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 and a commemorative certificate, as will the registrar.

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

The commemorative certificate is a lasting memento of your civil partnership.  Your legal certificate of civil partnership will be created once the civil partnership has been registered electronically and will be posted to you within 11 days.

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.