These guidance notes are for couples getting married in Chester, who live in England and Wales and intend to marry, by civil ceremony, in an approved premises in Cheshire.
More detailed information about the legal preliminaries to marriage are available from any registrars office and couples are advised to seek advice from a superintendent registrar if they are unsure about any of the information shown below.
1. Booking the Registrars
As soon as a couple have made provisional arrangements for a marriage to take place in approved premises, they should contact the superintendent registrar of the district in which the premises are situated. On the day of the marriage it will be necessary for two registrars to attend, one to conduct the ceremony and the other to register the marriage. Registrars will attend marriages in approved premises from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday and including bank holidays, subject to availability.
It is now possible to book registrars up to two years in advance and couples are advised to contact the appropriate register office as soon as possible. A deposit of £42.00 is required to secure the date and time. The marriage cannot take place without the presence of the registrars.
2. The Notice of Marriage
Although it is not necessary for the couple to reside in the district where they intend to marry, they are required to each give a legal Notice of their intention to marry. This must be done by the bride and groom at their local register office(s). The Notice is valid for 12 months. Notice must be given to the superintendent registrar of the district in which the bride and groom have resided for at least the previous 7 days. A minimum of 15 days must elapse between the giving of the Notice and the day of the marriage. If the couple live in different districts Notice must be given to the superintendent registrar of each district.
3. The Marriage Ceremony
The content of the marriage ceremony must be approved in advance by the superintendent registrar who will be attending on the day. Please note that by law, only a civil ceremony is permitted: any music, reading, works or performance which form part of the ceremony must be secular in nature.The superintendent registrar will be happy to offer advice and guidance to couples who wish to personalise or enhance their marriage ceremony.
The fee for the attendance of the registrars on the day of the marriage will normally be payable at least four weeks in advance. All approval holders will be notified of any changes to these fees.
5. Registrar Contact Details
The Chester Grosvenor is licensed to perform civil wedding ceremonies, in order to book a registrar you will need to contact Cheshire West Registry Office: