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FAQs

If you have a question that is not on the list, please contact us;

ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk

0345 60 80 198

Step 4 – from 19 July 2021:

  • Safety, and maintaining the level of public services we can offer are our priorities.
  • Registrars will wear a face covering.
  • We’re requiring all visitors to East Sussex County Council buildings, including our Register Offices, to continue to wear a face covering in public areas and ceremony rooms (unless exempt).
  • We urge all people attending wedding ceremonies at which we officiate, in any venue, to continue to wear a face covering (unless exempt).

For the latest information about ceremonies during the Covid-19 pandemic see our Covid Update Page


Covid Guidance

What is the current covid guidance for people attending ceremonies in East Sussex?

For the latest information about ceremonies during the Covid-19 pandemic see our Covid Update Page

 

Do we have to wear a face covering?

Pending further guidance from our regulator, our position as a Registration service remains that all visitors to our Register Offices are required to wear a face covering (unless exempt). We also continue to urge all attendees at ceremonies at any venue to wear one (unless  exempt).

All Registrars will maintain social distancing of 2m from one another and attendees at ceremonies in any venue, and your Registrars on the day may be wearing a face covering.

Government guidance states that you must wear a face covering  in public areas of hotels and in visitor attractions and  entertainment venues (Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

This guidance on face coverings also confirms that ‘You should continue to wear a face covering in other indoor places, especially those that are crowded and enclosed and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.’

A couple getting married or forming a civil partnership with a Registrar in attendance are not required to wear a face covering during their ceremony but may choose to do so if they prefer. Couples are however asked to remind their guests to carry a face covering with them for use when required.

 

How many people can attend a ceremony?

Current Register Office room capacities can be found on our website Register Office Room Capacities (ceremoniesineastsussex.co.uk)

 Booking your Registrars & Planning your Ceremony 

Can we reserve a date for our ceremony?

We are unable to reserve ceremony dates without a booking. To secure a ceremony date fees must be paid in full at the time of booking. 

Ceremony fees can be found on our Fees page.

To make a booking call our ceremonies team on 0345 60 80 198.

 

How do we book our registrars?

If you know where and when you would like your ceremony to take place, contact the Ceremonies Hub to request availability.

Once availability has been confirmed you can complete the booking by calling the Ceremonies Hub on 0345 60 80 198.

Ceremony fees are payable in full at the time of booking.

 

What are the fees for Registrars?

All our fees can be found on our fee pages.

 

Can we request a certain Registrar?

Registrars are allocated by the Ceremonies Team Leader around one month before the ceremony.

Requests for Registrars based on gender, race, sexuality, or other individual characteristics will not be considered.

We will happily consider your request for a certain Registrar if you know them and have spoken with them about attending your ceremony. We will do our very best to accommodate your wishes, however, it may not always be possible for them to attend.

Please know that all our Registrars are trained to a high standard and take great pride in the service and ceremonies they deliver and will provide you with a memorable and meaningful ceremony.

 

How soon can we get married/form a civil partnership?

Anyone wanting to marry/form a civil partnership in England or Wales must first give notice. Giving notice is a legal requirement that must be completed at least 28* days before your wedding/civil partnership.

*may be extended to 70 days depending on your immigration status.

In certain circumstances it may be possible for ceremonies to take place without having to wait the statutory 28/70 days. For further information see the Urgent Ceremonies page

 

What are the terms and conditions for cancelling a ceremony?

In the event you need to cancel your ceremony you will be required to notify us in writing. You can email ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk. Please ensure to include the following details.

  • Your name
  • Your partners name
  • Ceremony venue
  • Ceremony date
  • Booking reference

 You can find further information including refund protocols in the Ceremony Terms and Conditions

 

How far ahead can we book our ceremony?

Ceremonies in East Sussex takes bookings up to 3 years in advance. Ceremony bookings will be charged at the current years fee regardless of the year the ceremony takes place in. Fees are subject to change each year in April.

 

How do I rearrange a ceremony? 

If you need to make any changes to your booking, including date, venue, time contact us by completing the enquiry form on the Contact Us page or emailing ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk

Amendment fees will be incurred for any changes made. See the Ceremony Terms and Conditions for further information.

 

Can I bring the date of my ceremony forward? 

Ceremony dates can be brought forward subject to availability and if we are notified in enough time to arrange Registrars' attendance. We are unable to bring ceremonies forward with less than 7 days’ notice.

To enquire about moving your ceremony contact us by completing the enquiry form on the Contact Us page or emailing ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk

 

We want to keep things simple. Do we have to have a ceremony?

The simplest most basic ceremonies are the Statutory Marriage Registration or a Civil Partnership Signing.

Personal additions and enhancements cannot be accommodated with these ceremonies and permit 2 guests only, both who will need to act as witnesses, be over 16, speak and understand English.

 

Can we have our ceremony in East Sussex if we do not live there?

You can choose where you want to hold your ceremony regardless of where you live. East Sussex has over 90 wonderful, licensed venues, fantastic suppliers, award winning registration service as well as being home to some of the most picturesque scenery in the country. Making it an ideal ceremony location.

You must decide which venue your ceremony will take place at before you complete the legal preliminaries (giving notice). Notices are venue specific and once given cannot be changed once given. Changing the venue will require you to give fresh notices and incurring additional notice fees.

See the Giving Notice page for information on where and when you should give notice.

 

Can we video call our friends/family during the ceremony?

Anyone unable to attend can of course be included via video call/zoom. If your ceremony is taking place at one of our Register Offices, you will need to use your own device and nominate one of your guests to manage this during the ceremony. Please note Wi-Fi isn’t available at the Register Offices.

If you wish to video call/zoom friends or relatives during your ceremony it may be best to ensure you have sufficient connection prior to your ceremony. If you would like to visit the Register Office beforehand to check, contact us to arrange a visit.

If your ceremony is taking place at a licensed venue you will need to check the available facilities and connections with them.

It is important that ceremonies start on time, the start time of a ceremony will not be delayed accommodating set up of video calls please ensure this is set up and ready to go before the ceremony start time.

 

Can we bring our children? 

Yes, children are welcome at ceremonies at all Register Offices. Children should be supervised at all times.

Please note, register office room capacities include all children and babies.

 

How long will the ceremony last?

Ceremonies last around 20 to 30 minutes, depending on any personal additions you wish to include.

 

Can our pet attend our ceremony?

Animals (excluding assistance dogs) are not permitted at any of our Register Offices.

If your ceremony is taking place at a licensed venue you should discuss this with the appropriate person at your venue. If you are having animals attend your ceremony, please make us aware prior to your ceremony.

Please note Lewes District Council Byelaws do not permit dogs in Southover Grange gardens. Persons who break these rules may incur a fine.

 

Can we have an independent celebrant/friend/family member conduct our ceremony?

For a civil marriage or civil partnership to be legal it must be conducted by an authorised Registrar of the relevant registration district. However, you may wish to include others by asking them to do a reading at your ceremony.

Giving Notice

What is giving notice?

Giving notice is a legal requirement that anyone wishing to marry or form a civil partnership in England or Wales must complete before their ceremony can take place.

Once notice has been given a statutory waiting period must pass before you are able to marry/form a civil partnership. This will be either 28 or 70 days depending on your immigration status.

Notices are venue specific, and valid for 12 months from the date given.

A statutory notice fee of £35 or £47* per person is payable on booking.

*dependent on your nationality and immigration status.

For further information see our Giving Notice page.

 

When and where should we give notice?

Notices must be given in the district where you live, even if your ceremony is taking place elsewhere, at least 28* days before your ceremony. Notices cannot be given more than 12 months in advance.

*may be extended to 70 days if your notices need referring to the Home Office.

If you and your partner live in different districts, you will each need to give notice separately at your local register office.

If you live outside East Sussex, you can find your local register office on the GOV UK website Find a register office - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

To book your notice at an East Sussex register office call the Ceremonies Hub on 0345 60 80 198.

 

I’m not/my partner isn’t British; how will this affect giving notice?

If you and/or your partner is a foreign national, subject to immigration control you will need to attend the same register office to give notice.

If you live in separate districts, you can attend a register office in either district but must attend together.

Once notice has been given a statutory waiting period must pass before you can marry/form a civil partnership. The usual waiting period is 28 days; however, the Home Office may extend this waiting period to 70 days.

For further information see our Giving Notice page.

 

What documents will we need to give notice?

You will each need to bring certain documents to your notice appointment, failure to provide these could result in the cancellation of your appointment and loss of your fee.

A list of the necessary documents can be found on the Notice Documents page. 

 

We don’t live in England or Wales; how and where do we give notice?

A residency requirement must be met before notice can be given. Each of you will need to establish a residence somewhere in England or Wales. You must have resided at the one address for at least 7 consecutive days before notice can be given (this works out as 9 days. The day of arrival and day of notice do not count). You are free to leave the country once notice has been given.

If you are staying in East Sussex, you can Give Notice at one of our offices in Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hastings, or Lewes

If you are staying outside East Sussex, you can find your local register office here.

To book your notice appointment at an East Sussex Register Office, call the Ceremonies Hub on 0345 60 80 198.

 

Do we have to attend the Register Office to give notice?

The law requires each of you to attend a face-to-face appointment with a Registrar to give notice. Giving notice by any other means isn’t possible.

 

We are getting married/forming a civil partnership abroad, do we need to give notice?

What you need to do and when will depend on where you are getting married/forming your civil partnership. You should contact the relevant authorities in the country where your ceremony will be taking place for advice on what you will need before your ceremony can take place.

Further information can be found on the Ceremonies Abroad page.

 

We are getting married in church, do we need to give notice?

There is usually no involvement from the registration service if you are marrying in an Anglican Church. The religious preliminaries will be followed, this includes the reading of the Banns. To arrange this, you will need to speak to the vicar.

However, if you and/or your partner are subject to immigration control or you are getting married at any other religious premises you will need to give notice at your local Register Office as per the civil preliminaries.

Further information can be found on the Marrying in Religious Premises page.

 

We have given notice what happens now?

Once you have given notice a statutory 28* days must pass before you can marry/form a civil partnership. After this time your marriage/civil partnership schedule will be issued by the relevant registration district. You will not be contacted at this stage and you do not need to do anything.

*may be extended to 70 days if you are subject to immigration control.

Witnesses 

How many witnesses do we need?

The law requires two witnesses be present during a wedding or civil partnership. Witnesses should be at least 16, speak English and understand what it is they are witnessing.

 

Can Ceremonies in East Sussex provide witnesses?

Unfortunately, Ceremonies in East Sussex are unable to provide witnesses. You must supply your own witnesses.

 

Who can be our witnesses? And do they need to bring any ID?

Witnesses need to be present throughout the entire ceremony and will sign the marriage/civil partnership schedule. Witnesses need to understand and speak English and should be 16 or over. Anyone can be your witnesses, friends, relatives, or strangers. Witnesses do not need to bring ID on the day.

Register Office Ceremonies

Are there any restrictions on register office ceremonies?

All visitors to Register Offices are required to wear a face covering (unless exempt). Registrars will be distancing at 2m from each other and all other attendees at ceremonies.

Your chosen ceremony room may no longer be able to safely accommodate the original capacity. Anyone whose ceremony affected by the temporary capacity restriction will be notified by email with further information and alternative options.

For further information on current room capacities see the Register Office Room Capacities page.

 

Do we have to wear face coverings?

Pending further guidance from our regulator, our position as a Registration service remains that all visitors to our Register Offices are required to wear a face covering (unless exempt). We also continue to urge all attendees at ceremonies at any venue to wear one (unless exempt).

All Registrars will maintain social distancing of 2m from one another and attendees at ceremonies in any venue, and your Registrars on the day may be wearing a face covering.

Government guidance states that you must wear a face covering in public areas of hotels and in visitor attractions and entertainment venues (Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).

This guidance on face coverings also confirms that ‘You should continue to wear a face covering in other indoor places, especially those that are crowded and enclosed and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.’

A couple getting married or forming a civil partnership with a Registrar in attendance are not required to wear a face covering during their ceremony but may choose to do so if they prefer. Couples are however asked to remind their guests to carry a face covering with them for use when required.

 

Can we get ready at the Register Office?

There are no changing rooms/facilities at any of our Register Offices. You and your guests will need to be ready before arriving at the Register Office.

 

Can our pet attend our ceremony?

Animals are not permitted inside any of the Register Offices, excluding assistance dogs.

Lewes District Council have asked that we make you aware that dogs are not permitted inside Southover Grange gardens, excluding assistance dogs. Breaking these rules may incur a fine.

 

Do we need to bring anything with us on the day?

You do not need to bring any ID or paperwork on the day of your ceremony. All the necessary ID would have been seen when you gave notice.

Witnesses do not need to provide ID.

 

What are the room capacities at the Register Offices?

Our Register Offices have a total of 12 ceremony rooms available, ceremony room capacities can be found on the pages of our website.

Crowborough Register Office - Hookstead

Eastbourne Register Office – Eastbourne Town Hall

Hastings Register Office – Hastings Town Hall

Lewes Register Office – Southover Grange

Room capacities may differ during the pandemic. See the Register Office Room Capacities page for the up-to-date capacities.

 

What happens if our guest numbers change?

If your guest numbers change and will exceed the room capacity, there may be the option to move to a larger ceremony room. Additional fees may be payable. 

Contact the Ceremonies Hub to discuss amending your booking. 

 

Can we have an outdoor ceremony?

From 1 July 2021, until 5 April 2022, as part of the pandemic easements introduced by the Government, outdoor civil marriages and civil partnerships are permitted. These ceremonies will be legally recognised where they are conducted by a Registrar in the linked grounds of licensed premises, and provided that certain conditions are met, including prior approval of the proposed location by the Superintendent Registrar.

Southover Grange is currently the only Register Office able to offer an outdoor ceremony, with ceremonies able to take place on the Southover Terrace.

Outdoor ceremonies must be agreed prior to the day. If your ceremony is taking place at Southover Grange on or before 5 April 2022 and you would like an outdoor ceremony contact the Ceremonies Hub.

Please note Southover Grange gardens are public gardens meaning members of the public may be in the vicinity while your ceremony is taking place.

In the event of adverse weather ceremonies may need to take place inside in one of the ceremony rooms.

 

Can we move our ceremony to another ceremony room in the Register Office? 

Yes, as long as the ceremony room you want is available, we can amend your booking. Additional fees may be payable. To enquire about changing your ceremony room contact the Ceremonies Hub.

 

Can we decorate the ceremony room?

Our ceremony rooms accommodate a number of ceremonies, sometimes on the same day. Decorating, or altering the ceremony rooms isn’t possible.

 

Is there parking at the Register Office?

The only Register Office which has on-site parking is Crowborough Register Office, Hookstead. Eastbourne, Hastings and Lewes Register Offices do not have allocated parking.

 

Where is the nearest parking to the Register Offices?

Crowborough Register Office, Hookstead

Free parking is available on site. Spaces cannot be reserved.

Eastbourne Register Office, Eastbourne Town Hall

There is limited on street parking around the Town Hall. The nearest car park is at Eastbourne Railway Station, which is a level 5-minute walk away.

The car park at the rear of the town hall is only available to wedding parties at the weekend on a first come first serve basis, for the duration of the ceremony only.

Hastings Register Office, Hastings Town Hall

There is no designated parking at the Town Hall. Nearby car parks include Priory Meadow Shopping Centre and Hastings Train Station, both of which are no more than a 10-minute walk from the Town Hall.  

Lewes Register Office, Southover Grange

There is no designated parking at Southover Grange. Paid parking can be found on the surrounding streets. The nearest car park is located at Lewes train station, a level 10-minute walk away from the Grange.

 

Can we throw confetti at the Register Offices?

Confetti isn’t permitted at Register Office ceremonies.

Lewes District Council have asked that we make you aware that confetti of any kind (even biodegradable/petals) should not be thrown in the gardens at Southover Grange. Breaking these rules may incur a fine.

 

Will we have exclusive use of the register office?

Register Offices are not offered for exclusive use, please keep in mind that yours may not be the only ceremony taking place that day.

If you’re having a weekday ceremony, please also bear in mind that it is a working office and registration appointments may be taking place.

 

Are the register offices accessible?

All Register Offices have at least one accessible ceremony room. All offices have accessible toilet facilities.

If you or any of your guests have accessibility issues, please discuss this with the Ceremonies Hub when choosing which ceremony room will be most suitable.

 

Can our photographer have early access to the register office?

Photographers will gain access at the same time as your guests, around 10 to 20 minutes before the ceremony, once pre-ceremony interviews are complete.

 

Is my photographer included in the room capacity?

Photographers are included in the room capacity, bear this in mind when deciding which ceremony room will be large enough to accommodate you, your guests and photographer.

 

Do children count towards the room capacity?

Yes, all children including babies are included in the room capacities. This is for health and safety reasons rather than a seating issue.

 

When will we meet our registrars?

Your Registrars will be at the register office awaiting your arrival. You will meet with them for your pre-ceremony interview directly before your ceremony.

 

What is the pre-ceremony interview?

Pre-ceremony interview takes place directly before your ceremony. The purpose of the interviews is to check that the details on your schedule are correct. These interviews are brief and will take place in private at the Register Office.

You can be interviewed by the Registrars together or separately. 

If you are having any personal additions the Registrar will confirm these during these interviews.

You do not need to bring any paperwork or ID with you on the day of your ceremony.

 

Can we view the rooms at the register offices?

Yes, if you contact the Ceremonies Hub, they we will be happy to arrange a viewing for you.

You can call the Hub on 0345 60 80 198 or by completing our online enquiry form.

 

Can we bring our own flowers?

You are welcome to bring bouquets or buttonholes, however decorating the room with flowers will not be possible.

Our ceremony rooms accommodate a number of ceremonies sometimes on the same day. Decorating, or altering the ceremony rooms isn’t possible.

Ceremonies at Licensed Venues 

 

Are there any covid restrictions on ceremonies?

For the latest information about ceremonies during the Covid-19 pandemic see our Covid Update Page

 

Do we have to wear face coverings?

Pending further guidance from our regulator, our position as a Registration service remains that all visitors to our Register Offices are required to wear a face covering (unless exempt). We also continue to urge all attendees at ceremonies at any venue to wear one (unless exempt).

All Registrars will maintain social distancing of 2m from one another and attendees at ceremonies in any venue, and your Registrars on the day may be wearing a face covering.

Government guidance states that you must wear a face covering in public areas of hotels and in visitor attractions and entertainment venues (Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).

This guidance on face coverings also confirms that ‘You should continue to wear a face covering in other indoor places, especially those that are crowded and enclosed and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.’

A couple getting married or forming a civil partnership with a Registrar in attendance are not required to wear a face covering during their ceremony but may choose to do so if they prefer. Couples are however asked to remind their guests to carry a face covering with them for use when required.

  

What time will the registrars arrive at our venue?

Registrars will arrive around 30 to 45 minutes before your ceremony start time. You will each need to meet with the Registrars before your ceremony for a pre-ceremony interview.

 

What time do we need to be ready?

Your Registrars may have other ceremonies to attend after yours, so it is extremely important that your ceremony starts on time.

Both you and your partner must meet with the Registrars for a pre-ceremony interview directly before your ceremony. We understand that you may not want to see each other before the ceremony, in which case the Registrars will see you separately.

If you would like to be seen separately, the first person will need to meet with the Registrars 30 minutes before the ceremony start time and the second person 15 minutes before. If you are being seen together, please be ready 20 minute before.

To avoid having to amend or shorten your ceremony please ensure you and your guests arrive with plenty of time, allowing for pre-ceremony interviews and any photographs you may want. To ensure we treat couples fairly, we will not disrupt the timing of any ceremonies due to delays incurred by earlier ones.

 

What is a pre-ceremony interview?

A pre-ceremony interview takes place directly before your ceremony. The purpose of the interviews is to check that the details on your schedule are correct. These interviews are brief and will take place in private at your ceremony venue.

You can be interviewed together or separately. 

If you are having any personal additions the Registrar will confirm these during these interviews.

You do not need to bring any paperwork or ID with you on the day of your ceremony.

 

Do our witnesses need to bring any ID?

Witnesses will not need to bring any ID. They are required to be present throughout the entire ceremony and will sign the marriage/civil partnership schedule. Witnesses need to understand and speak English and should be over 16.

 

Do we need to bring any ID/Paperwork on the day?

You do not need to bring any ID or paperwork on the day of your ceremony. All the necessary ID would have been seen when you gave notice.

 

Can our pet attend our ceremony?

You will need to check with your venue their policy about animals attending their venue. If you are having a pet, animal attend please make the Ceremonies Hub aware prior to your ceremony.

 

What happens if our guest numbers change?

Discuss guest numbers with your venue, depending on where your ceremony is taking place there may be a room capacity that you will need to adhere to.

During the pandemic there may be restrictions on guest numbers, For the latest information about ceremonies during the Covid-19 pandemic see our Covid Update Page.

 

Can we have an outdoor ceremony?

Yes. Many of our licensed venues have beautiful grounds providing the perfect location for an outdoor ceremony, some which also have licensed structures. 

For a marriage/civil partnership ceremony to be legal it must take place in a licensed space. If your chosen outdoor location isn't licensed, we can arrange for a celebration ceremony to take place at your chosen location, in addition to a legal ceremony in a licensed space. 

Information on how this will work can be found on the Ceremonies with a Difference pages

There are things that you should consider when planning an outdoor ceremony, look at the Outdoor Ceremonies page for more information.

From 1 July 2021, until 5 April 2022, as part of the pandemic easements introduced by the Government, outdoor civil marriages and civil partnerships are permitted. These ceremonies will be legally recognised where they are conducted y a Registrar in the linked grounds of a licensed premises, and provided that certain conditions are met, including prior approval of the proposed location by the Superintendent Registrar. It is for the individual venues to decide whether they wish to offer these outdoor ceremonies and if so on what basis. 

If you would like to hold your ceremony outdoors, please speak to your venue in the first instance. 

 

Can we throw confetti?

Please discuss with your venue whether confetti is permitted on site. Where confetti is permitted we would request that only biodegradable confetti is used. 

Personalising your Ceremony 

 

Can we personalise our ceremony?

Yes, adding your own touches is a lovely way of making a ceremony that little more personal. you can personalise with the addition of music, readings, poems and personal vows.

You can let us know any additions you would like to include when you complete your Ceremony Options Form.

Please note personal additions cannot include religious content or be from a religious source.

 

Do we have to exchange rings?

Exchanging rings is an ancient tradition rather than a legal requirement. Although most couples do choose to exchange rings there is no obligation to do so if you do not want to.

 

Where can we hold our ceremony?

For a marriage/civil partnership to be legal it must take place in a venue/space that has been licensed. East Sussex has over 90 licensed venues for you to choose from.

However, if your perfect venue/location hasn’t been licensed then we can arrange for you to have a celebration ceremony in addition to a legal ceremony.

Information on how this will work can be found on the Ceremonies with a Difference pages.

 

Can we have an outdoor ceremony?

Yes, you can. East Sussex has stunning beauty spots ideal for an outdoor ceremony. Many of our licensed venues also have beautiful grounds that can provide the perfect location for your outdoor ceremony, some with licensed outdoor structures.

For a marriage/civil partnership ceremony to be legal it must take place in a licensed space. If your chosen outdoor location isn’t licensed for marriages and civil partnerships, we can arrange for a celebration ceremony to take place at your chosen location in addition to a legal ceremony at a licensed venue.

Information on how this will work can be found on the Ceremonies with a Difference pages.

There are things that will need considering when holding an outdoor ceremony, look at the Outdoor Ceremonies page for more information. 

From 1 July 2021, until 5 April 2022, as part of the pandemic easements introduced by the Government, outdoor civil marriages and civil partnerships are permitted. These ceremonies will be legally recognised where they are conducted by a registrar in the linked grounds of licensed premises, and provided that certain conditions are met, including prior approval of the proposed location by the Superintendent Registrar. It is for individual venues to decide whether they wish to offer these outdoor ceremonies and, if so, on what basis. 

If you would like to hold your ceremony outdoors, please speak to your venue in the first instance. 

 

Can we play music during the ceremony?

Music can be included in your ceremony and is usually played at the following times.

  • Entrance
  • Signing of the schedule
  • Exit

Music can be live or recorded.

If your ceremony is taking place at a Register Office, recorded music must be supplied by you. CD, Bluetooth and AUX is available. You should nominate one of your guests to manage the music during your ceremony, the Registrar will indicate when music should be played.

If you are having live music, please note that musicians will count towards the number of people attending as per the room capacity.

If your ceremony is taking place at a licensed venue, please liaise with them about who will be responsible for playing your music during the ceremony.

You can let us know any music you would like to include when you complete your Ceremony Options Form.

Please note music cannot include religious content or be from a religious source.

 

Can we have readings?

Yes, you can include readings and/or poems in your ceremony. This can be a lovely way of including a special friend or family member.

You can let us know any readings you would like to include when you complete your Ceremony Options Form.

Please note readings cannot include religious content or be from a religious source.

 

Can we sing hymns?

The law doesn’t permit any religious content to be included during a civil ceremony, therefore hymns and/or religious music cannot be included in your ceremony.

 

Can we have Bible readings/religious text in our ceremony?

The law does not permit religious content to be included during a civil ceremony, therefore any readings/passages from the Bible or other religious text cannot be included in your ceremony.

 

Can we say a prayer, have a blessing, include a religious ritual during our ceremony?

Prayers, blessings, or any other religious rituals cannot be included in a civil ceremony. The law does not permit religious content to be included during a civil ceremony. If it is important that these are part of your ceremony you may wish to consider having a religious ceremony or have this take place once your civil ceremony has ended and your Registrars have left.

 

Can we have confetti/glitter/petals?

Confetti, glitter and/or petals are not permitted at Register Office ceremonies.

Lewes District Council, have asked that we make you aware that confetti of any kind (even biodegradable/petals) should not be thrown in the gardens at Southover Grange. Breaking these rules may incur a fine.

If your ceremony is taking place at a licensed venue, please discuss whether confetti is permitted. Where confetti is permitted we would request that only biodegradable confetti is used. 

 

Can we say our own vows?

During a civil marriage ceremony there are legal vows that must be said, which each of you will repeat after the Celebrant Registrar.

You are not required to say vows during a civil partnership ceremony, you must instead read a legal declaration, which you can say aloud if you choose.

In addition to the legal vows, you are welcome to write your own personal promises which you can say during your ceremony.

You can let us know if you would like to include personal vows when you complete your Ceremony Options Form.

Certificates

When will we receive our certificates?

Certificates will be posted to your home address within two weeks following your ceremony.

 

What do we do if we haven’t received our certificates?

If two weeks have passed since your ceremony and you still have not received your certificates you should in the first instance, contact your local delivery office to check whether they have these.

If these still haven’t been received/locate contact the Ceremonies Hub for further assistance.

 

We’re getting married in church, how do we order our certificates?

Marriage certificates can be ordered on the East Sussex County Council website.

Please note certificates can only be issued once the original signed schedule has been received from the church.

 

Can I include my Mother’s details on our certificate?

Yes. Since the introduction of the marriage schedule system, you can now record up to four parents’ details on your certificates (Mother, Father, Stepmother, Stepfather).

 

How much do certificates cost?

Certificate’s cost 11 each. If you would like to order certificates and your ceremony hasn’t yet taken place, contact the Ceremonies Hub.

If your ceremony has already taken place you can order copies from the East Sussex County Council website.

 

There is an error on my certificate. How do we get this corrected?

If you have received your certificates and found a mistake, we will first need to check whether the mistake was made on the original schedule or just on the certificate.

If the mistake is only on the certificate and the original entry is correct, we can replace the incorrect certificates without charge. Contact the Ceremonies Hub to arrange replacement certificates.

If the mistake was made on the original registration, the signed schedule, then you will need to apply for a correction. A fee of 90 is payable to correct the entry. Download an application form and once completed contact us to make payment. 

Any correction to a marriage or civil partnership entry must be authorised by the General Register Office. You can find further information about correcting a marriage/civil partnership entry on the Gov UK website.  

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