Congratulations – you are about to take one of life’s most important and exciting steps!

Your ceremony journey is going to be thrilling, there’s no doubt about that – but now there are so any ways you can celebrate your unique relationship, you may find yourself asking “Where do I start?”

This guide aims to provide information and give you answers to the questions you have been looking for, all in one place resulting in a legal ceremony planned to perfection.

Do you want to enter into a Marriage or Civil Partnership?

There is a legal difference between a marriage and a civil partnership. You can find out more about this here.

Do you want a religious or non-religious ceremony?

Whether you choose to have a marriage or civil partnership, your ceremony can be either religious or non-religious.

For a non-religious ceremony, East Riding Registration service offers legal Marriage and Civil Partnership ceremonies conducted by a Registrar. These are a popular choice for couples if you don’t follow a specific religion or consider yourself religious. We can include music of your choice and readings, although these cannot be hymns or readings with a religious nature or reference.

If you would like a religious ceremony, you can also have a legal marriage in a church or other registered religious building. Some churches have applied to perform legal civil partnerships. Please contact the church you are thinking of having your ceremony with them.

Where geographically can I have a legal ceremony?

Wherever you reside, you can visit any licenced/registered building in the East Riding to enjoy your celebrations - even if you don’t live in the East Riding itself, or even in the UK!

Why Choose a Register Office for your ceremony?

Our Register Offices are situated in bustling East Yorkshire towns, and a short distance from beautiful countryside and delightful coastline, making them the ideal location for continuing your celebrations in an area of your choice. With guest capacities ranging from 15-30 this makes our register office venues perfect if you are looking for a smaller, more intimate ceremony option. The minimum requirement is 2 guests at one of our ceremonies.

The ceremony room, a marriage certificate and the two registrars taking care of you on the day of your ceremony are inclusive in our fee. We are proud to offer ceremony packages to suit the needs of all our couples, ranging from the very short, modern or traditional ceremony options, all of which can be personalized with readings, music of your choice and personal vows. Additionally, for the couples looking to incorporate their own individual tastes, ideas and special requests into the ceremony we also offer a tailored ceremony option. See our registration offices here.

Why Choose one of our approved Venues?

Well, what can we say? We are thrilled to be working with some brilliant, experienced and dedicated teams who are experts in making sure your big day goes precisely to plan.

From large parties to miniature ones, our venues offer different settings and atmospheres; from traditional and grand, to quirky and casual they are each unique and cater for all types of ceremony.

Use our venues list page to see what they have to offer.

To have your ceremony at an approved venue you will need a Registrar in attendance. Please make sure you check our availability coincides with your venue booking, and as we tend to get bookings two years or more in advance, make sure you book early to get our most sought-after dates and times. There will a fee to pay to East Riding Registration Service and a fee to be paid to the venue.

Can I have my ceremony outside?

We are happy to perform your ceremony outside as long as your licenced venue has an outdoor area for ceremonies. Use our venues list page to see what they have to offer. Backdrop of the spectacular Humber Bridge or breathtaking countryside anyone? At the moment we can’t offer a legal ceremony in places such as your favourite woods or beach, however we could attend for a non legal ceremony. get in touch if this interests you.

We just want to sign the legal papers – what should we do?

Your only option to just sign legal papers is if you were to have a Civil Partnership; a marriage requires a ceremony as it is the legal vows you repeat to each other that form your marriage. Please make sure you understand the difference between a marriage and Civil Partnership before you make your decision. Many of our couples who didn’t want a ceremony at the start of their journey tell us they are glad that they had one in the end! If you want something short and sweet, we recommend a small ceremony in one of our Register Offices. With just two witnesses in attendance, you can choose to exchange your legal vows even leaving out the ring exchange if you wish.

Witnesses

Wherever you have your legal ceremony you will need 2 witnesses that can speak and understand English, able to hear you repeat your legal vows to each other and are preferably over the age of 18. They can be family or friends but can’t be staff or registrars from East Riding Registration Service.

Can I get married at home or in our favourite place?

The only provision for a legal ceremony in someone’s home is if one of the couple is seriously ill. You can arrange for a small ceremony with us at one of our Register Offices and we can send one of our registrars to act as a celebrant in your chosen place subject to a risk assessment.

Contact ceremonies@eastriding.gov.uk to explore this option.

We’ve decided what we want – what do we do now?

Now that you have an idea of what you want from your special day, you need to follow this list below to make sure all the legal elements of your day are in order.

1. Make a booking

Make a booking with your chosen venue.

2. Make sure that the same date, time, and location is available in our calendar.

You can look at our online booking system to check availability and book East Riding Registration Service.

3. Give notice of marriage/ Civil Partnership

Give notice of marriage/Civil Partnership in a face-to-face appointment no earlier than 1 year to your ceremony and not later than 28 days before your ceremony.

More information on notices is available here.

Once you have given notice either with us or your local office, then we will send you your ceremony choices form so you can focus on the details of your ceremony.

What about the details?

If you`re planning a ceremony, the chances are you will have had a good look online or in magazines and scoured those ultimate checklists and ceremony planning 101 guides and have an idea of just how many options there are available, from makeup, transportation, venues and flowers.

We see A LOT of amazing ceremonies, and not one of them the same as the last. The best advice we can offer is – It’s your special day – and your ceremony should be as special and unique as your relationship.

We always look forward to arriving for your special day and seeing what you have put together. You can let us know what you want from your ceremony by completing the ceremony choices form one month before the big day. This is where we can look at requirements for the day, special requests, any readings or personal vows you may want to incorporate so we can arrive for your ceremony fully prepared.

Depending on when you make your booking there may be long periods where not much communication is needed between us and you. Rest assured your booking is still in our diary and if there are any problems we will get in touch with you.

If you have any other questions please get in touch with us here at ceremonies@eastriding.gov.uk.