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Further to the Prime Minister's announcement on Saturday about further lockdown restrictions coming into place on Thursday, weddings and civil partnerships will not be permitted from 5 November until at least 2 December. We will be actively contacting all couples who are affected by these restrictions in chronological order and ceremonies can be postponed (subject to availability) without incurring any amendment charges.
MPs will vote on the Government's proposed measures on Wednesday and, when approved, they will be introduced at 00:01 GMT on Thursday. Further details should be published after this vote, however current guidelines can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.
We are carefully monitoring these updates and will communicate any further information as it is available.
Our phone lines are currently very busy. To contact us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Further to the Government announcement on 12 October regarding the new three-tier local COVID alert levels (medium, high and very high), we can confirm that the Guidance for small weddings and civil partnerships has now been updated to include the following information:
Local COVID alert level: medium and high
Weddings and civil partnerships can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees (15).
Local COVID alert level: very high
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can go ahead with restrictions on number of attendees (15) however, wedding receptions are not allowed.
East Sussex is currently classified as local COVID alert level: medium.
The updated Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships can be found 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.
Yesterday, 22 September 2020, the Prime Minister announced that from Monday 28 September 2020 the number of people allowed to attend wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be reduced to 15. For ceremonies, this number includes the couple, their witnesses, children and all other guests. The General Register Office have now confirmed that it does not include the Registrars, your photographer or any staff working at your venue. The total number of guests you can invite will however be subject to the capacity of the licensed room with social distancing in place, including all Registrars and other people working.
Our Ceremonies Hub is actively contacting all couples affected by these new regulations which the Prime Minister has said we should expect to be in place for 6 months.
For a transcript of the PM Commons Statement dated 22 September 2020, click here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-commons-statement-on-coronavirus-22-september-2020.
Government guidelines for small marriages and civil partnerships are still being updated however, further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do.
Couples who would like to postpone their ceremony, or prefer to cancel their bookings with us, can currently do so without incurring any charges.
On Wednesday 9 September the Government confirmed that social gathering guidelines will be tightened and enforceable by law from Monday 14 September when the rule of 6 apply. This new rule dictates that we must not meet in groups of more than 6 people who do not live with us, indoors or outside.
There are however a few exceptions including wedding or civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, where up to 30 people (subject to the room capacity with social distancing in place) can attend. This means that there will be no change to our current protocols.
For further guidelines and information see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing
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.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com including your names, your preferred date and venue.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com, and one of our team will contact you to arrange this. Please include the following information in your email:
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.
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.
If you would prefer to cancel your booking, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise you of the process.