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Ceremonies in East Sussex

Ceremonies in East Sussex - Covid-19 Update

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Covid – 19 Update – 5 August 2020

Face coverings

In line with the latest Government guidelines (available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/31-july-announcement#weddings) guests at weddings and civil partnerships in places of worship, at Register Offices and at other licensed venues should now wear a face covering. 

Contacting us

Our phone lines and booking emails are currently extremely busy. As we clear the backlog of couples whose ceremony has been affected by Covid-19, please help us to contact everyone as quickly as we can by following the guidance below:

• If you already have a booking with us for a wedding or civil partnership at an agreed date and time, please wait for us to contact you to confirm the details. We will contact all couples in chronological order to talk through the restrictions in place and give you the option to either confirm your booking or postpone without any amendment fees.

• If you have an existing booking that was postponed without you choosing a new date, please email us at ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk when you have decided on your preferred new date and we will respond to your email in order of when it is received. Booking your new date will be subject to availability which may be limited at this time, and if required, subject to the availability of a notice appointment. Due to the high volume of emails we are receiving, please wait for us to respond before emailing us again.

• If you have an existing booking for a wedding or civil partnership in East Sussex and you need to give notice, please wait for us to contact you. We will contact all couples in chronological order to make an appointment for you to give notice in good time for your ceremony booking to go ahead.

• If you have a ceremony booking in another county but live in East Sussex and need to give notice, please email us at ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk  giving us the venue, date, time and county of your booking. Please include your contact telephone number in the email. We will phone you to make a notice appointment for you. Appointments will only be available from 2 months before the date of your ceremony booking and are subject to availability. Due to the high volume of emails we are receiving, please wait for us to respond before emailing us again.

If you or your partner are non-EEA nationals, you will need to give notice in a Designated Register Office (DRO). Go to Gov.uk for the latest list of DROs.

• If you have a ceremony booking in a church, live in East Sussex and need to give notice (civil preliminaries), please email us at ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk giving us the name and location of the church, and the date and time of your booking. Please include your contact telephone number in the email. We will phone you to make a notice appointment for you. Appointments will only be available from 2 months before the date of your ceremony booking and are subject to availability. Due to the high volume of emails we are receiving, please wait for us to respond before emailing us again.

If you or your partner are non-EEA nationals, you will need to give notice in a Designated Register Office (DRO). Go to Gov.uk for the latest list of DROs.


• If you would like to make a new booking for a wedding or civil partnership at a register office, please complete our Registrars Availability enquiry form, including your preferred date, time and Registration Office (Crowborough, Lewes, Eastbourne or Hastings) in the email. To help us respond as quickly as possible, please be specific about your preferences. We will respond to all emails in order of when they are received. Please note that your preferred room may not currently be in use, and the capacity we can accommodate at each Registration Office is subject to our social distancing risk assessments. During this recovery period all bookings are subject to availability, and where notice of marriage or civil partnership has not been given, also subject to the availability of an appropriate notice appointment which is very limited at this time. Due to the high volume of emails we are receiving, please wait for us to respond before emailing us again.

• If you would like to make a new booking for a wedding or civil partnership at a licensed venue, please complete our Registrars Availability enquiry form, including your preferred date, time and venue in the email. To help us respond as quickly as possible, please be specific about your preferences. You must speak to the venue to confirm their availability and current capacity before you contact us. Please note that during this recovery period all bookings are subject to availability, and where notice of marriage or civil partnership has not been given, also subject to the availability of an appropriate notice appointment which is very limited at this time. We will respond to all emails in order of when they are received. Due to the high volume of emails we are receiving, please wait for us to respond before emailing us again

Covid - 19 Update - 8 July 2020

Weddings and Civil Partnerships

East Sussex Register Offices, licensed venues and places of worship (where a registrar is required to attend) will be able to hold weddings and civil partnerships from 21 July 2020. We are now contacting couples who have weddings or civil partnerships booked, in chronological order. You will be given the option to keep your current date or postpone to a new date without incurring charges. Please take into consideration that for the time being all ceremonies will be subject to current Government guidelines which include limited attendees, social distancing and other restrictions highlighted here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships

Notice of Marriage and Notice of Civil Partnership

Appointments will be available from 21 July 2020 for East Sussex residents with weddings and civil partnerships booked on a date not more than 2 months ahead. We will contact couples who have ceremony bookings with us, in chronological order. East Sussex residents who are marrying or forming a civil partnership out of the county can email us from 21 July at ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk and wait for a reply from a member of the team. Please note that the phone lines are very busy during this time. 

New bookings for ceremonies in 2020

New bookings will reopen on 21 July 2020. Your booking will depend on the availability of an appointment to give notice and of the ceremony date, time and venue. This availability may be limited during this recovery period. To make a new booking, please contact us by email in the first instance at ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk including your names, your preferred date and venue. 

Covid - 19 Update - 25 June 2020

The Government have announced that wedding ceremonies can go ahead from 4 July. We are now evaluating guidelines from our regulator, the General Register Office, on what this means for civil marriages and civil partnerships, and applying them to our plans to restart these services. 

We have a duty of care to ensure that the correct processes and risk assessments are in place to safeguard the welfare of both our customers and our staff. Understanding this work and implementing the required measures will take time and must be done before we can reopen our buildings to the public and restart these services. 

We do not currently have a confirmed date for our services to be reinstated, but it will be 14 days from the date we receive authority for our buildings to reopen, and as soon as this date is agreed we will publish an update on this page. If you would like to receive an alert when this happens, please sign up to our Ceremonies Newsletter using the form at the bottom of the page. 

Covid - 19 Update - 23 June 2020

Further to the Prime Minister's announcement that step 3 of the Government's recovery plan will be instigated on 4 July as hoped, we are awaiting further written guidelines on how this will impact on civil marriages and civil partnerships. 

As soon as these guidelines are available, we will review our position as outlined below and update this page accordingly. 

Covid - 19 Update - 12 June 2020

Due to the ongoing Government ban on weddings and civil partnerships taking place in England & Wales, from 15 June 2020 we will be postponing all ceremonies for a rolling period of two weeks ahead. We will be actively contacting couples whose existing bookings are affected.

New bookings are only being accepted for weddings and civil partnerships due to take place from 1 January 2021 onwards. 

We are not currently taking notice of marriage or notice of civil partnerships appointments. This position is under continuous review and we will update this statement as appropriate. 

All enquires should be emailed in the first instance to ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk 

Covid - 19 Update - 14 May 2020

Further to the publication of the Government's Covid-19 Recovery Strategy on Monday 11 May the General Register Office is in consultation with the Home Office and will shortly be issuing further guidance to Registration services. 

Until such time as this guidance is released, the information below in our statement dated 8 April 2020 still applies. Updates will be published here as soon as they are available. 

Covid-19 Update - 8 April 2020 

Further to this morning's news that the Government review of the measures currently in place against the spread of Covid-19 will be delayed, we can confirm the following. 

Postponement of Marriages, Civil Partnerships and other ceremonies 

All ceremonies in East Sussex will be postponed until at least 15 June 2020. 

This measure is effective immediately and is subject to ongoing review. Updates to this position will be posted as they become available.

Postponing your booking

Our team are actively contacting all couples and customers with bookings between now and 14 June 2020.

Our phone lines are currently very busy, however, if you have a ceremony booked on or after 15 June 2020 and you would like to postpone to a later date, please email us in the first instance at ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk, and one of our team will contact you to arrange this. Please include the following information in your email: 

  • Your full names 
  • The venue booked
  • The date of your current booking
  • The time of your current booking
  • Your preferred new date if you have one

Our ceremony amendment fee is being waived until further notice. 

If your ceremony is on or after 15 June 2020 and you do not wish to postpone, there is no need to contact us at this stage. If we require any further information from you we will contact you during our pre-ceremony checks as normal.

Do you need to Give Notice again?

If you have already given your notice of marriage or civil partnership, your authority to marry or form a civil partnership is valid for a period of 12 months from the date you gave notice. To date, there have not been any amendments to legislation allowing this authority to be extended beyond 12 months. 

If you postpone your marriage or civil partnership to a date more than 12 months after you gave notice, you will need to give notice again, and your notice(s) will be subject to a fee. All notices and authorities are venue specific, so if you have chosen to move your ceremony to another venue, you will also be required to give notice and pay the fee again.

Please note that our regulator, the General Register Office, has suspended all notice appointments until the current restrictions are lifted. We will need to bear this in mind when booking a new date for your ceremony.

The current fee for giving notice is £35 per person. This is a statutory fee set by the Government and we are therefore unable to waive the notice fee at this time.

Cancellation of your booking

If you would prefer to cancel your booking, please email ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk and we will advise you of the process. 

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