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Ceremonies in East Sussex

Planning 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.

Whether you're planning a small intimate affair or a grand event, 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. Giving your Notice
  4. Let’s get personal

1. Where and When?

The first thing  you will need to do is decide where and when you would like your ceremony to take place.

East Sussex offers you the choice of over 100 licensed venues, including our four Register Offices located in Lewes, Hastings, Eastbourne and Crowborough.  All licensed venues can be found here.

We offer ceremonies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (depending on availability) and bookings can be taken up to 3 years in advance.

If your perfect location or venue is not licensed for marriages please take a look at  Weddings with a Difference and find out how we can help create your perfect day.

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2. Booking your Celebrant and Registrar

Once you've decided where and when you would like your ceremony to take place, you will need to contact our ceremonies team to book your registrars.

You will be provided with two Registrars.

One will be your Celebrant and lead you through your ceremony, and the other will ensure all the legalities are fulfilled, register your marriage or civil partnership and present you with your certificates at the end of the ceremony.

If your ceremony is taking place at one of our Register Offices then your Celebrant, Registrar and venue will all be booked 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 fee 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. Giving your Notice

Giving your notice means, declaring you are both free to enter into a marriage or civil partnership. It is a legal requirement that must be completed prior to your marriage or civil partnership taking place.

Both of you are required to attend a face to face appointment at your local register office.

If you live in East Sussex you can book an appointment at one of our register offices in Hastings, Eastbourne, Lewes, or Crowborough. Please call us on 0345 60 80 198 to book your notice appointment.

If you live outside East Sussex you can find your local register office here.

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

You can give your notice up to 12 months in advance.

You must have been resident in the registration district where you will give your notice for at least 7 full days before your notice appointment.

Once your notice has been given a clear 28 days must pass before you are able to enter into a marriage or civil partnership. This statutory waiting period may be extended if you and/or your partner are a non EEA or Swiss national.

Your marriage or civil partnership must take place at your chosen venue with within 12 months of giving notice.

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


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.

Please note this may not be your local register office.

For further information please visit:



There are certain identification documents that you will need to provide at your notice appointment.

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

Required Documents

The Registrar will confirm which documents are necessary when booking your appointment.


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


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.

Now's the time to get personal. This is your day and we want it to be as special and memorable as possible.

You may want to include readings, poems, music or personal vows that reflect you and your relationship. Personal touches are a lovely way of enhancing your ceremony.

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. This is your day and we want you to enjoy every moment of it.

For legal reasons any additions to the ceremony cannot include religious content or connotations.

Once your notice has been given you will be provided with a ceremomny pack, which will provide you with a ceremony guide and information about what will happen on the day, timings, etc. Included within this will be a 'Ceremony Options' form. We ask that you complete this form with details of any personal additions, and return it to us at least one month before your ceremony.


Ceremony Extras

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 a little something to your ceremony; take a look at the commemorative products available. 


Our Supplier Directory features some fantastically talented local suppliers, all who can add something unique to your special day. Take a look and find your dream ceremony team.


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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