Ceremony planning

Congratulations on your Engagement!

There is so much to think about when it comes to planning your big day. Let us help you make it as stress free as possible.

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

Where and When

The first thing to do is decide where and when you would like your ceremony to take place. Ceremonies at approved venues can take place on most days of the year and at any time with the agreement of both the venue and the registration service.

Register officeApproved venues

St Davids room, City Hall

Mansion House

Booking your Registrars

You must first make a booking with the venue of your choice and then confirm with Cardiff Register Office that registration officers will be available on that day and time. We will supply you with two Registrars: one will conduct and lead you through the ceremony and the other will ensure all the legalities are fulfilled and register your ceremony.

If your ceremony is taking place at the Register Office then you will be booking your Registrars and venue at the same time.

If your ceremony is taking place at an approved venue or other premises you will need to arrange hire with the venue directly, and then contact us to book your Registrars. There is a non-refundable deposit payable at the time of booking for the St David’s Room and approved venues.

Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership.

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

This is an appointment that you will both need to attend.

You will need 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 per person is charged for notice appointments. This is payable at the time of booking your appointment. If either party to the marriage is a non-EEA national, this fee may be higher depending on the circumstances.

You must give notice at least 29 days before the date of your ceremony.

Please note this could increase to 71 days if one or both of you are non-EEA citizens.

 

We recommend you give notice of marriage at least 6 months before your ceremony. Your notice will be valid for a period of 12 months, which means 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, you will need to give notice again.

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.

If you and/or your partner live outside England and Wales, 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).

Once completed, your notice will be displayed publicly at the Register Office for a statutory period of 28 days (or 70 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.

Documentation

What documents do we need to bring to the appointment?

  • A current valid passport

If you do not have a valid passport please contact our ceremonies team on 029 2087 1694 or email Ceremonies@cardiff.gov.uk who will advise you what documents you will need.

  • 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
Divorce or Dissolution

  • Original court stamped Decree Absolute issued by the County Court or High Court Family Division.
  • 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 FREE **
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 £50.00 **
Divorce or dissolution granted in any other country (including the territories excluded in the above list) are referred to the General Register Office £75.00

 

**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

If you are under 18

Parental consent is needed if you are under 18. If your parents are divorced we will also need to see the Court Order that gives custody to one or other parent.

If either of you is a non-EEA National, please call 029 2087 1694 or email ceremonies@cardiff.gov.uk for advice on the documentation you need to provide.

All documents must be original physical documents. Photocopies are not acceptable. Any court issued documents must be stamped by the court.

Giving notice can be complex. If you are not able to provide any of the above documents, the ceremonies team will explain what other documents may be acceptable. Please contact us on 029 2087 1694 or email ceremonies@cardiff.gov.uk with any questions you have.

Further information about marriages and civil partnerships 

The Personal Touch

Once you have given notice, we will give you a ceremony brochure that will be your guide to plan and personalise your ceremony.

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

Please note: it is not possible to write your own vows for a ceremony in the St David’s Suite

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.

Register Office | Approved venues

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