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These FAQs apply to couples getting married with Leicestershire Registration Service.



I need to cancel or rearrange my ceremony - what do I need to do?

To make a change, you need to contact us as early as possible. You will be charged a fee per change. Amendments are not always possible and any changes to date and time are subject to availability.

If you want to cancel your ceremony, again you will need to contact us. A refund is not guaranteed as it depends on when you let us know. This is explained in the terms and conditions.

Can I change my name on my passport before the ceremony?

You can apply to change your name on your passport up to three months prior to your ceremony. You will need to complete a PD2 form which you download from the UK Government website.

This form needs to be signed by a Registrar from the district in which your marriage is taking place. If your marriage is taking place in Leicestershire please contact us to do this.

Can we have a ceremony outside?

We have licensed outdoor structures at several of our approved venues. We also have a gazebo at the Glenfield Registration Office.

If the weather is not suitable, the ceremony will be held inside instead – this is at the discretion of the Deputy Superintendent Registrar.

Can we have a ceremony in our back garden?

The law requires both civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies to be held at a registration office or approved venue.


I want an independent celebrant to perform my ceremony, will it be legal?

Only Deputy Superintendent Registrars are able to perform a legally binding civil marriage or civil partnership ceremonies.


How many witnesses will I need and can you provide them?

You will need two witnesses. They can be relatives or friends and must be able to understand written and spoken English.

We cannot provide witnesses for you.

Is there a minimum age for my witnesses?

By law, there is no minimum age but witnesses should be mature enough to understand the ceremony and both written and spoken English. They must also be able to potentially testify in court.

Can I have a religious ceremony before my civil ceremony?

A religious ceremony must be held after your civil ceremony otherwise, it could cast doubt on the legality of your marriage.

Can I have a hymn or religious reading at my ceremony?

As this is a civil ceremony, no religious connotation is permitted. This includes imagery such as trinity candles, crosses on the walls, or religious text. Religious practices such as hand fasting and blessings or prayers are also not permitted.

Your Registrar will advise you on content suitable for music and readings.

I’m 18 but my fiancée is 16. Can we still get married?

You must be at least 16 years old before you can contract a marriage. If you are aged in between 16 and have not reached your 18th birthday by the date of your intended marriage, you will need the consent of whoever is responsible for you (parent or guardian).

Please contact us for more information.

Can I have live music at my ceremony?

Due to time restrictions, we do not allow live music at registration offices.

For an approved venue ceremony, you will need to speak with them directly.

Can I bring decorative flowers to my ceremony?

Each registration office has its own unique flower arrangements so it isn’t
necessary to bring your own.

For an approved venue ceremony, you will need to speak with them directly.

Can I bring my own music?

For a registration office ceremony, please see your confirmation document for details of music.

For an approved venue ceremony, you will need to speak with them directly.

In both instances, music must not contain any religious connotation and a Registrar will check the music beforehand.

Can the 28 day waiting period be reduced in any way?

This is done only in exceptional circumstances. For example, if the bride, groom or a close relative is terminally ill and not expected to recover, it is possible for the 28 days to be reduced on the authority of the Registrar General.

You will need to contact us as soon as possible and the decision lies at the discretion of the Registrar General.

What is the purpose of the interview before our ceremony?

Registrars will need to check that all the information on the paperwork is up to date as this information will go into the marriage register. The Registrar can update changes to occupations, addresses and ages.

The details of your father or step-father will also be checked. For a step-father to be included on the marriage entry, he must have been married to your mother at some point.

We ask these details for genealogy purposes – the best way to trace a family tree is through birth and marriage certificates.

Do we have to see each other before the ceremony?

Most couples do not want to see each other before the ceremony and we are happy to work with you on this.

You will still be interviewed separately whether you see each other before or not.

Can I make my ceremony entrance with my father, friend or another relative?

Yes of course. This will be discussed prior to the ceremony.

What if I make a mistake in my vows, or start to laugh or cry?

The Registrar will ask you to repeat all vows after them. If you make a mistake, they will simply repeat what you need to say. Please don’t be embarrassed, your guests are there to celebrate your big day and will understand if you make a mistake – you are only human!

How long will the ceremony take?

At a registration office, the legal ceremony performed by the Registrar can take up to 20 minutes. At an approved venue, the actual ceremony can take up to 30 minutes.

For both, the interviews beforehand take approximately 10 minutes each.

Can I bring a professional photographer/videographer?

Photographs and film are wonderful reminders of your day. Registrars will explain to your photographer (and guests who wish to take photos/video), when and where this should take place.

Can I use an aerial drone to record at any point?

The use of a drone is subject to a number of aviation laws/rules.

On health and safety grounds, we do not allow drones at any of our registration offices.

For an approved venue ceremony, you will need to speak with them directly.

Are we allowed to throw confetti?

For a registration office ceremony, you may throw confetti outside as long as it’s biodegradable.

For an approved venue ceremony, you will need to speak with them directly.

Are animals allowed?

For either a registration office or approved venue ceremony, no animals (including butterflies and doves), are allowed during the actual ceremony.

This is on animal welfare and health and safety grounds.

Certified assistance dogs are the exception to this.

Can I have more than one marriage certificate?

You will receive one marriage certificate initially. Additional certificates can be purchased – contact us for more information.

Can I email the details of my ceremony any time up to the day?

We would strongly advise against this.  If you are getting married at an approved venue, you will need to make a further appointment at the registration office detailed in your booking confirmation.

This is your final meeting before the big day and is your opportunity to discuss the finer details – timings, music, readings, wording, who stands where and who says what.  Those final decisions and choices should have been made in plenty of time for this appointment as it may not be possible to accommodate late requests.

The booking confirmation will explain what you need to bring with you. You will also be asked to pay any outstanding fees.

Where can I get more information?

We are here to help so please contact us if you have any queries.

Alternatively, the UK Government website has lots of information.

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