Registration office appointments
If you are attending an office for a birth registration appointment or to give notice of marriage/notice of civil partnership, we recommend wearing a face covering when moving around the building.
The number of guests that can attend your ceremony depends on the location. Information about guest limits at various ceremony venues is given below. Children of any age are included in all of these guest limits.
We will contact you before the ceremony to advise you on the current arrangements.
Approved venues will have their own guidelines around the capacity that their ceremony rooms can safely accommodate, we would advise you to verify this with your venue ahead of the ceremony.
The capacity of the Castle is 50 people. The couple and both registrars are not included in this number.
If you are having a photographer, they will be included in your guest numbers.
Registration Office ceremony rooms
Please refer to the individual ceremony room pages to review the capacity ahead of your ceremony.
Small registration office ceremony
These ceremonies are only for six people: the couple, their two witnesses and both registrars. This is the same capacity as before the pandemic.
What will the ceremony look like?
We recommend wearing a face covering in ceremony rooms. Please note our registrars may continue to wear a face covering when conducting and registering - we ask you to kindly respect their decision. This is to safeguard everyone attending the ceremony, including our teams who are travelling to different venues and to ensure that all ceremonies can be delivered.
The current guidance on face coverings from Gov.uk states that “The legal requirement to wear a face covering no longer applies. However, the government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet”.
The signing of the schedule will be managed by the registrars on the day and we will keep space between the registrars and the couple/witness. The couple, witnesses and our staff will be asked to sanitise their hands both before and after coming into contact with the schedule. Only two witnesses can sign the schedule. The couple and witnesses will need to bring with them a blue or black pen to sign the register with, we are not able to provide pens to be used or shared.
After your ceremony has been concluded the marriage/civil partnership schedule will be returned to our office to be entered into the electronic register. We will produce and post your certificate to you within seven days of the schedule/document being returned to our office. You will no longer receive a marriage certificate at the ceremony. All certificates will be produced electronically and are no longer handwritten.
More information regarding the way marriages are registered, including for couples with ceremonies at religious premises.