How to register your marriage

Your wedding ceremony is the reason why you’ve gathered together all the most important people in your life and it’s the best way to celebrate your love in a way which truly reflects your values and your individuality in every way.

Celebrant weddings involve two main elements – the legal bit (at a register office) and the knockout wedding ceremony! (wherever your imagination takes you).

Here are all the details you need to register your marriage (the legal bit), in a handy step by step guide. Once this is sorted, you’re free to have the ceremony of your dreams.

Step 1: Select Your Registration Venue and Secure Your Appointment

Begin by contacting the registration service in your area to explore options for a statutory marriage. This simple and efficient service can be conducted at any register office. Consider location and timing that best suits your preferences. In Oxfordshire, check out the 'Oxford Register Office statutory room' options.

Book your appointment and settle the fee, typically ranging from £45 to £60.

Step 2: Notify Your Intention to Marry

At least 29 days before your planned marriage registration, visit your LOCAL register office. If you and your partner reside in different districts, give notice separately in your respective areas. Schedule your appointment for notice, with a standard fee of £35 each.

During the appointment, answer straightforward questions about you and your partner. Bring necessary documents to confirm your identity and address, as specified by the Registration Service. Your details will then be displayed in the Register Office.

Step 3: Official Registration

After 28 days, it's all systems go and time to finalise the legalities. The registrar will verify all details, and you and your partner will make two statements in the presence of two witnesses. The statements confirm your freedom to marry and your commitment to each other. While the wording may vary, the essence remains:

"I declare that I know of no legal reason why I [xx] may not be joined in marriage to [xx]."

"I [xx], take you [xx], to be my wedded wife/husband."

You and your partner will then sign the marriage schedule, followed by your witnesses and the registrars and that’s it! There’s no need to include anything else unless you want to, and your exchange of rings, personal vows, readings and all the other beautiful elements that will make your wedding utterly unique can be included in your celebrant ceremony.

Step 4: Collaborate with a Celebrant to Create Your Dream Ceremony

This is where the fun starts. This can take place at a time and venue of your choosing, with the content and style that truly reflects your characters and your history. You can keep things traditional and classic, or take inspiration from your heritage and the things you hold dear (love knots for the Welsh, oathing stones for the Scots and a world of other options …). You can include prayers or blessings if you wish, involve your children if you have them, celebrate with a

Mexican wave … whatever feels right for you.

Contact Anne O'Brien, esteemed Oxfordshire celebrant and guest blogger, to learn more about creating a truly beautiful and personalised ceremony tailored to your unique love story.

Anne O'Brien

Bluebell Ceremonies

07788 757 822