Annoyed with the Registrars

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  • Posted: 10 May 2020 17:36

    Annoyed with the Registrars

    Hi All

    Just wondered if anyone else was being told to stump up more cash by their Registrars?

    I've been waiting for weeks for the Liverpool Registrars to get back to me about postponing and rescheduling our wedding.  That's fine, I understand how inundated they must be right now, and we can wait.

    HOWEVER, I was upset to receive a further email informing me that we will have to pay the Notice fees again.  We have postponed due to the C-19 pandemic; Government advice is against mass gatherings at present and that doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon.

    Can't help feeling more than a little ripped off, given that we are doing what the Government have requested.  Liverpool also has some of the highest fees in the country as it is.

    I know that the stock answer will be "no Registrars, no wedding" and that they have the trump card, but I will be letting them know that I think this is unfair. 

    In the grand scheme of things, I know its not a lot of money, but it is the PRINCIPLE - our ceremony venue, reception venue and all of our suppliers have changed the date with not one of them asking for any more money.


    Let me know if your local authority is cashing in the same way!







  • Posted: 11 May 2020 7:12

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    Hi Ali,

    We’re in a similar situation and I agree it’s completely unfair! We live in the Isle of Man and are getting married in Cumbria so we had to do a residency where my partner had to go and “live” in England for 8 nights in order for us to be allowed to get married there. He did that early March just before lockdown and obviously spent quite a bit of money to do it. We’re now told if we postpone our wedding and our notices have expired we have to do the residency again! As well as paying all the fees again. Cumbria explain it as national legislation so unless the country can change the law I think it’ll be the same for everyone (as I understand it anyway). It’s crazy, I’m sure they could pass an emergency law given the circumstances. 

  • Posted: 11 May 2020 11:36

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    It's like a tax for wanting to get married!


    I'm particularly annoyed because our venues and suppliers are ALL small businesses, we deliberately wanted to support local enterprises and have a more sustainable wedding.  Not a single one of our wedding partners has even mentioned an additional fee; most of them are flying by the seat of their pants at the moment, yet a statutory body, with all it's funding, is charging more.


    Grrrr.  Rant over (for now!)


    Ali xxx

  • Posted: 11 May 2020 11:56

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    Are you postponing by more than a year from the date you gave notice?  If not, you shouldn't have to pay any more.  The notice is valid for up to a year from the date it was issued.

    E.g. we gave notice in January for our wedding to take place in June.  If we have to postpone, we have up until January next year to rearrange (at the same venue) before we have to pay again.

    If you are moving the wedding to another venue, you will also have to pay again.  Basically, the licence is valid from date o issue for one year at one venue.

  • Posted: 11 May 2020 15:51

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars


    yes, our new date is one week and one year later than originally planned.  I know that the rules are quite firm about timescales for giving Notice, but I would have thought that these extraordinary circumstances would have been taken into account.  Absolutely everything else is the same. 

    Oh well, I guess we willl just have to suck it up, but it still grates!

  • Posted: 11 May 2020 17:15

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    Yep we gave notice in March for a September wedding and our only option from the venue is to move to next September so our notices will have expired. You're absolutely right, all the one-man-band's we've got booked are being so lovely and not mentioning any fees! So why the councils can't just agree to extend them I don't know :| xx

  • Posted: 11 May 2020 20:49

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    Ouch!  To miss being able to use your old licence by one week must be so annoying!

    I think it's a legal thing re the expiry date, so I'm guessing a law change would be needed to change the rules.

    I think they are going to need to look at more flexibility around weddings in future, especially if they think Covid-19 may keep coming back.  It's crazy that you can divorce SO easily but getting married in the first place is so complicated!

  • Posted: 11 May 2020 20:59

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    Sounds like it needs the same thing as they have done for MOTs - an automatic 6 month extension. 

  • Posted: 9 Jun 2020 15:44

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    Hello! I don't know if any of you have thought about having a celebrant for the big day - rather an a registrar requiring a licence? It would require a quick to a registry office at some point, but the guests would be none the wiser it wasn't a registrar led service

    Plus it will be written as a bespoke ceremony for you.... 

    You may be able to transfer some of the cost of the registrar to a registry office ceremony, rather than paying more! 

    Just a thought...if anyone would like more information than let me know. 

  • Posted: 13 Jun 2020 15:08

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    I'm so angry too.! We were due to be married on the 16th of April. We rescheduled for June the 18th however looks highly unlikely that this will happen. Our notices will run out on the 24th of July this year so praying we can do the legally bit before then. 

    We should be allowed another year for the legal stuff before it runs out. My concern is that we found it so tricky to get an appointment to do the notices in the first place. Now that everyone is desperate to get their notices renewed plus all those couples who haven't yet done it, I don't know, legally when we will get married. 


    I also don't understand that shops can open and garden centres and support bubbles yet marriages with 2 witnesses can't?!

  • Posted: 15 Jun 2020 13:13

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    Have you written to your MP?  The more people who make a noise, the more likely they are to change.  I think the government is just having a huge difficulty getting it's head around the fact that not everyone is holding out for a huge celebration - some of us just want to get the basic legal thing done.  They are talking about LOADS of other things being reinstated but nothing about weddings, so the more people who pile the pressure on, the better.

    I'm in Wales, so we can't even meet in support bubbles yet but the garden centres are heaving, and you can play all kinds of sport.  Up to 10 people are allowed at a funeral, but it's 'unsafe' to have 5 at a wedding, even though weddings could be made even shorter than funerals!  Makes me so cross!

    We had a really sympathetic response back from our MP and AM when we wrote to them, but unfortunately, they don't really have much influence over what our First Minister decides.  The letter I had back from his office was SOOOOO rude!  Basically told me that they were sorry we'd had to cancel our party, gave advice for reclaiming money from the venue (which hasn't been an issue for us as we have wedding insurance and weren't having a big do in the first place) and told me that at least now I could meet up with my fiance (we don't live together) as long as we stayed outdoors and 6 feet apart!!!!!  Can you seriously imagine ANYONE being tactless enough to present this as compensation for a cancelled wedding?!!  "Oh, sorry we're cancelling your wedding night, but at least you can see each other 6 feet apart."

  • Posted: 17 Jun 2020 18:51

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    That is so incredibly insensitive and downright rude!  I hope you remember that when election time comes around!

    I feel like we're in limbo.  I can't plan anything, I can't contact anyone, and all the momentum has evaporated.

    Nobody seems to know anything, never mind about when weddings can restart.  I reckon we will have another wave in about 2 weeks' time due to the relaxation of the lockdown - just look at the shop queues on Monday.

    I work as a Primary School Teaching Assistant, only work through an agency, so God only knows when I'll get any work again.

    Everything looks so bleak at the moment, just trying to keep positive and thankful for all the positive things in our life.  At least we live together so I can't imagine what not being able to see your fiance must feel like.

    Hugs to you

  • Posted: 18 Jun 2020 23:51

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    Oh, I will!  I also sent them a very 'straight' letter telling them how insensitive they had been and asking them to edit their stock reply before sending such a hurtful letter to any other couples.  Expect it was all water off a duck's back though.  

    Just glad today's over.  It feels so weird though, sitting here on my own when I should have been enjoying my wedding night...

  • Posted: 30 Jun 2020 16:48

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    Hi there, all you frustrated brides-to be! I feel your frustration!

    As one user mentioned above, using a celebrant for your big day may be a good option. Registrars do the legal bit, yes, but many of you might not know that from the middle of next year, there should be new law passing that will allow celebrants to also do the legal part of the ceremony. While that may not help those of you who want to get married before then, allow me to explain why a celebrant-led ceremony is generally better than a registrar-led one anyway.

    Essentially, celebrants aren't bound by any sort of fixed structure, wording, vows or anything like that. A celebrant-led ceremony can be as long as you want, with as many rituals as you want, in whatever venue you want, at whatever time you want. Literally – anything you can think of can be done in a celebrant-led ceremony. No other type of ceremony offers so much flexibility.

    Yes, the downside right now is that it's not a legal marriage – but a quick trip to the registry office a couple days beforehand will solve that problem, and as I say, in the future, this problem will be resolved. Seriously, have a look into celebrants, as some of the ceremonies they provide are quite magical.

    By the way, I myself am a celebrant, so if any of you want to get in touch for more info, just message me and we'll arrange a chat. 

    Good luck to all of you moving forward, and have a great day.


  • Posted: 1 Jul 2020 11:23

    Re: Annoyed with the Registrars

    It all goes off your Notice date. Its valid for a year from the date you did it. You do not have to pay a fee within that one year time frame for any change of date. Outside of that year then you sadly do. 

    I personally think City offices are struggling compared to towns. 
    We live in Halton but getting married in the Chester area. Halton office have been amazing. I have had to phone them a few times for advice and nothing has been too much for them or rushed. 
    Compared to Chester office who at them moment are taken no notice of marriages, can only communicate via email and my venue coordinator has been asking them for communicate of weddings and had nothing. She is worrying because she has couples at the end of July and August who want to go ahead but the registrar has not said a thing, and the wedding comes down to them. They have the final say in if they will come out and do it or not regardless if its at the office or approved venue. Chester are at the moment doing birth appointments until July 7th. So if you had a date for later this year and need a marriage notice its a very stressful time.  

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