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You are currently in: Marriage and Civil Partnership


1 May 2018

Can my priest conduct my civil ceremony?

No, as you have chosen to have a civil ceremony, the ceremony must be carried out by a Deputy / Superintendent Registrar from the local registration office.

Can I get married in my garden / friends garden?

Unfortunately not. The ceremony must take place in a licenced building / structure.

What is the last time I can book for my ceremony?

Although the law was changed in 2014, allowing ceremonies to be held at any time of the day, the interpretation of the law was left down to each individual local authority.  Essex has taken the decision to allow for ceremonies not later than 7:30pm.

Can my pet be part of my ceremony?

Where possible we will be as accommodating as we can for pets to be involved.  A lot depends upon the choice of venue, number of guests and the type of pet itself.  We do not allow for birds of prey to be flown during ceremonies held indoors for example, although outside is quite permissible.

Can we have a gospel choir sing at our ceremony?

Although you are having a civil ceremony, providing the gospel choir are not dressed in robes, or are to sing hymns or any religious pieces of music, yes they would be allowed to sing.

I would like to give my notice of marriage but I have realised my decree absolute shows my last married name and I have since reverted back to using my maiden name.  Can I still attend the appointment?

You would need a copy of your last marriage certificate to show the link where the decree absolute now relates to you, or alternatively if there had been children of the marriage you could use the birth certificates as both your maiden and married names should be shown on there.