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Ceremonies in East Sussex

Plan your ceremony

Congratulations! You’re engaged.

There is so much to think about when it comes to planning your big day, and it can all get quite overwhelming.

Don’t panic! We are here to help make sure it is as straightforward and stress free as possible.

Our step by step guide will help make sure you’ve got everything covered.


  1. Where and When?
  2. Booking your Celebrant and Registrar
  3. The legal bit
  4. Let’s get personal

1. Where and When?

The first thing to do is decide where and when you would like your ceremony to take place. East Sussex has over 100 fantastic venues to choose from including our four Register Offices. You can view all licenced venues here.

It's important to think about when you would like your ceremony. We can offer ceremonies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (depending on availability)

If you have already found your perfect location or venue but it is not licenced for marriages please see  Weddings with a difference.

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2. Booking your Celebrant and Registrar

Great, you’ve chosen your venue and decided when!

Now you need to book your Registrars.

East Sussex Registration will provide you with two Registrars.

One will be your Celebrant and lead you through your ceremony, and the other ensure all the legalities are fulfilled and register your ceremony.

If your ceremony is taking place at one of our Register Offices then you will book your Celebrant, Registrar and venue at the same time.

If your ceremony is taking place elsewhere you will need to arrange hire with the venue directly, and then contact us to book your Registrars.

Ceremony fees are payable in full at the time of booking. This includes a £100 non-refundable booking fee.

Your booking will be charged at the current year’s price regardless of the date of your ceremony (up to 3 years in advance). Ceremony fees are set annually and are subject to change on the 1st April each year.

To book your Registrars call us on 0345 60 80 198.

For Southover Grange Bookings only:

A £100 non-refundable 'save the date' fee will be taken at the initial point of booking to secure your date and time. You will then be invited to come and meet with our Events Co-ordinator, within two weeks of paying your 'save the date' fee, to discuss your booking and have a tour of Southover Grange. Please note you will be required to pay the rest of your ceremony fee in full  at this meeting.

If we are unable to secure a meeting with you in this two week period then you may lose your preferred date along with your non-refundable save the date fee . Please see our Terms and Conditions.

Ceremony Fees.

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3. The legal bit

Giving your notice is a legal requirement that must be completed prior to your marriage or civil partnership ceremony.

This is an appointment that you will both need to attend. You will be required to provide certain documents to prove your name, age, nationality, address and that you are free to marry or register a civil partnership.

A statutory fee of £35 per person is charged for notice appointments, payable at the time of booking your appointment.

You must give notice at least 29 days before the date of your ceremony (this could increase to 71 days if one or both of you are non-EEA citizens).

We recommend you complete this at least 6 months before your ceremony. Your notice will be valid for a period of 12 months, from the date your notice is given. Meaning your ceremony must take place within 12 months of your notice being given.

If your notice expires or you change the venue of your ceremony then you will need to give new notices.

Notices must be given at your local register office (even if this is not the district where your ceremony is taking place). You must have lived in the district where you are to give notice for at least 9 days before giving your notice.

Once completed your notice will be displayed publically at the Register Office for a statutory period of 29 days (or 71 days). If no legal objections are received the authorisation will be issued on the 29th day allowing your marriage or civil partnership to take place. You do not need to do anything on this day; these will be issued by the relevant Register Office.

If you and/or your partner live outside England and Wales

If you wish to marry or register a civil partnership in England and Wales you must meet the residency requirement. You will need to establish a residency within England and Wales and can only give notice at a Register Office if you have lived in the relevant registration district for at least 7 full days (this works out as the equivalent of 9 days as the day of arrival and the day of notice do not count).

You can contact us for further information or if you have any questions 0345 60 80 198.

If one or both of you are non-EEA citizens

If you and/or your partner are a non-EEA or Swiss national you will need to give notice at a Designated Register Office.

For further information please visit:

What documents will I need?

Photocopies or electronic documents are NOT acceptable.

Proof of name, age & nationality

  • A current valid passport

If you do not have a valid passport please contact our ceremonies team 0345 60 80 198 who will advise you what documents you will need.

Proof of address

  • Most recent council tax bill
  • Utility bill (dated within the last three months)
  • Bank or Building society statement (dated within the last month)
  • Current valid driving licence

Evidence of legal ending to any previous marriage or civil partnership

Divorce or Dissolution

  • Original court stamped Decree Absolute issued by the County Court or High Court Family Division
  • If you were divorced in your married name and have since reverted to your former name you will also need to provide your marriage/civil partnership certificate or a change of name deed
  • If your divorce or dissolution was from outside England and Wales, you will need to provide the original court document with an English translation (if necessary)
    • Consideration of divorce documents carries the following additional statutory fees:

Divorce or dissolution granted in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Isles or Isle of Man


Divorce or dissolution granted in Australia, Austria, Barbados, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Canada, Fiji, Germany, Hungary, Irish Republic, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa (excluding Botswana, Ciskei, Transkei and Venda), Sweden, Tanzania, USA (excluding Nevada and Guam), Zimbabwe


Divorce or dissolution granted in any other country (including the territories excluded in the above list)



*Divorce documents not matching the standard library held by the Register Office will be referred to the General Register Office and incur the full £75 fee.

If you are using a different name to the one on the divorce or dissolution, then you must provide documents to link all your names.

Widowed or a surviving Civil Partner

  • Original death certificate of your late spouse or civil partner, and the marriage or civil partnership certificate if you are not named on the death certificate

If you have changed your name

  • The original change of name deed or equivalent

All documents MUST be original physical documents.

Photocopies are NOT acceptable.

Any court issued documents MUST be stamped by the court.

Failure to bring the correct documents may result in the cancellation of your appointment and the loss of your fee.

You will be advised on what documents you need when you book your appointment.

Giving notice can be the most complex part, so please feel free to contact us with any questions 0345 60 80 198.

You can find further information here

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4. Let’s get personal

You’ve picked your venue, you’ve booked your registrars and your notice appointment is arranged.

Personal touches are what will really make your day memorable. You may wish to include readings, music or even write your own personal vows.

This is your day and we are more than happy to discuss any special arrangements you may have and will do everything we can to make your ceremony personal and memorable. 

Once you have given notice, we will supply you with a ceremony pack that will be your guide when planning and personalising your ceremony.

Whether you have had this day planned for years, or you need some inspiration you will find some great local suppliers in The Directory.

Enhance your ceremony with a little something extra; purchase the pen you sign the register with, a commemorative certificate as a keepsake of the day, or maybe you would like your certificates presented in a silver plated scroll case. Optional extras can add that little something to your ceremony; take a look at the commemorative products available. 

It’s time to start the countdown to the Big Day.

If you have any questions or anything you wish to discuss please contact us on 0345 60 80 198 or complete our enquiry form.

Privacy Notice

To arrange your ceremony you will need to share some personal information with us.

Please refer to our Privacy Notice for details about how and why we use your data.

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