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Marriage ceremonies

Your ceremony is important to us and we want to make it special for you.

Marriages are permitted in buildings that are licensed for marriage and in register offices. The law does not allow for marriage ceremonies to be held in the open air, in a tent or marquee, in a hot air balloon or at a private address.

Both opposite sex and same sex couples can marry in a civil premise or in a religious building which has been licensed for this purpose.

Conversion of civil partnership to marriage: If you are currently in a civil partnership then from 10 December 2014 you will have the opportunity to convert your partnership into a marriage. The final details are still being agreed but you will both be required to attend at a register office and provide certain evidence of your identity along with your civil partnership certificate. A declaration will be made and signed and a marriage certificate will be issued. Alternatively it will be possible to complete the conversion in two stages by providing the declaration information at the first stage and then completing the conversion and siging the declaration as part of a ceremony at a later date.  For more information, details on the fees payable or to make an appointment please ring Peterborough Register Office.

A marriage ceremony may be held here at the register office or at one of several licensed venues which are approved for ceremonies. Provisionally booking the date and time of your ceremony with us up to a year in advance will give you greater choice of dates and times. To make arrangements for a ceremony at a licensed venue you will need to co-ordinate the date and time with both your chosen venue and the register office so that two registrars are available to take the ceremony and complete the register.

What do I need to do?

After you have provisionally booked your ceremony with us, there are legal requirements to fulfil before the booking can be confirmed. You are required to complete civil preliminaries by giving a "notice of intention to marry" to the register office in the district in which you have lived for the past seven days. The legal notices must be given at least  sixteen days, before the date of your ceremony and can be given up to one year beforehand.  Important:  From 02 March 2015 this notice period will change to a minimum of 28 days. If you are subject to immigration control the notice period could be extended to 70 days. It is therefore vital that you make an appointment to give your notice of intention as soon as possible or your ceremony date cannot be guaranteed. 

What happens next?

You will need to make an appointment by contacting Peterborough Register Office and:

  • Both attend the appointment together (if you both live in this district).
  • Provide TWO identity documents for each person. One of these documents must be a current passport in order to prove your nationality, plus a birth certificate, current driving licence or medical card. If you were born in the UK and do not have a passport then you may produce your full birth certificate (showing parents’ details) in order to prove your nationality. If you were born in the UK after 1 January 1983 and do not have a passport then you will need to provide your full birth certificate as well as the full birth certificates of your parents. Please ring us here at the Register Office for further advice and guidance if in any doubt.
  • Provide proof of address (such as a bank statement or utility bill) to confirm that you have been resident in our district for the seven days immediately before the notice appointment. This should be dated within the last three monhs.
  • Provide proof of divorce (original decree absolute or a certificated copy only from the court) or proof of death of previous spouse (death certificate and marriage certificate) if previously married.
  • Proof of name change, if applicable
  • Pay a non-returnable notice fee of £35.00 each
  • Pay the full fee that is applicable to your ceremony (as advised by the Registrar at time of booking). Please note our cancellation and amendment policy as detailed below. We accept payment by cash or cheque/postal order or credit/debit card (payment by credit/debit card is subject to a £1 administration charge)  
  • Confirm the venue.  If the venue is changed after the notice has been given a new notice must be given
  • All documents should be in English or accompanied by a translation.
    Please bring a translator to the appointment, if either of you does not understand English well as you cannot translate for each other.  If you are unable to bring your own translator, it may be possible for us to book one on your behalf but there will be a fee charged to you for this service.  Please contact us for further details.
  • If you are under 18 years old please contact us.
  • If you are not from an E.U. country you may only be able to give your notice of marriage at a specially designated register office and Peterborough is such an office. Please contact us for further guidance.
  • If you wish to have a marriage ceremony abroad, please contact the appropriate embassy or consulate for advice.
  • If you are in any doubt as to which documents will be required or need further information for your marriage, please contact Peterborough Register Office.
  • The ceremony cannot go ahead unless all the legal formalities have been completed.

Ceremonies at a licensed venue:

If your ceremony is at a licensed venue then, after your appointment, you will be given a ceremony pack containing information about your day and details of the choice we can offer you for your ceremony. We will ask you to make an appointment to see us again one month before the ceremony so we can discuss the choices and arrangements you have made for your special day.

Ceremonies are not held on a Bank Holiday.  Other than assistance dogs, we do not allow animals at ceremonies.

The fees for the two registrars to attend at a licensed venue are: 

 For ceremonies held: Monday to Friday Saturday and Sunday
 Up to 31 March 2015 £425 £475
 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 £450 £500

Ceremonies at the Register Office:

We can offer you a choice of two ceremony rooms here at Peterborough - "The Lawns" room or the Register Office room.

wedding arch After your appointment, you will be given a ceremony pack containing information about the day and details of the choices we can offer you for your ceremony. We will also show you the ceremony room that you have chosen. There is free car parking available and an old stone archway in the gardens as a setting for photographs following the ceremony. The building is easily accessible for ceremonies with all rooms on the ground floor, double doors and facilities for the disabled. Other than assistance dogs, we do not allow animals into the building or at ceremonies.

Due to the design of the building, we are unable to avoid you being seen by your guests on the day, but it may be possible to ensure that you are not seen by each other depending on the ceremony room you have chosen. You are welcome to bring a photographer and also have a video of your ceremony taken if you wish (using a battery-operated video camera).

View video footage of a wedding at Peterborough Register Office

"The Lawns" Ceremony Room

This is an elegant room which accommodates up to 30 guests and you are offered a range of choices so that you can personalise and enhance your ceremony. The flower arrangements are changed with the seasons and a loop hearing system improves the ceremony for the hard of hearing.register office ceremony room

We have a music system available if you wish to include music within your ceremony. You can also add to your choice of ceremony by making an entrance, the best man/woman bringing forward the rings or a short reading. This should be discussed and agreed beforehand with the Superintendent Registrar when we take the notice and should not include anything of a religious nature.

View "The Lawns" ceremony room using our virtual tour:

Quicktime file  Virtual tour

The Register Office ceremony room

This ceremony room accommodates up to six guests and offers you a simple and less formal ceremony.


Register Office:  The fee for a ceremony in the Register Office room is £46.

“The Lawns”: 

 For ceremonies held:                      Monday            Friday and Saturday
 Up to 31 March 2015 £200 £280
 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 £210 £300

Ceremonies are not held on a Bank Holiday or on Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays.

Witnesses and Certificates

For all ceremonies, you must have two people with you to witness that the vows have been repeated and to sign the register. These witnesses must be aged over 18 years and speak and understand English. A marriage certificate is issued at the time of the ceremony and costs £4.00 if requested in advance or on the day. Certificates applied for after the ceremony day will cost £7.00 from a current register or £10.00 from a lodged register.

Passport Form PD2

If you are going abroad immediately after your ceremony and are changing your surname, you can apply to the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) for a new ten-year passport to be issued in your new name up to three months in advance of your ceremony date. The passport would be post-dated to the date of the ceremony and will not be valid for use until the ceremony has taken place.

Form PD2 "Passports for newly weds and civil partners" is available from any passport office or by downloading  from GOV.UK.

Part 1 of the form needs to be completed by the Superintendent Registrar who will be performing the ceremony. Please contact us to make an appointment to do this and a fee of £20 is payable. You will then need to complete Part 2 and submit it with your passport application.

Cancellation and amendment policy

In the event that you need to cancel a ceremony for which you have already paid, you will be required to provide your request in writing and it will be subject to the following guidelines:

Six months or more notice of cancellation - full refund (less a £20 administration fee)

Three to six months notice of cancellation - 50% refund (less a £20 administration fee)

Less than three months notice of cancellation (or failure to cancel) - no refund

In the event that you need to change the DATE of your ceremony:

A £20 administration fee will be payable

In the event that you need to change the TIME (but not the date) of your ceremony:

No administration fee will be payable.

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