Marriage & Civil Partnership Advice with Covid-19
FAQ's with Covid-19
When can I get married?
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on 22nd February 2021, Marriage and Civil Partnership ceremonies will be resumed from Monday 29th March 2021 under a proposed roadmap. Please note the following dates are subject to review and may change depending on any future government announcements:
- Monday 8th March - Sunday 28th March - ceremonies will be permitted with up to 6 people including the couple in exceptional circumstances only.
- Monday 29th March – Sunday 11th April – ceremonies will be permitted with up to 6 people including the couple.
- Monday 12th April – Sunday 16th May - ceremonies will be permitted with up to 15 people including the couple.
- Monday 17th May – Sunday 20th June – ceremonies will be permitted with up to 30 people including the couple.
- Monday 21st June onwards – numbers of attendees are not stipulated within the proposed roadmap.
Ceremonies can only take place in a COVID 19 secure environment – this means that risk assessments for all registration offices and approved venues, maximum capacity and control measures need to be in place and signed off by Gloucestershire County Council Health & Safety prior to any ceremony being conducted.
Do the guests and the couple have to wear a face covering?
Guests will be required to wear face coverings at marriages and civil partnership ceremonies including those taking place in register offices or other approved venues. Face coverings will not have to be worn by the bride, groom or civil partners.
Do we have to use the NHS track and trace app?
Registration Office: On the day of the ceremony, the groom, bride or a civil partner will be asked by the registration Officer registering the marriage/civil partnership to provide their contact details for NHS Track and Trace purposes via a QR code. In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, they will be contacted and it will be their responsibility to inform their guests who attended the ceremony. The information will be held securely for 21 days and then destroyed.
Approved Venue: On the day of the ceremony couples will be required to provide to provide their contact details for NHS Track and Trace purposes via a QR code. It is the responsibility of your venue to ensure you provide this information. This information should be securely held by your venue for a period of 21 days and then destroyed.
How many guests will I be able to have at a registration office ceremony?
- Shire Hall* – Maximum persons = 15 people made up of 2 Registration Officers, the couple and 11 guests
- Old Victorian School - Maximum persons = 13 people made up of 2 Registration Officers, the couple and 9 guests
- The Oaks – Maximum persons = 10 people made up of 2 Registration Officers, the couple and 6 guests
*Shire Hall ceremonies will be delivered in a licenced room for up to 15 persons. The availability of the licenced rooms will dictate which one is used on the actual day of any ceremony.
The number of guests will remain as above in each of our ceremony rooms as the room can only hold the specified number of guests seated with social distancing measures in place.
Can I be given away / escorted down the aisle ?
Unless the venue set up permits social distancing, which may not to be possible, a person can only be accompanied to the ceremony room. Walking down the aisle with another person may not be permitted if social distancing from seated guests can not be maintained. We are unable to comment on individual set ups so please speak with your venue to confirm your arrangements. If your venue is able to accommodate this, whilst maintaining social distancing, only members of the same household/bubble should walk together. Couples can stand together for the ceremony and walk back down the aisle at the end of the ceremony as long as social distancing is in place to accommodate.
Can I have music at the ceremony?
Music may be played on entrance and exit to your ceremony as long as it does not unreasonably extend the ceremony and is played by a guest who is socially distanced. No music can be played during the ceremony as the guidance states “It is advised that the ceremony is kept as short as possible and limited to the parts of the ceremony that are required to make it legally binding”.
Can I have readings during the ceremony?
We are unable to accommodate any readings to ensure the ceremony is kept as short as possible and limited to the parts of the ceremony that are required to make it legally binding.
Can we exchange rings?
We will, where couples request it, oversee the giving and receiving of rings, however, the rings can only be exchanged if held by one or other of the couple, they cannot be handed to the couple by a third party.
Can children attend the ceremony?
Any children attending the ceremony must be supervised by a household member. (Children must be included in the maximum numbers) Any infants attending must be held throughout the ceremony by a household member.
What can I have in my ceremony?
At present an enhanced ceremony will consist of:
- Declaratory & contractual vows – which is a legal requirement
- Exchange of rings (if requested)
- Invitation to ‘kiss’ once couple declared legally married.
- Completion of the Register and Marriage certificate using pen/ink supplied by GRS
- Conclusion, guests to be invited to offer a round of applause for the couple, who will then lead their guests from the room.
The following aspects will be excluded:
- Formal ‘giving away’ – unless a 2 metre distance can be kept. Please confirm with your venue.
- Music during the ceremony
Am I able to book a new ceremony within Gloucestershire?
If you would like to enquire about a new booking, please telephone the ceremonies team on 01452 425060 (option 3) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that ceremonies can only be booked for venues who have been granted a licence to hold civil ceremonies.
Can I change my ceremony date?
If you would like to change your ceremony date, please telephone the ceremony team on 01452 425060 (option 3) or email email@example.com and we will discuss your options and inform you if an amendment fee is payable.
Can I change my venue?
If you would like to change your venue, please telephone the ceremony team on 01452 425060 (option 3) or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will discuss this with you. Please note: an amendment fee will be payable. You will also be required to have a new notice of marriage/civil partnership, this will be payable as per our current fee list. In some circumstances a fee may not be chargeable if your ceremony has been directly affected by COVID Government restrictions in place.
How do I cancel my ceremony?
If you wish to cancel your ceremony, please email us the details (including your booking reference) We must receive cancellation notification in writing.
Can I give notice of marriage or civil partnership?
During the period of the National Lockdown we will only be taking essential Notice of Marriage / Civil Partnership appointments.
Those couples who live outside of Gloucestershire should contact their local Register Office to find out what arrangements they have put in place for notices which need to be given.
Does my wedding insurance cover the cost of my cancelled ceremony?
Whilst we recommend that you obtain insurance, we are unable to comment on individual cover. Please speak to your insurance provider for full details.