are so very sorry for couples who are due to be getting married or form a civil partnership during this period and we appreciate that this will be extremely upsetting news for everyone.   We are in the process of contacting all couples with bookings up to 21 February, in date order. We are offering the option to reschedule your booking free of charge and we are also suspending our cancellation policy for ceremonies falling in the period from now up to 21 February 2021 and will issue a full refund if you wish to cancel.

Our phone lines are extremely busy and you may be waiting for some time.  If you wish to cancel or reschedule your booking, please email us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk, with the date of your ceremony in the subject line.   Please can we ask that you do not call us if your ceremony is due to take place from March onwards as our priority is dealing with couples with bookings in the period affected by the latest lockdown.


We are taking bookings for ceremonies from 1 April 2021 onwards.  Our telephone lines are very busy so please email us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk for any booking enquiries.  Please note that any bookings made may be subject to changing covid regulations at short notice.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further updates here and on our weddings website.


Ceremonies update 31 December 2020

Tier 4 Restrictions in Cumbria

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 30/12/2020, Cumbria is now subject to tier 4 restrictions until further notice.  Government guidance on tier 4 restrictions states that weddings and civil partnerships should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. Where ceremonies do go ahead, a maximum of 6 people are allowed to be present, not including staff working at the event:

Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals

This unfortunately means that all ceremonies booked between 31/12/2020 and the next review date of 18/01/2021 must be cancelled or rearranged. We do not know yet how long these restrictions may be in effect, so it is possible that bookings from 19/01/2021 will also be affected and we will provide further information as soon as we can.

We are so very sorry for couples who are due to be getting married or form a civil partnership during this period and we appreciate that this will be extremely upsetting news for everyone. We are in the process of contacting all couples with bookings up to 18/01/2021. We are offering the option to reschedule your booking free of charge and we are also suspending our cancellation policy for ceremonies falling in the period 31/12/2020 to 18/01/2021 and will issue a full refund if you wish to cancel.

Please do not call us if your ceremony is due to take place after the 18/01/2021 as our phone lines are extremely busy and you may be waiting for some time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further updates here and on our website.


Ceremonies update 2 December 2020

The Government have announced that ceremonies can commence from 2 December 2020. We have been working closely with our venues and staff to put measures in place to allow us to carry out ceremonies from 3 December 2020. 

Ceremonies taking place in Cumbria must follow the Governments latest guidance for Weddings and civil partnerships in relation to the Local Government Covid Alert level. Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can resume in all tiers with 15 guests. Wedding or Civil Partnership receptions are not allowed to take place in tier 3 areas.

It is the personal responsibility of the couple and guests if they are travelling to Cumbria to attend a ceremony, that they check their local Government Covid Alert Level and follow any government guidelines that may be in place in their own residing district.  This should be discussed with your venue to determine if the ceremony should go ahead according to the area the couple and the guests are travelling from.

All ceremonies booked with Cumbria Registration Service will proceed unless we are instructed by the client that the ceremony is cancelled.  

Cumbria has been placed in Tier 2, this will be reviewed on 16 December and weekly after that. We will provide regular updates on our website and social media pages. Check current Local Government Covid Alert Levels.  


Ceremonies update 2 November 2020

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 31st October, further guidance has been produced by the Government stating that weddings and civil partnerships will not be permitted to take place during the new national restriction period (ceremonies will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as life limiting illness):

New National Restrictions from 5 November

This means that all ceremonies booked between Thursday 5th November and Wednesday 2nd December 2020 must be cancelled or rearranged.

We are so very sorry for couples who are due to be getting married or form a civil partnership during this period and we appreciate that this will be extremely upsetting news for everyone.   We are in the process of contacting all couples with bookings from 5th November to 2nd December to help you through this.  We are offering the option to reschedule your booking free of charge and we are also suspending our cancellation policy for ceremonies falling in the period 5th November to 2nd December and will issue a full refund if you wish to cancel.

Please do not call us if your ceremony is due to take place after the 2nd December as our phone lines are extremely busy and you may be waiting for some time.


Ceremonies update 13 October 2020

Local Government Covid Alert Levels

Ceremonies taking place in Cumbria must follow the latest guidance for weddings and civil partnerships in relation to the Government's Local Covid Alert levels. 

If you are travelling to Cumbria to attend a ceremony it is your personal responsibility that you check the Local Covid Alert Level and follow the government guidelines that are in place where you live. Check your current Local Covid Alert Levels.

If your ceremony plans are affected by this new guidance please contact your chosen venue and us as soon as possible.  


Ceremonies update 23 September 2020

Weddings and Civil partnerships can take place at our Registration Offices and at external venues providing the current government guidance is followed. 

On 22 September the Prime Minister announced that wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships were restricted to 15 people. This includes the couple and 2 witnesses, it does not include the 2 ceremony officers and any third party suppliers - for example a photographer. It is expected that these restrictions will be in place for the next 6 months.

Should you wish to cancel your ceremony our normal refund policy will apply. Reschedules made as a direct result of this announcement will not be charged an amendment fee. 

Ceremonies may be different because of the current restrictions and guidelines in place, but we are committed to doing all we can to give our couples a truly beautiful and memorable ceremony experience on their special day.

We have resumed taking bookings for Weddings and Civil Partnerships, bookings can be made up to 2 years in advance. 

Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, but please note your call may be held in a queue as our team are currently experiencing high volumes of calls due to the latest announcement. We thank you in advance for your patience.


The Registration Service has been working hard to make sure that safety measures are in place, and we are are now able to offer appointments to register the birth of your baby and marriage notices.  Our offices reopened on Monday 20 July 2020.

Since 4 July we have been able to deliver weddings and civil partnerships at external venues (e.g. venues not part of the registrar service) following the latest government guidance.  From 27 July, weddings and civil partnerships can start again in our Registration Offices.  Ceremonies may be different because of the current restrictions and guidelines in place, but we are committed to doing all we can to give our couples a truly beautiful and memorable ceremony experience on their special day.

Over the coming months as our services start again they will be delivered differently to make sure we minimise the risks of infection for customers and staff as a result of COVID-19. 

Even with these restrictions we remain committed to providing the best customer experience possible and we thank you for your patience and support.

Service information:

Birth

Death or Still-birth

Notice of Intent for Marriage or Civil Partnership

Ceremonies

Certificates 

Corrections and Re-registrations


In July our Ceremonies resumed in both our register office buildings and external venues following government restrictions and guidance. Ceremonies may be different due to the current restrictions and guidelines in place, but we are committed to doing all we can to give our couples a truly beautiful and memorable ceremony experience on your special day.

If your ceremony is in the next 4 weeks you should have received an email from us with important information about your ceremony and a link to access and complete your ceremony planner. If you have not received this please email us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk 

We will reschedule your booking once free of charge. If you wish to cancel our normal cancellation policy will apply. the dates we can offer you will depend upon the expiry date of your marriage notices and our current availability.  Changes made to the type of ceremony, or day of the week on which the ceremony is to be held may incur an additional fee.

Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help. We thank you in advance for your patience.

Our ceremonies may look and feel different under Covid-19 restrictions but we are committed to providing a special ceremony for you to remember. The health and safety of you, your guests, our colleagues and staff at our approved venues is very important, we have been working with our venues to make sure appropriate measures are in place. Please take the time to read and understand the guidance below before the day of your ceremony. Please share this information with those joining you on the day.

  • No-one should attend a ceremony if they or a member of their household has had any Covid-19 symptoms in the 14 days prior to the ceremony date.
  • No more than 15 people should attend a ceremony. Please note - this includes the happy couple and the witnesses, it does not include the 2 ceremony officers and any third party suppliers - for example a photographer . The maximum number able to attend will depend upon the size of your ceremony room so please check with your chosen venue.
  • Social distancing guidelines will apply. Please adhere to all signage and floor markings. People from different households should adhere to social distancing at all times.
  • Please wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before and after the ceremony, following any exchange of rings and signing of register. Hand sanitising facilities will be provided by the venue.
  • It is mandatory for all guests at a ceremony in a registry office/approved venue to wear a face covering (unless exempt for medical reasons).  Face coverings will not have to be worn by the bride, groom, civil partners or Registration staff (although the member of the team performing your ceremony may choose to do so).  You will need to make sure your guests provide their own face coverings as we will not be able to provide them.
  • A face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one. This is because face visors or shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth.
  • Readings and Personalised Vows Ceremony timeframes are being kept to a minimum therefore no readings or personalised vows will be included.
  • Arrival of Ceremony party - all persons must arrive 20 minutes prior to the ceremony time.
  • Vulnerable Adults, Infants and Children - to minimise risk vulnerable adults, infants and children should avoid attending ceremonies during Covid-19 restrictions, how-ever this is at the couples' discretion. Any infant must be held by a parent / guardian or member of their own household.
  • Any infant must be held by a parent / guardian or member of their own household. Pre-school children will be permitted to sit on laps, children aged 5 should be seated on their own chair and therefore will be included in numbers.  Infants and children should be included in the total number of guests.
  • Animals - please avoid including animals in your ceremony plans. Any animal present is at the discretion of the couple and the venue and must be kept on a lead or held at all times.
  • Pre-Ceremony Interviews - these will take place in person before the ceremony and will be kept as short as possible.
  • Entrance to the Ceremony Room - social distancing measures should be maintained throughout the ceremony including persons walking down the aisle.
  • Exchange of rings - to limit contact one partner should have responsibility for safe keeping of the rings.
  • Signing of the register - the ceremony team will indicate where to sign this will be carried out adhering to social distancing guidelines. The couple and their witnesses will be provided with a pen to sign the register or you may bring your own pen (blue or black permanent ink).
  • Music Singing, shouting or raised voices should be avoided. The use of musical instruments should be in accordance with current government guidelines and must be agreed prior to the ceremony with the registration service. Recorded music must be supplied by the couple and played on your own device or arrangements for playing made prior to the ceremony with the venue.
  • Certificates - certificates will be issued at the time of the ceremony where possible. Further certificates will be posted after the ceremony.
  • Photography - photographers attending will not be counted in your party of 15. Photo opportunities may be restricted and are at the discretion of the Superintendent Registrar.

If the attending Superintendent Registrar feels the appropriate safety measures are not in place or are not adhered to, they reserve the right to refuse to proceed with the ceremony.

Our ceremonies may look and feel different under Covid-19 restrictions but we are committed to providing a special ceremony for you to remember. The health and safety of you, your guests, our colleagues and staff at our Registration Offices is of paramount importance.  Please take the time to read and understand the guidance below prior to the day of your ceremony. Please share this information with those joining you on the day.

  • No-one should attend a ceremony if they or a member of their household has had any Covid-19 symptoms in the 14 days prior to the ceremony date.
  • The government guidance of no more than 15 people includes the happy couple and the witnesses, it does not include the 2 ceremony officers and any third party suppliers - for example a photographer. 
  • Please note - the numbers able to attend ceremonies in our offices varies according to venue.  We have produced seating plans for each of our venues which provide further information on the number of guests able to attend.
  • Children under the age of 4 are permitted to sit on laps, children aged 5 and over will need to be seated on their own chair and will be included in the number of guests. Infants and children should be included in the total number of guests.
  • Social distancing guidelines will apply. Please adhere to all signage and floor markings. People from different house-holds should adhere to social distancing at all times.
  • It is mandatory for all guests at a ceremony in a registry office/approved venue to wear a face covering (unless exempt for medical reasons).  Face coverings will not have to be worn by the bride, groom, civil partners or Registration staff (although the member of the team performing your ceremony may choose to do so).  You will need to make sure your guests provide their own face coverings as we will not be able to provide them. 
  • A face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one. This is because face visors or shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth
  • Our officers will wash or sanitise their hands between each ceremony and we will wipe down desks and chairs before you enter the room and waiting area
  • Please wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before and after the ceremony, following any exchange of rings and signing of register. Hand sanitising facilities will be provided by the venue.
  • As per government guidelines no confetti is permitted to be thrown inside or in the grounds of our buildings.
  • Statutory ceremonies are for the couple plus 2 witnesses only. In Kendal this may take place in either of the 2 rooms dependent upon other ceremonies taking place that day.

Seating plans

Arriving and Leaving:

  • Make sure you allow enough time for parking and confirmation of your arrival at our office
  • Arrival of Ceremony party - all persons must arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony time
  • Please note you may be asked to wait outside the building until the ceremony officer is available to greet you
  • Follow the signs around the building carefully and listen to any safety instructions given by our officers
  • On arrival, you will be asked to use hand sanitiser before moving through the building. We would recommend doing this again as you leave for your personal protection
  • You may be asked to wait in a specific waiting area. Please do not wander from this area. Our layout has been carefully planned to keep everyone as safe as possible.
  • For the time you are in our building, please observe social distancing at all times of 2 metres. 
  • When you leave the building the officer will explain how to exit. Please carefully follow this guidance as there may be a one way flow which means you exit through a different door than when you arrived.

During the Ceremony:

  • Pre-Ceremony Interviews - these will take place in person prior to the ceremony and will be kept as short as possible.
  • Entrance to the Ceremony Room - social distancing measures should be maintained throughout the ceremony including persons walking down the aisle.
  • Readings and Personalised Vows Ceremony timeframes are being kept to a minimum therefore no readings or personalised vows will be included.
  • Vulnerable Adults, Infants and Children - to minimise risk vulnerable adults, infants and children should avoid attending ceremonies during Covid-19 restrictions, how-ever this is at the couples' discretion. Any infant must be held by a parent / guardian or member of their own household.
  • Animals - are not permitted in our register offices.
  • Exchange of rings - to limit contact one partner should have responsibility for safe keeping of the rings.
  • Signing of the register - the ceremony team will indicate where to sign this will be carried out adhering to social distancing guidelines. The couple and their witnesses will be provided with a pen to sign the register or you may bring your own pen (blue or black permanent ink).
  • Music Singing, shouting or raised voices should be avoided. Due to limited space no singing or live music performances are permitted in our register offices. Recorded music must be supplied by the couple and played on your own device or arrangements for playing made prior to the ceremony with the venue.
  • Certificates - certificates will be issued at the time of the ceremony where possible. Further certificates will be posted after the ceremony.
  • Photography - please check our seating plans to establish if there is space for a photographer in the register office room. Photo opportunities may be restricted and are at the discretion of the Superintendent Registrar.

We will reschedule your booking once free of charge and if you wish to cancel our normal refund policy applies. Please note the dates we can offer you will depend upon the expiry date of your marriage notices.  Changes made to the type of ceremony, or day of the week on which the ceremony is to be held may incur an additional fee.

Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, but please note your call may be held in a queue as our team are currently experiencing high volumes of calls due to the latest announcement. We thank you in advance for your patience.

We are taking bookings for weddings and civil partnerships up to 2 years in advance. Unfortunately, until government restrictions are lifted on non-statutory ceremonies, we cannot take bookings for naming ceremonies, renewal of vows and bespoke ceremonies. 

Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, please note your call may be held in a queue as our team experience high volumes of calls at peak times of the day. We thank you in advance for your patience.

From 20 July notice of marriage/civil partnership can commence again in our Registration Offices.  

We are prioritising these appointments in date order for the next few months. 

Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, please note your call may be held in a queue as our team experience high volumes of calls at peak times of the day. We thank you in advance for your patience.

At this stage, there has been no change in legislation to allow the validity of the notice period to be extended. If you have already given your notice of marriage / civil partnership, your notice will be valid for a period of 12 months only from the date you gave notice.

If you reschedule your marriage / civil partnership to more than 12 months after the date on which you originally gave notice, you will be required to give notice and pay the statutory notice fee again. If you have chosen to move your ceremony to another venue, you will also be required to give notice again.

The fee for giving notice is a government set statutory fee and we are therefore not able to waive any fees charged by other Registration Districts for notice appointments at this time.

From 20 July notice of marriage/civil partnership can commence again in our Registration Offices.  

We are prioritising these appointments in date order for the next few months. 

Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, please note your call may be held in a queue as our team experience high volumes of calls at peak times of the day. We thank you in advance for your patience.

All ceremonies are due for payment within 12 weeks of the ceremony date. If you are having difficulties please email us ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk to discuss your options. We will not be charging late payment fees in the current circumstances.

Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, please note your call may be held in a queue as our team experience high volumes of calls at peak times of the day. We thank you in advance for your patience.

We are committed to helping you reschedule your ceremony to another date.  If you would like to cancel your ceremony our normal refund policy will apply.  Please contact us on ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk.