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On the Day!

Here are a few reminders to help ensure your special day runs smoothly. 

Pre-Ceremony Interview

Both of you must meet with the Registrar for a pre-ceremony interview directly before your ceremony. The purpose of this interview is to check that your personal details are correct. These brief interviews will take place at your ceremony venue directly before your ceremony. We understand that you and your partner may not want to see each other before the ceremony, in which case the Registrar will see you separately. 

If your ceremony is taking place at an East Sussex Register Office and you would like to be seen separately, the first person will need to arrive 20 minutes before the ceremony start time and the second person 10 minutes before. If you are being interviewed together, please be arrive 20 minutes before your ceremony start time.

If your ceremony is taking place at a Licensed Venue and you would like to be seen separately, the first person will need to arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony start time and the second person 15 minutes before. If you choose to be interviewed together, please be ready 20 minutes before your ceremony start time.

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

Ceremony Start Time 

It is extremely important that your ceremony starts on time. Your Registrars may have other ceremonies to attend after yours. To avoid having to amend or shorten your ceremony please ensure you and your guests arrive with plenty of time to allow for your 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. 


You will need to arrange for two people to be witness to your ceremony. Anyone can act as your witness, providing they are at least 16, speak English and understand the ceremony. They must be present during the entire ceremony and will be required to sign the register/schedule. Your witnesses do not need to provide identification.

Photos, Videos & Social Media

Capturing those special moments is extremely important, we are more than happy for photographs and videos to be taken throughout your ceremony. If you have a designated photographer/videographer and would rather your guests leave the photo taking to them, let us know and we will inform your guests on the day. The same goes for social media; if you would rather photos of your special day were not shared online, we will be happy to make your guests aware of your wishes. 

The Ceremony

Your ceremony begins with a welcome, introduction and some legal statements by your Celebrant. The heart of your ceremony is the exchange of the legal vows, where you declare that you are free to marry and take each other as partners in your marriage.

For a civil partnership you are not required to say set legal vows, instead you must read a legal declaration which you may read aloud if you choose.

This is shortly followed by the exchange of rings if desired and any personal vows that you may like to say.

Your ceremony continues with the signing of the schedule. It is important to check that your details are correct, this is the final check before any corrections can be made. Once signed, corrections can only be made once a statutory fee has been paid.

Legal marriage/civil partnership certificates will be posted to you during the week following your ceremony.

Your Celebrant Registrar will conclude your ceremony with some final closing words as they invite your guests to be upstanding and congratulate you both as you take your first steps as a newly married couple or legally joined partners.

Any personal additions such as readings or music will be included in your ceremony and confirmed with you during your pre-ceremony interview.

Your ceremony will last approximately 30 minutes, this includes time for photographs, and signing of the schedule.

The Vows

During a civil marriage ceremony there are legal vows that must be said by each of you, which you will repeat after the Celebrant Registrar. The first are the declaratory vows, where you declare that you are free to marry. The second are the contracting vows, where you take each other as partners in your marriage. Although prescribed by law you do have a choice of which set of vows you say, which you can view here.

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

In addition to the legal vows, you may also like to include personal vows to include further promises and commitments. 

Personal Additions 

Personal additions such as music, readings and personal vows can be included in your ceremony. All personal additions must be approved by Ceremonies in East Sussex prior to your ceremony. A link to the ceremony pack which includes the options form is emailed after notices are given. 

You should have by now already read through your ceremony pack and submitted your options form.

If you haven't yet submitted your options form please take some time to read the Ceremony Pack and complete your Ceremony Options Form.

Ceremony Extras

Include a keepsake of your day by purchasing one of the ceremony extras.

Contact the Ceremonies Hub to order your ceremony extras.


If you have any special requests or would like to discuss anything about your ceremony contact us by completing the online enquiry form or call the Ceremonies Hub on 0345 60 80 198.

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