West Berkshire Council

Marriages and Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Advice and guidance about marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

If you're planning to be married in England or Wales you've got a choice whether to have a religious marriage in a church, chapel or other religious building, or a civil marriage ceremony.

Notice of Marriage

Unless you are marrying in the Church of England or Church of Wales by Banns or Common Licence, notice must be given by each of you, in person, to your local Superintendent Registrar. No one else can give notice on your behalf. You must both have been resident in the district for at least seven days before a notice can be given. If you live in different registration districts then each of you will need to give notice in your own district.

Types of ceremony

Civil Marriage (Non-Church Ceremonies)

You may marry in any register office or approved premise of your choice in England and Wales. 

Our register office is located at Shaw House, Newbury. There are two rooms available depending on the type of ceremony you require. A simple ceremony with up to six guests can take place in our register office room, which is available on a Monday morning.  Alternatively you can choose to use the ceremony room which holds up to 46 guests, and is available Tuesday to Saturday.

There are also many other licensed venues in West Berkshire - we've put together doc icon a list of approved premises [118kb] to help you find one that suits you. You should get in touch with your chosen venue to discuss available dates - it's best to ask about a selection of dates, as you'll also need to contact us to check when we're available. We'll do our best to accommodate your chosen date and time, but we have a large number of venues to attend and your choice may be restricted at popular times.

Whichever civil venue you choose in West Berkshire, please telephone us to make a booking and we'll explain the next steps to you.

pdf icon Read about our current fees [55kb] - you can also pay for your Marriage Ceremony online once you've given notice of marriage.

Religious Ceremonies

If you're getting married in a Church of England church you should make all your arrangements with the Minister of that church. They will advise you about Banns of Marriage, fees and other legal formalities. For more information about getting married in church, please see Your Church Wedding.

If you are marrying at any other religious building you should first contact the Minister for that building. Usually the building must be in the registration district in which you or your partner live, or be the usual place of worship of one of you. You should then contact the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you reside, to make arrangements to give legal Notice of Marriage. You may also need to book a Registrar to be present at the ceremony, if the building does not have its own Appointed Person.

Marrying Abroad

If you are planning to get married abroad you must comply with the legal requirement of that country. Contact the relevant embassy for further information. If they ask you to produce a Certificate of No Impediment you should contact the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you live.

Civil Partnerships

Same sex couples can chose to formalise their partnership by registering their Civil Partnership instead of getting married. Couples seeking advice on whether to choose a marriage or a civil partnership may find this webpage comparing civil partnerships and marriage useful. If you would like to register your civil partnership in West Berkshire please telephone us to make a booking.

Who To Contact