Surrey Wedding Tips | Your First Decision | Civil Ceremony or Religious Ceremony ?
Photo by Cheryl Angear
So, you’re getting married in Surrey, UK ? Congratulations ! Now the wedmin begins….
The first thing is, don’t panic! In this feature I’m going to outline the options available for the very first decisions you’ll want to make. Taking things step by step means that everything is covered and you know you’re ready for the big day!
Civil or Religious Ceremony ?
This is your first decision in order to secure your date and you have two options. You can choose to marry in any Register Office or Licenced Venue in England and Wales. At a Licenced Venue, a Registrar from the local Register Office will conduct and register your ceremony, so you’ll need to check with the local Register Office that there a Registrar available for your ceremony. Then you’ll need to give notice (see below).
If you want to marry in a Church of England or Church in Wales then you should speak to the vicar as a first step. If you are marrying in another denomination you’ll need to give notice at your local Register Office.
After choosing your venue and confirming the availability of the Registrar, it’s time for both parties to give notice, in person, in the Register Office of the district where you each live.
If either party is subject to immigration control then you must both give your notices in a designated Register Office (Richmond is not one of these), and you must be resident for at least 7 days prior to giving notice. It’s fine to attend together but notice must be given individually. Your notices are then displayed on a board in the Register Office for 15 days and this is the minimum time. After this time the Superintendent Registrar will issue authorities for each notice.
If you want to, you can give your notice up to a year in advance of the date of your wedding ceremony.
Please note that notices are venue specific, so if the details change, you’ll need to start again with giving notice.
Documents you’ll need to produce
The Register Office will charge a statutory fee, so you’ll need to be ready to pay that. You’ll also need identification documents and proof of nationality. Your passport is your friend here, but if you don’t have one then your birth certificate is the second best option.
Once again, if you are subject to immigration control you may need a certificate of approval from the Home Office.
If you are a widow/widower you’ll need to have the death certificate of your late husband/wife, and if you’ve been divorced you’ll need your decree absolute.
You’ll need to provide 2 separate proofs of your address and all of these documents must be the originals.
If you’d like to talk to me about planning your photography, which would be the next step once your venue is booked, please feel free to make contact and I’ll be very happy to discuss your plans and see where I can help.