On the big day

What to expect on your big day, from arrival to the ceremony itself.

To ensure the smooth running of your ceremony, it is important that you and your guests arrive 15 minutes before the time of your ceremony. Please do not be late or we may not be able to proceed.

During this time the registrar will interview both partners privately to check the details which are to be entered onto the civil partnership schedule. You may be seen together or separately, depending on your personal choice. You will then have the opportunity to ask any last minute questions.

After the checks have been made we can then proceed with your registration and/or ceremony.

Remember to make allowances for traffic delays, car parking and any photographs. Please inform your guests of this.

The ceremony

Don’t be nervous - the registrar will be there to guide you through all that you have to do and say.

Once you, your witnesses and your guests are seated, the ceremony will begin with a welcome and explanation of the procedure by the registrar. Each partner will then be asked to repeat, read or acknowledge a solemn declaration.

After you have made your declarations you and your witnesses sign the schedule, as will the registrar. The registrar will then need to enter your partnership on the computer. Your civil partnership certificate will be posted out to you within two days.

After the presentation of a commemorative certificate there will be an opportunity for photos to be taken.

If you would like additional copies of your civil partnership certificate these can be provided, but they may have to be posted to you depending on how many you would like and the other appointments the registrars need to keep on the day.

Format of the ceremony

  • Pre-arrival music
  • Entrance music
  • Welcome
  • Introduction
  • Legal statements
  • Pledges, rings/gifts and promises
  • Reading option
  • Legal declarations, signing of schedule
  • Signing music *
  • Photographs
  • Reading option
  • Presentation of the commemorative certificate and conclusion
  • Exit music *

* You may substitute a reading for music.