Ceremonies guidance during the pandemic

How living with Covid-19 affects our ceremonies.

1 Overview

During the many changes during the pandemic, we have remained determined to deliver memorable and happy ceremonies for our couples and we will continue to do everything possible to make this happen whilst keeping everyone safe.

We’ve been using the national coronavirus guidance and local specialist COVID-19 risk assessments tailored to our ceremony rooms to keep everyone at ceremonies as safe as possible.

This includes making sure our registration team are not put at unnecessary risk of contracting the virus. If too many registrars self-isolate or are too sick to work, we will be unable to carry out ceremonies for anyone. This is not a situation we want to risk after so many people have waited so long for ceremonies to take place once more.

Although there is no legal requirement to socially distance, whilst we all learn to live with COVID-19, and in keeping with the Government advice to exercise caution, particularly in enclosed and crowded places, we respectfully ask you to remain at a safe working distance from WSCC staff, some of whom will continue to wear face coverings, both at your notice appointment and at ceremonies.

You may be asked to wear a face covering when attending a notice appointment. Your guests are welcome to wear face coverings at ceremonies.

If you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, please let us know immediately so we can reschedule your appointment or ceremony.

2 Capacity at licensed venues

Ceremonies in a licensed venue (hotels, town halls, country houses and so on)

There is currently no limit on those attending ceremonies, other than the capacity limit of the venue to operate safely within their license conditions.

All venues will have their own additional precautions to protect their customers and staff from COVID-19, as part of their risk assessments. Please contact your venue for more information.

Capacity in WSCC ceremony rooms

All our ceremony rooms have been carefully risk assessed and a capacity limit for your guests has been determined to keep everyone reasonably safe.

These are maximum numbers and, should you have unvaccinated/vulnerable guests in your party, you may wish to invite less guests, so they all have plenty of personal space.

3 Notices of marriage or civil partnership

You can find information about notice regulations and how to book a notice appointment on request a notice appointment.

Your safety at notice appointments

To keep everyone reasonably safe whilst we learn to live with COVID , we ask that you continue to wear a face covering while entering and moving around our buildings.

For your safety, and the safety of our registrars, we will conduct the face-to-face notice appointment at a distance of at least two metres, with Perspex screens remaining in place. Please respect the registrar’s personal workspace.

Windows will be open where possible and hand sanitiser will be available in our offices for you to use.

4 Your ceremony

Before your ceremony you will be asked to complete a choices form. This allows you to personalise your ceremony and choose which optional parts you wish to include (except ceremonies in the statutory Register Office in Crawley).

However, whilst we all learn to live with COVID, please take note of the additional guidance below.

Find information about our guidance for your safety at WSCC ceremony rooms.


We ask that you respect the registrar’s personal workspace and continue to maintain approximately two metres during the ceremony, as well as keeping a respectful distance from all staff you encounter during your ceremony.

Hand hygiene

Hand sanitiser will be available at all our WSCC buildings. We recommend that everyone sanitises their hands when they enter the building and before signing the legal paperwork.


Any photographer you employ to attend one of our ceremony rooms counts as a guest. Photographs must be taken with care to respect the registrar's personal space and we recommend that the photographer wears a face covering whilst moving around in the ceremony room. Guests are welcome to take photographs from their seats.

Last updated:
28 September 2023
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