The Marriage Ceremony

Ceremony Checklist

If you are marrying in the Regency Room or at one of the other approved venues in Brighton and Hove, you may find it useful to  complete the online ceremony checklist
Once we have received your checklist, we will file it with your paperwork. This will help the Registrars to tailor make your ceremony to meet your individual wishes.

Please note a ceremony checklist is not required for ceremonies taking place in the Register Office

The day of the ceremony

On the day of your ceremony, you must bring at least two people with you to be witnesses to your marriage. You can choose any relative or friend as long as they're old enough to understand what is taking place.
We ask that you arrive at least 10 minutes before the ceremony is due to start, as we need to check the details taken at the time you entered your notices, and collect any fees due.
Your guests will also need to arrive in plenty of time, or we may have to start the ceremony without them!

Superintendent Registrar's introduction

After welcoming everyone to the marriage ceremony, the Superintendent Registrar will begin by explaining that the room being used has been legally approved as a suitable place for the celebration of marriages.You will then be reminded of the solemn and binding character of the vows you are about to make. The following words are optional and may vary.

"..........will you be your lawful wedded wife/husband? Will you cherish and respect her/him, and be loving, faithful and loyal to her/him throughout your marriage?"

Answer: "I will"

the legal declarations

In order for a marriage to be legal you must make two legal declarations, by repeating the words after the Superintendent.
The first is a declaration that you are free to marry.
The second includes the words by which you accept each other as husband and wife; husband and husband or wife and wife. There are choices as follows:

"I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I..........may not be joined in matrimony to............"

"I call upon these persons here present to witness that take be my lawful wedded wife/husband"

"I declare that I know of no legal reason why I............may not be joined in marriage to........."

"I.........take you/ be my wedded wife/husband"

(By replying "I am" to the question)
Are marry......? "I am"

"I......... take you/ be my wedded wife/husband"

exchanging rings

Although the exchange of the rings is not an essential part of a wedding ceremony, many couples choose to include it as a traditional part of their marriage. The wedding ring is usually placed on the third finger of the left hand as the bride or groom make a declaration of their commitment to each other. The following words are optional and may vary. Alternatively you may include your own words by prior arrangement.

".........I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage. All that I am I give to you. All that I have I share with you. All of my love I promise you."


After the legal declarations have been made, the Superintendent will declare that the couple are legally married.
The couple and their witnesses will then sign the marriage register, after which they may have their photographs taken and be presented with their marriage certificate.

Please note: This is just a short guide to what happens during one of our marriage ceremonies. By arrangement, it is possible to include poems, music and extra vows. We are happy to tailor your ceremony to suit you and welcome the opportunity to discuss your plans with you. If you have any queries please contact us on (01273) 292016 or by email


More information on getting married