Whether you choose to get married at one of our register offices, our approved venues or elsewhere, we're here to help create the perfect wedding ceremony for you.
Where and when you can get married
You can get married in a ceremony room at one of our 10 register offices or any of our approved venues in Hertfordshire.
We also offer celebratory marriage ceremonies if your ideal location isn't approved for legal ceremonies. Before the ceremony can take place you must be legally married.
There are no restrictions on the time of day you can get married so we can offer times later in the day at our approved venues.
How much our ceremonies cost
1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019
| Day|| Register Office||Approved Venue |
|Monday - Thursday
| Sunday/Bank Holidays
- A small statutory register office ceremony room for up to 4 persons is available in the Hatfield Register Office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Watford Register Office on Mondays, and Stevenage Register Office on Wednesdays. The statutory fee for this ceremony is £46.
- For all legal marriage ceremonies there will be an additional fee of £8 for 2 certificates.
| Day|| Cost|
| Monday – Friday
| Sunday/Bank Holidays
- Anytime ceremonies can take place at approved venues between 6pm and 9am.
| Day|| Cost|
| Monday - Friday
| Sunday/Bank Holidays
- For an Anywhere Ceremony you must be legally married, or have arrangements to have a legal marriage before the date proposed for the Anywhere Ceremony.
- The fee for the legal ceremony will be £46 and can take place at any Hertfordshire Register Office.
- Take a look at our 2019 - 2020 ceremony fees (PDF 300Kb) Opening in a new window for our prices from April 2019
Booking your ceremony
Once you've decided where you want to get married, contact us to book the date, time and place. If you've chosen an approved venue, check dates or provisionally book with them first before contacting us to book the Registrar.
We'll send you a provisional booking letter advising when you must give notice of marriage (your legal notice of intention).
Giving notice of marriage
If you live in Hertfordshire, you must give your notice of marriage to any register office in the county. If you live outside the county and are getting married in Hertfordshire, you need to give your notice of marriage to the register office in the district you live in.
Notice can be given up to 12 months before your wedding and no less than 28 days before. You must have lived in the area more than 7 days before giving notice.
Notices cost £35 each or £47 if one or both parties are subject to the Home Office referral and investigation scheme. If one or both parties are subject to the Home Office referral and investigation scheme the waiting period can be extended to 70 days by the Home Office to allow time for any investigations.
Everybody giving notice needs to have evidence of their name, sex, date of birth, nationality, marital status and current address. If you're subject to immigration control, you will also need to provide evidence of settled status too.
If you have been through a former marriage or civil partnership and the decree absolute or civil partnership dissolution documentation is outside the British Isles there is a non-refundable fee of £50 or £75.00 dependant on whether it can be cleared locally or referred to the General Register Office.
Proof of identity
If you're a British citizen you need to show 1 of the following:
- valid passport or full British birth certificate
- full British birth certificate (If you were born after 1 January 1983 and don't have a British passport, you need evidence of both parent's nationality at the time of your birth, such as their full birth certificate)
- certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen granted by the Secretary of State
If you're an EEA/Swiss national you need to show 1 of the following:
- valid passport
- valid national identity card issued by an EEA state or Switzerland
If you're a non-EEA/Swiss national you need to show 1 of the following:
- valid passport
- valid Biometric Immigration document
- valid travel document issued by the Home Office
You also need to bring the following documents:
- evidence of immigration status in the form of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), Indefinite Leave to Enter (LTE) or a current EEA family member resident permit
- passport sized photos of you and your partner
Proof of address
You need to show 1 of the following in your current name:
- utility bill (dated no more than 3 months before the date notice is given)
- bank or building society statement (dated no more than 1 month before the date notice is given)
- council tax bill or mortgage statement (dated no more than 1 year before the date notice is given)
- current residential tenancy agreement
- valid UK driving licence showing current name and address
- letter signed by the owner or proprietor confirming that you have lived at the address for at least 7 days before giving notice. They also need to confirm they're the owner/proprietor of the property and include their name and address and sign and date the document
If you've been married or have entered into a civil partnership before, you must show evidence that the relationship is legally over.
This is usually in the form of:
- a death certificate of your late spouse/partner
- a decree absolute or decree of nullity issued by the divorce court or a civil partnership final dissolution/nullity order
There is a statutory non-refundable fee for the consideration of a divorce/civil partnership dissolution documentation issued outside the British Isles. The fee is £50 if the document can be cleared locally or £75.00 if the document requires referral to the General Register Office. If the document is in a foreign language we'll need a certified translation into English as well as the original document.
Change of name
If you've changed your name you need to show us evidence of the change such as a Deed Poll or Change of Name Deed.
After giving notice of marriage they'll be displayed publicly in the register office at Hatfield for 28 days. On the 29th day the authorities will be issued.
If you're getting married in a different registration district the authority will usually print them. If you're getting married in a church, we'll advise you whether the authorities will need to be collected.
If you want to be married in the Church of England or the Church of Wales you'll need to contact the Vicar. They'll arrange for the Banns to be called or for a common licence to be issued. These marriages will always be registered by the Vicar.
If you want marry in a church or any other religious building of any other religious denomination you'll need to give a Notice of Marriage to the Registrar in the district where you live.
If you want to get married abroad you need to make sure you find out and follow the regulations of that country. There may be minimum residency requirements and legal documents you need to bring, which your travel agent can tell you about. In some cases you'll be asked for a certificate of no impediment. You can get this by contacting your local Register Office. You'll need to give at least 28 days notice.
How to plan your ceremony
We aim to create a ceremony perfect for you with your ideas, tastes and budgets taken into account. There are many decisions to make and we hope our checklist (PDF 27kb) will help you plan your perfect wedding.
If you're getting married in one of our approved venues or having a celebration ceremony elsewhere, we'll be pleased to help you plan your ceremony. We can arrange a meeting with you 1 month before the big day when you can tell us all your choices.
For weekday weddings in one of our register offices you'll get a planning sheet to complete informing us of your choices.
Your day has arrived
Make sure you arrive on time so the ceremony can start at the time you booked. Your guests need to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand.
The Registrars will need to see each of you privately before the ceremony to check through your details and make sure everything is recorded correctly. This will happen 15 minutes before the ceremony if you're seen together. If you wish to be seen separately they'll see you 30 minutes and 10 minutes beforehand.
The Registrars will also explain to the escorts and anyone giving a reading what they need to do so the ceremony runs smoothly.
Don't worry about being nervous as our Registrars will guide you through the ceremony.
It'll start with an introduction by the Registrar followed by the legal declaration and contractual words which you will be asked to repeat in turn.
You'll have chosen some words to be said about the commitment and the meaning of marriage and possibly some readings. You'll be able to make promises to each other and exchange rings before you're declared legally married.
You will then be asked to check and sign the entry in the marriage register followed by your 2 witnesses and the Registrars. The Registrar will present you with your marriage certificates.
Photographs and videos
The Registrars will let your photographer and guests know of any restrictions when taking pictures or videos during the ceremony.
Due to data protection, you can't take any photographs or video recordings of the register when it's being signed.
If your ceremony is at an approved venue you need to check with them first. All our Hertfordshire register offices are happy for your guests to throw confetti once you're outside. We prefer you use paper biodegradable confetti.
Call us on 0300 123 4045 or email us for more information on our venues and Registrars or to answer your questions.
Privacy notice for the Registration and Citizenship Service (PDF, 122kb)