Registry office questions - please help!

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  • Posted: 27 Aug 2018 18:45

    Registry office questions - please help!

    So my partner and I have set a date for April 2020, we've found a venue we like and are going to book which is outdoors. We have planned for one of our close friends to perform a blessing in front of our guests as this holds much more meaning for us. As this is not legal in the UK we are hoping to get a brief legal ceremony at the local registry office beforehand the same morning and then go on to our blessing & reception later in the day. The thing is, I'm a bit confused by what I've read online. We live in Devon but the venue is in Cornwall (so separate counties), from what I've read you have to have lived in the county for minimum 7 days to legally give notice at the local registry office - does this mean we have to both give notice and marry legally in Devon, or can we give notice at our local one and get legally married in Cornwall? Sorry if this is a really dumb question but my head is all over the place at the moment and I just need some reassurance I think 😂 we wanted to do it that day in particular because  the date we've chosen is our anniversary and we want the date on the official certificate to be the same as all the other bits if that makes any sense, sounds a bit obsessive maybe I know but it's important to us if possible. Thanks in advance 😊

  • Posted: 4 Sep 2018 17:51

    Re: Registry office questions - please help!


    Congratulations on setting your date! 

    So, you need to give notice between 12 months and 28 days before your actual wedding. This has to take place in your local registry office and is just a chat with the registry office people to make sure you aren't already married, related, marrying for a visa, that sort of thing. 

    Wherever you choose to get married, you will use the registrar from the local area. So get in touch with the local authority for the venue in Cornwall now to provisionally book your registrar on the day and time that you want. Is it a 2+2 legal ceremony you want? Bear in mind these aren't always available everyday - in my area they generally offer them on a weekday, and sometimes not a Friday. So bear this in mind, as if it isn't available on your date, you could either book the legal part in your local RO a day or so before you travel to Cornwall. 

    The other option if you want it all done on the same day (this is more expensive, but also what we are doing) - book the registrar to come to your venue to do the legal part basics (i.e. no vows, ring exchange etc). They then leave, and you can do your vows with your friend presiding. We have a celebrant to do a handfasting and ring blessing for ours. Just note that if there are any religious or spiritual connotations to your blessing with your friend, the registrar has to leave the premises first. 

    I hope this helps! X

  • Posted: 9 Sep 2018 12:29

    Re: Registry office questions - please help!

    As Mrs Jones says the registration only (2 people) ceremonies are not readily available and usually never on Saturdays.

    Some register offices only run them once a month, though busier ones may do them weekly, eg on a Monday only.

    I think the solution will be for you to go registration only where you live 1-2 weeks before the wedding, then have the celebrant on the day.


  • Posted: 9 Sep 2018 21:14

    Re: Registry office questions - please help!

    Agree with the above poster - doing the legal bit before the wedding then having a celebrant on the day is a great way to get around the legal restrictions and still making sure the paperwork is sorted. My husband and I took this route and had a celebrant on the wedding day because we found the multitude of legal restrictions incredibly frustrating. Plus it was lovely to work with the celebrant months beforehand to craft a highly personalised ceremony speech. It was the best decision ever!!

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