Wedding guide

Wedding guide

Read our Northumberland wedding guide

 

How to book your Northumberland wedding

There are lots of things to think about when planning your wedding. To help, we have outlined everything you need to do in the six steps below. For details on how to convert your civil partnership into a same-sex marriage, please see this page. 

1. Choose your venue

With over 70 different licensed venues, ranging from ancient castles to cosy hotels, Northumberland has the perfect venue for you. Use our search venues tool to find the place that suits you best. To help you decide, read our wedding brochure and look at what wedding fairs may be coming up.

Once you have chosen your venue, book your registrar as soon as possible, even if it is a few years in advance of your ceremony.

2. Book the registrar

Call our wedding co-ordination team on 01665 602870 to book your registrar. If possible, request alternative dates from your venue just in case your preferred date and time isn’t available.

If you have decided to have a combined naming and wedding ceremony, please let the registrar know at this point.
When you book, you will need to pay a non-refundable booking fee. View the price lists below: If you change the date, time or venue of your ceremony, you will need to pay an amendment fee charged at the current rate.

3. Give your notice of marriage (legal preliminaries)

Giving notice is a legal requirement. By giving notice, partners are legally declaring they intend to marry. Both partners must do this in the registration district where they live. They must have lived there for at least the past nine consecutive days. The notice can be given a maximum of 12 months before the ceremony but we recommend you do it as soon as possible.

If you live in Northumberland, you will need to give notice at one of our register offices. Please call us 01665 602 870 to make an appointment. If you live outside Northumberland, please contact your local authority. The appointment will last about 30 minutes for each person and we will need the following information:
  • your name
  • the venue where you intend to marry
  • documents to prove your identity
    • a valid passport or full birth certificate (showing parents' details)
    • proof of address (a bank statement dated within one month, a utility bill dated within three months or a council tax bill dated within 12 months)
    • if applicable, a decree absolute or death certificate for any previous marriage (if a divorce was obtained outside of the British Isles, a fee of up to £75 is payable for it to be considered).
    • for a previous civil partnership, we require a dissolution document  (if the dissolution was obtained outside of the British Isles, a fee of up to £75 is payable for it to be considered).
    • any name change document if you have legally changed your name since birth
The fee to give notice is £35 per person.

A notice of marriage will be displayed in the Morpeth register office for 28 full days. If we don’t receive an objection, then a certificate of marriage will be produced on the 29th day.
 

4. Plan your day

There are lots of ways to personalise your wedding day, so read our personal touches page for inspiration. Our wedding brochure features local suppliers including photographers, musicians, florists and caterers.

The information below does not apply to register office weddings.

We will send you a ceremony arrangement pack after your notice of marriage appointment, which will:
  • help you understand what happens on the day
  • show you the structure of the ceremony and the wording used
  • allow you to choose your legal words
  • give you ideas for the wording you may want to use when exchanging rings
  • suggest ideas for personal promises you could make to each other
  • advise on how to personalise your service
  • give you tips of what you need to do before the ceremony
  • include a ceremony arrangements form to be completed with your decisions at least six weeks before the ceremony
Please remember that yours is a civil ceremony and there should be no religious content.

5. Pay your fees and return your ceremony form

Return your completed ceremony form to us at least six weeks before the service. Please include any outstanding fees and anything that your conducting registrar will need for the ceremony, such as readings. At this point, it is useful for us to know if you would like extra copies of your marriage certificate. If so, please let us know on the bottom of your ceremony form.
Return your completed ceremony forms to:

The Ceremony Co-ordination Team
The Register Office
27 Fenkle Street
Alnwick
NE66 1HW
 
You can pay your fees by:

6. What happens on the day of your marriage?

You will not need any paperwork and all fees will have been paid, leaving you to enjoy your day!

The registrar(s) will arrive approximately 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony. They will check last minute arrangements and will speak to anyone playing a part in the ceremony, to ensure everything runs smoothly. Your best man can also act as your witness. We normally ask that an adult signs alongside any witness who is under 16 years old.

We will speak to your photographer/videographer to confirm we are happy for them to discreetly capture the entire ceremony. The only exception will be the actual signing of the registers, but we will set up a pretend signing immediately after for photographs.
Things to remember:
  • your ceremony should start promptly to ensure our registrars can travel safely to their next wedding
  • we reserve the right to leave your ceremony if we feel the following ceremony will be compromised – this decision will not be taken lightly and we will always consult with you and the venue first
  • bring any of your own promises and readings with you on the day – you could mount them on card and keep them as a memento
  • any music (CD/iPod) should be given directly to the venue
  • During your ceremony a registrar will complete the marriage register. After the ceremony is finished you will be asked to check and sign the register. It is important that you check the register carefully before signing it. If a mistake is found at a later date and you require a correction to be made, a fee of up to £90 is payable.

Copies of your wedding certificate

You will receive one copy of your marriage certificate on the day. If you would like more, please let your registrar know as soon as possible before your wedding day.

If it has been over a month since your marriage, please visit our records page for more information on how to order your copy certificate.
 

Feedback

After the wedding, we would really like to hear how your day went and how you found our service. Please complete the short survey sent to you in your ceremony pack, or email us alnwickreg@northumberland.gov.uk.
 

Religious ceremonies

If you wish to be married by the Church of England, you must contact the vicar or parish administrator. We would not expect to be involved in your wedding.
 

What to do for all other religious ceremonies

If you wish to be married in a church or building of any other religious denomination, you will need to contact the church to see if a registrar is required to register the ceremony.

If so, please contact the ceremony co-ordination team on 01665 602 870 to discuss this with us as soon as possible.
 

Giving notice (legal preliminaries)

In cases where the church has their own ‘appointed person’ to register the ceremony, you will still need to give your notice (legal preliminaries) in the district where you live.

If you live in Northumberland, this can be done at any of our register offices.
Call us on 01665 602 870 to make an appointment.

If you live outside Northumberland, you need to contact your local authority.