Marriage and Civil Partnerships

Various photos of weddings

Due to Covid Pandemic we are following Government guidelines for Marriage and Civil Partnerships.

Update from 19 July

Please take note of the current Government advice whilst attending any ceremony.

“Social distancing and wearing a face covering are now a personal choice. People are encouraged to respect other attendees and those working at events who may wish to adopt a more cautious approach. The government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport”.

As such we respectfully request that guests maintain 2 metre social distancing from staff working  and would appreciate the wearing of face covers whilst in an indoor space.

The reasoning for this is if our Registration staff were to become infected with Covid-19, or needed to self-isolate because of being a close contact, we would be left with no choice but to cancel appointments and ceremonies for hundreds of people every week. This in turn would have a greater impact than people continuing to have to wear face masks or limiting numbers permitted to attend a ceremony so that social distancing can be maintained. 

Due to Government Roadmap easing we have reviewed our Ceremony rooms and have increased the amount of attendees allowed :

  • Southend Register Office: Couple plus 2 witnesses and 2 guests only
  • Victoria Room: Couple + 2 witnesses plus 16 guests
  • Jubilee Room: Couple + 2 witnesses plus 68 guests

If your ceremony is to be held at an approved external premises please check with the venue for their current Covid measures including numbers of guests allowed.

To marry or register a civil partnership by civil ceremony at a Register Office or other building approved for civil marriage/partnership, you should contact the Superintendent Registrar of the district where you wish to have the ceremony. In Southend, that is via the Register Office in the Civic Centre. You can do this by using our Online Provisional Booking forms.

You both also need to give formal notice to the Superintendent Registrar of the districts(s) where you live. Even if the ceremony is taking place in a different registration district to the one(s) that you and your partner live in, you need to register in the district where you actually live.

After giving notice, you must wait at least 28 days (although in some circumstances this could be increased to 70 days) before the ceremony can take place, but you can give notice as much as 12 months in advance.

Marriage Abroad

A Registration Officer may accept notice for a marriage to take place in a foreign country between a British person and a foreign person or another British person.

This is called a 'Certificate of No Impediment to marry' and should be taken/posted to the country where you plan to marry. The timeframe for these vary from country to country and as the certificate has no expiry date you must check how long the certificate is valid for with the embassy/consulate of that country.

Sometimes a record of the marriage can be made under the Foreign Marriage Order 1970, but you should contact the Registration Office for more details.

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