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Civil Marriage Ceremonies

What is a marriage?

Marriage is a union between two people. A marriage ceremony can be civil (non-religious) or religious.

A marriage is contracted by the exchange of spoken vows, said in the presence of authorised Registrars and two witnesses, in a venue or location that has been licensed for civil marriages.

There are two sets of legal vows; the first when you declare that you are free to marry and the second when you take each other as partners in marriage.  

Planning a wedding

East Sussex provides everything you need for the perfect marriage celebration. You are welcome to celebrate in any way that you choose, whether a small intimate gathering, or a grand event.

Choosing a venue

For a civil marriage to be legal it must take place at a licensed venue or Register Office. East Sussex has over 90 licensed venues, and four Register Offices for you to choose from. Something to suit all tastes and cater to all budgets. You can view all licensed venues by visiting our Venue Finder pages

Booking registrars

Once you have decided where and when you wish to get married, contact us to book your Registrars. If you are getting married at one of our Register Offices, the room and Registrars will be booked during the same process.

If you are getting married at another venue, you will need to contact the venue directly to book them and then contact us to book registrars to attend. We take bookings up to three years in advance and require payment in full on booking.

You can find our fees listed on our Fee Pages.

Giving notice

Before getting married both you and your partner are legally required to give notice. 

Giving notice is done by a face-to-face appointment at your local register office. At the appointment you will be required to show certain documents, and complete notice paperwork with the registrar. For more information see our Giving Notice pages

Let’s get personal

A marriage ceremony provides you the opportunity to include personal additions, such as music, readings, and personal vows. It also allows you the chance to involve family and friends. Nearer to your wedding date we will send you further information about the ceremony content and ask you to complete a ceremony options form with details about any personal additions and people you wish to include.

Take a look at some of the ways you can personalise your ceremony Personalise your ceremony/Ceremonies in East Sussex.

Ceremony suppliers

East Sussex is home to some fantastic wedding suppliers, ready to help make your ceremony dreams a reality, providing everything you need for the perfect marriage celebration. Start your search by checking out our Supplier Directory. 

Contact us now.

Find a Venue > Plan Your Ceremony > Giving Notice - Legal Preliminaries > Marriage Fees > Check Registrar Availability 

Arranging a ceremony will require you to share some personal information with us. Refer to our Privacy Notice for details about how and why we use your data.

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