Terms and conditions for marriages and civil partnerships

Civil marriage and civil partnership ceremony bookings

Your ceremony booking is accepted on condition that:

  • no legal impediment to the marriage or civil partnership exists and legal preliminaries are completed within statutory time limits
  • any foreign divorce/dissolution papers are accepted by the Registrar General where applicable
  • the ceremony fee is paid
  • the requested date and time of the ceremony is available

Right to cancel

You have the right to cancel any contract made on-line or over the phone within 14 days without giving any reason.

Cancellation rights

Under the Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 you have the right to cancel this appointment and receive a full refund of the fee you have paid to us if you do so within fourteen days. 

To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel this contract either by post or email. If you inform us of a cancellation electronically, we will acknowledge receipt.

To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to have sent your communication concerning your wish to exercise the right to cancel, before the cancellation period has expired.

We will make the reimbursement without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which we are informed about your decision to cancel this contract

We will make the reimbursement using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction, unless you have paid by cash and then a cheque refund will be given. In any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of the reimbursement.

Ceremony fees

The ceremony fee is payable at the time of booking. The ceremony fee will include the statutory fee for one certificate.

The Council’s fees are reviewed annually and new fees are published each January for the year, but may also be subject to change at other times. If your ceremony is booked to take place the following year, there may be a price increase. Where that increase is known you will be charged the correct rate upon booking. If an increase is agreed that was not known at the time of booking you will be notified and sent an invoice for the balance between 4 and 8 weeks prior to the ceremony, you will need to pay the balance by the due date and prior to the ceremony.

If you wish to move the date, time or venue for your ceremony within 14 days of your booking there will be no charge.  However, an admin fee of £24 will be charged to make any change after the 14-day period has ended.  If you are within 8 weeks of your ceremony date you will also be charged an additional £17.

Cancellation of booking by couple

Any ceremony payments made will be subject to the following refund schedule:

  • between 14 days from booking and 3 months before the ceremony date - you will receive a 75% refund of the ceremony fees plus all certificate fees paid
  • between three months and 30 days before the ceremony date - you will receive a 50% refund of the ceremony fees plus all certificate fees paid
  • less than 30 days before the ceremony or failure to cancel in writing before the ceremony date – we will only refund certificate fees paid.  We will not refund any ceremony fees

Please note - the Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership fee is non-refundable.

Ceremony content

The Registration Service will provide the ceremony.

Statutory Ceremonies held at the Court House

Ceremonies held at the Court House for the couple and two witnesses only are basic ceremonies without any enhancements.

Ceremonies held at Approved Venues including enhanced ceremonies at the Court House

  • marriage or civil partnership ceremonies are delivered at an approved venue of your choice
  • the content of the ceremony has a range of additional options that need to be agreed with the Registration Service in advance of the ceremony
  • marriage or civil partnership registrations delivered at our Registration Offices are subject to specific booking conditions and availability
  • dome elements of a marriage or civil partnership registration are prescribed by law and are not subject to customisation
  • the Registration Service reserves the right to make the final decision on any wording used and will not accept liability for any omission, which may be caused by reasons beyond its control
  • there must be no religious content whatsoever
  • we encourage you to personalise the ceremony with your own choice of readings, music and additional vows – subject to the ceremony content remaining appropriate and dignified
  • all choices for music, readings, vows and any other content spoken by someone other than the Registrars must be updated via your ceremony account at least two weeks prior to the ceremony

Our team

The Registration Service will allocate Registrars to attend your ceremony and reserves the right to substitute other experienced and qualified staff in case of sickness or other unforeseen circumstances on the day.

Room capacity

For fire, safety and comfort the number of persons must not exceed the published licensed capacity of the room. Additional guests will not be able to remain in the ceremony room. Visit our marriages and civil partnerships page for venue information.

Ceremonies outside

Ceremonies at approved venues can be held outside. This, however, does not currently apply to ceremonies held at the Court House.

If your ceremony is due to take place in a linked outside area, the venue Responsible Person or deputy will, 30 minutes in advance of the ceremony or on arrival of the Registration Service team whichever is the sooner, decide if the ceremony can take place outdoors or whether to move the ceremony indoors. If there is any likelihood of any precipitation during the duration of the ceremony, or any other adverse weather conditions, it must be moved inside.  Venues will be advised to set up for both options.

Late start of a ceremony

The Registration Service will not accept any liability where a ceremony is postponed on the day due to the late arrival of the couple and or any guests. We reserve the right to take appropriate action to ensure other ceremonies our staff need to attend are delivered at the agreed time.  It may not be possible for the ceremony to be re-arranged for later the same day and therefore may have to be re-arranged for another day.

Should Registration Service staff find they have been unavoidably delayed, they undertake to contact the venue to let them know of the situation and an expected arrival time.

Contact details

We can be contacted on 0300 300 8089 or life.events@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.