Frequently asked questions

Answers to the questions we get asked the most.

Take a look at these questions to see if they answer your query before you submit an enquiry form.

Booking a ceremony or registrar

  • When can I book my ceremony?

This information can be found on the book a registrar page.

  • Can I reserve a date?

Details are on the book a registrar page.

  • How much does the ceremony cost?

Ceremony costs are available on the ceremony fees page.

  • What happens if we need to cancel our ceremony?

This information is available on our ceremony fees page.

  • Can we just turn up to book a ceremony and do the paperwork?

No. You must have an appointment to do the paperwork (give notice) to ensure that a registrar is available to see you and that you have all the relevant documents with you. Guidance on booking and paying for your ceremony is available on the ceremony fees page.

Giving notice

  • When can I give notice?

This information can be found on the arrange a notice appointment page.

  • What do I need to bring to my notice appointment?

Details of the required paperwork are on the documents to take when giving notice page.

  • How much does it cost to give notice?

The charges to give notice are available in the fees section.

  • How can I book a notice appointment?

See our arrange a notice appointment page.

  • Can I bring a translator to the appointment?

This information is available on the legal requirements page.

  • I live in West Sussex - do I have to have my notice appointment in West Sussex?

Details regarding where you must give notice are available in the giving notice overview.

  • What are the opening hours and is there parking available?

There are a number of registration offices that offer notice appointments. Details regarding the facilities of each office are available through the links for the office.

  • Where can I get my decree absolute?

You will need to contact the court where the decree absolute was issued. Further information can be found on GOV.UK.

Personalising your ceremony

  • Where can I get married in West Sussex?

Details are available through our where to hold the ceremony page.

  • Are there any other places we can hold our ceremony?

See our bespoke ceremonies page.

  • Can we have a ceremony outside?

Some venues do have licensed outside structures. Please see the ceremonies brochure or check with your venue.

  • How many guests can we invite?

If your ceremony is taking place at a County Council room check on the relevant room's page on our website. For all other locations you will need to check with your venue directly.

  • Who can witness our ceremony?

See our legal requirements page.

  • How can we personalise our ceremony?

Ceremony choices information can be found on the personalise your ceremony page.

  • Can my father walk me in and give me away?

See our personalise your ceremony page.

  • Can we have our dog as our ring bearer?

Details are on our personalise your ceremony page.

  • Can we throw confetti/rice/rose petals?

If your ceremony is taking place at a County Council room check on the relevant room's page on our website. For all other locations you will need to check with the venue directly.

  • What happens if I forget what I have to say in the ceremony?

You do not need to learn and remember the words you need to say at the ceremony. The registrar will ask you to repeat all vows after them, and will break them down into bite-sized chunks.

  • Where can I find information and guidance about my marriage ceremony?

See our personalise your ceremony page.

Costs and payment

  • How can we pay for our ceremony?

Details are available on the ceremony fees page.

  • What is the cost of extra marriage certificates if ordered prior to the ceremony?

The cost of additional marriage certificates is the same whether ordered before or after the ceremony. Charges are detailed on the ceremony fees page.

Legal requirements

  • What is the difference between a registrar celebrant and and independent celebrant?

There is information regarding the difference on the legal requirements page.

  • What is the difference between a civil partnership and a marriage?

Guidance is available on our types of ceremony page. Details can also be found on the GOV.UK website.

  • Can I convert my civil partnership to a marriage?

Yes. Details are available on the convert your civil partnership to a marriage page.

  • Do I need to re-register my child after marriage?

Yes. Information is available on our legal requirements page and on the re-register a birth page.

  • How do I get an Apostille (legalisation stamp) put on my documents?

You can request for a certificate to be legalised or apostilled.

  • Do I sign the register in my new married name?

No. Please see our legal requirements page for further information.

Name changes

  • Do I need to change my name after the ceremony?

No. Please see information on our legal requirements page.

  • How do I change my name after the ceremony?

This information can be found on our legal requirements page.

  • How do I change the name on my passport before my ceremony?

Details are available on our legal requirements page.

Last updated:
13 August 2019
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