How to register your marriage

If you’re reading this blog, then the chances are you’ve chosen a celebrant to lead your wedding ceremony – hurray! – you’ve made the best decision! Your ceremony is the reason why you’re bringing together the most important people in your life and it’s the surest way to celebrate your love in a way that truly reflects your values and your individuality.

Celebrant weddings involve two main elements – the legal bit (at a register office) and the knockout wedding ceremony! (wherever your imagination takes you).

Here are all the details you need to register your marriage (the legal bit), in a handy step by step guide. Once this is sorted, you’re free to have the ceremony of your dreams (which is where I come in!) – so get in touch to find out more.

Step 1: Choose where you’ll register your marriage & book your appointment

Contact the registration service in your area and ask about the options for a statutory marriage. This is the most streamlined service available and can be done at ANY register office, so you can shop around and see what suits you best in terms of location and timing. Here are the options for Oxfordshire (scroll down to ’Oxford Register Office statutory room’).

Book your appointment and pay your fee. Normally this costs £45 – £60.

Step 2: Give notice of your intention to marry

This needs to be done at your LOCAL register office at least 29 days before you register your marriage. If you and your partner aren’t living in the same district, you’ll need to give notice separately in the place where you each live.

Book your appointment to give notice. Normally this costs £35 each.

At your meeting you’ll be asked some simple questions about you and your partner and you’ll need to take some documents to prove your identity and address – check with the Registration Service to see which documents are needed. There’ll be a form to sign and this will then be displayed in the Register Office.

Step 3: Register your marriage

28 days later, it’s all systems go! The registrar will check all the details you’ve given in your notice and you’ll each need to make two statements in the presence of two witnesses – one which confirms your freedom to marry and one which is your commitment to marry your partner. The words will vary from area to area, but these are the words in their simplest form:

“I declare that I know of no legal reason why I [xx] may not be joined in marriage to [xx]”

“I [xx], take you [xx], to be my wedded wife/husband”

You and your partner will then sign the marriage schedule, followed by your witnesses and the registrars and that’s it! There’s no need to include anything else unless you want to, and your exchange of rings, personal vows, readings and all the other beautiful elements that will make your wedding utterly unique can be included in your celebrant ceremony.

Step 4: Work with your celebrant to create your dream ceremony

This is where the fun starts. This can take place at a time and venue of your choosing and together we can create a ceremony that truly reflects your lives and the story of your relationship. You can keep things traditional and classic, or take inspiration from your heritage and the things you hold dear (love knots for the Welsh, oathing stones for the Scots and a world of other options …). You can include prayers or blessings if you wish, involve your children if you have them, celebrate with a Mexican wave … whatever feels right for you.

Every script I write is full of warmth and personality and is completely unique to you. Get in touch to find out more about how we can create a really beautiful ceremony.



Bluebell Ceremonies – Creating beautiful, bespoke ceremonies to celebrate the special moments in your life.
Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Cotswolds.