Step 4 – from 19 July 2021:
For the latest information about ceremonies during the Covid-19 pandemic see our Covid Update Page
Ceremony Start Time
The time booked for the ceremony is the time it will commence. We appreciate that unforeseen circumstances can delay your arrival however, we must ask you to ensure that you and your guests arrive in plenty of time and are ready for your ceremony to start on time. Your guests should arrive around 15 to 20 minutes before your ceremony. They will be invited into Southover Grange and shown to the ceremony room by one of our Registrars at the appropriate time (once the first pre-ceremony interview is completed).
If the ceremony is late starting, East Sussex Registration reserves the right to amend the ceremony to reduce its duration. We also reserve the right to defer the ceremony until later that day or cancel the ceremony to ensure delays do not have a detrimental effect on any ceremonies later that same day.
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 the details on your schedule are correct. These interviews are brief and will take place in private at Southover Grange.
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 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 arrive 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.
The law requires that two credible witnesses are present during the ceremony. Witnesses should be over the age of 16, speak English and be of sound mind. Regrettably, we are unable to provide witnesses for you.
You will be well looked after on the day. Our registrars are friendly and professional and take great pride in the ceremonies they deliver. Their aim is to provide you with a ceremony that is both meaningful and memorable.
Two registrars will attend your ceremony. The Celebrant Registrar (Deputy Superintendent Registrar) will conduct the ceremony, and the Deputy Registrar will deal with the legalities and your schedule. For civil ceremonies to be legal registrars employed by the relevant Local Authority must be present.
Photos, Videos and Social Media
It is important to capture those special moments and we are happy for photos and videos to be taken throughout your ceremony. If you have an official photographer/videographer and would prefer the photo taking/recording be left to them let your registrar know during your pre-ceremony interview, and they will make your guests aware at the start of your ceremony. The same goes for social media; if you would rather your special day wasn’t shared online then your registrar will be happy to make your guests aware of your wishes.
Legal certificates are unable to be issued on the day of your ceremony. Certificates ordered before your ceremony will be posted to you within two weeks of your ceremony. If you have ordered a commemorative certificate, this will be presented to you during your ceremony once you have signed the schedule.
If you require additional certificates and your ceremony has not yet taken place please call the Ceremonies Hub on 0345 60 80 198. If your ceremony has already happened, you can order certificates online by visiting the East Sussex County Council website.
We strongly recommend that you take out insurance to provide cover for circumstances that could result in the ceremony not taking place – for example, in the case of severe adverse weather conditions when staff may be unable to reach a venue.
Confetti isn't permitted inside Southover Grange or in the gardens.