Plan your wedding or civil partnership ceremony

Find out where you can get married, give notice and what happens on the day.

What to expect on the day of your ceremony

Your ceremony 

Our registrars are there to help and guide you through the ceremony and registration. Your Registrar Celebrant will welcome you and your guests to the venue and lead you through your ceremony, your vows and any personal content you wish to include.

Use our ceremony options form to let us know your personal choices for your marriage or civil partnership ceremony.

Two legal declarations must be spoken by each party to the marriage (see below order of ceremony) 

Marriage ceremony 

Sample order of ceremony: 

  1. pre-registration schedule check by Marriage Registrar 
  2. welcome by the Celebrant Registrar 
  3. opportunity for a reading, poem or music 
  4. opening words  
  5. legal declarations 
  6. opportunity for personal vows 
  7. exchange of rings 
  8. opportunity for reading, poem or music 
  9. pronouncement and congratulations  
  10. you and your witnesses will sign the schedule and commemorative certificate.  
  11. brief opportunity for photographs  
  12. closing words 
  13. presentation of commemorative certificate 

Registrar's introduction

Our registrars are there to help and guide you through the ceremony. They will welcome you and your guests to your venue. They will lead you through your ceremony and your legal declarations.

Legal Declarations (vows)

Two legal declarations must be spoken by each party to the marriage – these will be repeated after the registrar.

1st declaration

Modern: I declare that I know of no legal reason why I (name) may not be joined in marriage to (name)

Or

Traditional: I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I (name) may not be joined in matrimony to (name)

Or

Short: Registrar asks ‘Are you (name) free lawfully to marry (name)’ – answer ‘I am’

2nd Declaration

Modern/Short: I (name) take you (name) to be my wedded wife/husband

Traditional: I call upon these persons here present to witness that I (name) do take thee (name) to be my lawful wedded wife/husband

Exchanging rings

Many couples choose to include the exchange of rings in their ceremony. The wedding ring is placed on the third finger of the left hand of the bride or groom. This is a traditional declaration of commitment to each other. 

What to expect on the day of your civil partnership

If you are forming a civil partnership, you can choose to have a simple formation with no ceremony or a formation followed by a celebratory ceremony.  Find out what to expect on the day of your civil partnership.

More information

Please see the latest government guidance about wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.