Coronavirus (COVID-19) - wedding and civil partnership ceremonies

The Registration Service has been working hard to make sure that safety measures are in place, and we are are now able to offer appointments to register the birth of your baby and marriage notices.  Our offices reopened on Monday 20 July 2020.

Since 4 July we have been able to deliver weddings and civil partnerships at external venues (e.g. venues not part of the registrar service) following the latest government guidance.  From 27 July, weddings and civil partnerships can start again in our Registration Offices.  Ceremonies may be different because of the current restrictions and guidelines in place, but we are committed to doing all we can to give our couples a truly beautiful and memorable ceremony experience on their special day.

Over the coming months as our services start again they will be delivered differently to make sure we minimise the risks of infection for customers and staff as a result of COVID-19. 

Even with these restrictions we remain committed to providing the best customer experience possible and we thank you for your patience and support.

Service information:

Birth

Death or Still-birth

Notice of Intent for Marriage or Civil Partnership

Ceremonies

Certificates 

Corrections and Re-registrations

Ceremonies update 23 September 2020

Weddings and Civil partnerships can take place at our Registration Offices and at external venues providing the current government guidance is followed. 

On 22 September the Prime Minister announced that wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships were restricted to 15 people. This includes the couple and 2 witnesses, it does not include the 2 ceremony officers and any third party suppliers - for example a photographer. It is expected that these restrictions will be in place for the next 6 months.

Should you wish to cancel your ceremony our normal refund policy will apply. Reschedules made as a direct result of this announcement will not be charged an amendment fee. 

Ceremonies may be different because of the current restrictions and guidelines in place, but we are committed to doing all we can to give our couples a truly beautiful and memorable ceremony experience on their special day.

We have resumed taking bookings for Weddings and Civil Partnerships, bookings can be made up to 2 years in advance. 

Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, but please note your call may be held in a queue as our team are currently experiencing high volumes of calls due to the latest announcement. We thank you in advance for your patience.

    In July our Ceremonies resumed in both our register office buildings and external venues following government restrictions and guidance. Ceremonies may be different due to the current restrictions and guidelines in place, but we are committed to doing all we can to give our couples a truly beautiful and memorable ceremony experience on your special day.

    If your ceremony is in the next 4 weeks you should have received an email from us with important information about your ceremony and a link to access and complete your ceremony planner. If you have not received this please email us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk 

    We will reschedule your booking free of charge. If you wish to cancel our normal cancellation policy will apply. the dates we can offer you will depend upon the expiry date of your marriage notices and our current availability.  Changes made to the type of ceremony, or day of the week on which the ceremony is to be held may incur an additional fee.

    Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, but please note your call may be held in a queue as our team are currently experiencing high volumes of calls due to the latest announcement. We thank you in advance for your patience.

    Our ceremonies may look and feel different under Covid-19 restrictions but we are committed to providing a special ceremony for you to remember. The health and safety of you, your guests, our colleagues and staff at our approved venues is very important, we have been working with our venues to make sure appropriate measures are in place. Please take the time to read and understand the guidance below before the day of your ceremony. Please share this information with those joining you on the day.

    • No-one should attend a ceremony if they or a member of their household has had any Covid-19 symptoms in the 14 days prior to the ceremony date.
    • No more than 15 people should attend a ceremony. Please note - this includes the happy couple and the witnesses, it does not include the 2 ceremony officers and any third party suppliers - for example a photographer . The maximum number able to attend will depend upon the size of your ceremony room so please check with your chosen venue.
    • Social distancing guidelines will apply. Please adhere to all signage and floor markings. People from different households should adhere to social distancing at all times.
    • Please wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before and after the ceremony, following any exchange of rings and signing of register. Hand sanitising facilities will be provided by the venue.
    • It is mandatory for all guests at a ceremony in a registry office/approved venue to wear a face covering (unless exempt for medical reasons).  Face coverings will not have to be worn by the bride, groom, civil partners or Registration staff (although the member of the team performing your ceremony may choose to do so).  You will need to make sure your guests provide their own face coverings as we will not be able to provide them.
    • Readings and Personalised Vows Ceremony timeframes are being kept to a minimum therefore no readings or personalised vows will be included.
    • Arrival of Ceremony party - all persons must arrive 20 minutes prior to the ceremony time.
    • Vulnerable Adults, Infants and Children - to minimise risk vulnerable adults, infants and children should avoid attending ceremonies during Covid-19 restrictions, how-ever this is at the couples' discretion. Any infant must be held by a parent / guardian or member of their own household.
    • Any infant must be held by a parent / guardian or member of their own household. Pre-school children will be permitted to sit on laps, children aged 5 should be seated on their own chair and therefore will be included in numbers.  Infants and children should be included in the total number of guests.
    • Animals - please avoid including animals in your ceremony plans. Any animal present is at the discretion of the couple and the venue and must be kept on a lead or held at all times.
    • Pre-Ceremony Interviews - these will take place in person before the ceremony and will be kept as short as possible.
    • Entrance to the Ceremony Room - social distancing measures should be maintained throughout the ceremony including persons walking down the aisle.
    • Exchange of rings - to limit contact one partner should have responsibility for safe keeping of the rings.
    • Signing of the register - the ceremony team will indicate where to sign this will be carried out adhering to social distancing guidelines. The couple and their witnesses will be provided with a pen to sign the register or you may bring your own pen (blue or black permanent ink).
    • Music Singing, shouting or raised voices should be avoided. The use of musical instruments should be in accordance with current government guidelines and must be agreed prior to the ceremony with the registration service. Recorded music must be supplied by the couple and played on your own device or arrangements for playing made prior to the ceremony with the venue.
    • Certificates - certificates will be issued after the ceremony and posted to the couple. No certificates will be issued on the day.
    • Photography - photographers attending will not be counted in your party of 15. Photo opportunities may be restricted and are at the discretion of the Superintendent Registrar.

    If the attending Superintendent Registrar feels the appropriate safety measures are not in place or are not adhered to, they reserve the right to refuse to proceed with the ceremony.

    Our ceremonies may look and feel different under Covid-19 restrictions but we are committed to providing a special ceremony for you to remember. The health and safety of you, your guests, our colleagues and staff at our Registration Offices is of paramount importance.  Please take the time to read and understand the guidance below prior to the day of your ceremony. Please share this information with those joining you on the day.

    • No-one should attend a ceremony if they or a member of their household has had any Covid-19 symptoms in the 14 days prior to the ceremony date.
    • The government guidance of no more than 15 people includes the happy couple and the witnesses, it does not include the 2 ceremony officers and any third party suppliers - for example a photographer. 
    • Please note - the numbers able to attend ceremonies in our offices varies according to venue.  We have produced seating plans for each of our venues which provide further information on the number of guests able to attend.
    • Children under the age of 4 are permitted to sit on laps, children aged 5 and over will need to be seated on their own chair and will be included in the number of guests. Infants and children should be included in the total number of guests.
    • Social distancing guidelines will apply. Please adhere to all signage and floor markings. People from different house-holds should adhere to social distancing at all times.
    • It is mandatory for all guests at a ceremony in a registry office/approved venue to wear a face covering (unless exempt for medical reasons).  Face coverings will not have to be worn by the bride, groom, civil partners or Registration staff (although the member of the team performing your ceremony may choose to do so).  You will need to make sure your guests provide their own face coverings as we will not be able to provide them. 
    • Our officers will wash or sanitise their hands between each ceremony and we will wipe down desks and chairs before you enter the room and waiting area
    • Please wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before and after the ceremony, following any exchange of rings and signing of register. Hand sanitising facilities will be provided by the venue.
    • As per government guidelines no confetti is permitted to be thrown inside or in the grounds of our buildings.
    • Statutory ceremonies are for the couple plus 2 witnesses only. In Kendal this may take place in either of the 2 rooms dependent upon other ceremonies taking place that day.

    Seating plans

    Arriving and Leaving:

    • Make sure you allow enough time for parking and confirmation of your arrival at our office
    • Arrival of Ceremony party - all persons must arrive 20 minutes before the ceremony time
    • Please note you may be asked to wait outside the building until the ceremony officer is available to greet you
    • Follow the signs around the building carefully and listen to any safety instructions given by our officers
    • On arrival, you will be asked to use hand sanitiser before moving through the building. We would recommend doing this again as you leave for your personal protection
    • You may be asked to wait in a specific waiting area. Please do not wander from this area. Our layout has been carefully planned to keep everyone as safe as possible.
    • For the time you are in our building, please observe social distancing at all times of 2 metres. 
    • When you leave the building the officer will explain how to exit. Please carefully follow this guidance as there may be a one way flow which means you exit through a different door than when you arrived.

    During the Ceremony:

    • Pre-Ceremony Interviews - these will take place in person prior to the ceremony and will be kept as short as possible.
    • Entrance to the Ceremony Room - social distancing measures should be maintained throughout the ceremony including persons walking down the aisle.
    • Readings and Personalised Vows Ceremony timeframes are being kept to a minimum therefore no readings or personalised vows will be included.
    • Vulnerable Adults, Infants and Children - to minimise risk vulnerable adults, infants and children should avoid attending ceremonies during Covid-19 restrictions, how-ever this is at the couples' discretion. Any infant must be held by a parent / guardian or member of their own household.
    • Animals - are not permitted in our register offices.
    • Exchange of rings - to limit contact one partner should have responsibility for safe keeping of the rings.
    • Signing of the register - the ceremony team will indicate where to sign this will be carried out adhering to social distancing guidelines. The couple and their witnesses will be provided with a pen to sign the register or you may bring your own pen (blue or black permanent ink).
    • Music Singing, shouting or raised voices should be avoided. Due to limited space no singing or live music performances are permitted in our register offices. Recorded music must be supplied by the couple and played on your own device or arrangements for playing made prior to the ceremony with the venue.
    • Certificates - certificates will be issued after the ceremony and posted to the couple. No certificates will be issued on the day.
    • Photography - please check our seating plans to establish if there is space for a photographer in the register office room. Photo opportunities may be restricted and are at the discretion of the Superintendent Registrar.

    We will reschedule your booking free of charge and if you wish to cancel our normal refund policy applies. Please note the dates we can offer you will depend upon the expiry date of your marriage notices.  Changes made to the type of ceremony, or day of the week on which the ceremony is to be held may incur an additional fee.

    Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, but please note your call may be held in a queue as our team are currently experiencing high volumes of calls due to the latest announcement. We thank you in advance for your patience.

    We are taking bookings for weddings and civil partnerships up to 2 years in advance. Unfortunately, until government restrictions are lifted on non-statutory ceremonies, we cannot take bookings for naming ceremonies, renewal of vows and bespoke ceremonies. 

    Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, please note your call may be held in a queue as our team experience high volumes of calls at peak times of the day. We thank you in advance for your patience.

    From 20 July notice of marriage/civil partnership can commence again in our Registration Offices.  

    We are prioritising these appointments in date order for the next few months. 

    Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, please note your call may be held in a queue as our team experience high volumes of calls at peak times of the day. We thank you in advance for your patience.

    At this stage, there has been no change in legislation to allow the validity of the notice period to be extended. If you have already given your notice of marriage / civil partnership, your notice will be valid for a period of 12 months only from the date you gave notice.

    If you reschedule your marriage / civil partnership to more than 12 months after the date on which you originally gave notice, you will be required to give notice and pay the statutory notice fee again. If you have chosen to move your ceremony to another venue, you will also be required to give notice again.

    If you need to attend an appointment to give new notices we will waive the fee in the following circumstance: If the Original ceremony date has been cancelled by Cumbria Registration Service as a direct result of Covid-19 and you are attending a notice appointment at a Cumbria Registration Office.

    The fee for giving notice is a government set statutory fee and we are therefore not able to waive any fees charged by other Registration Districts for notice appointments at this time.

    From 20 July notice of marriage/civil partnership can commence again in our Registration Offices.  

    We are prioritising these appointments in date order for the next few months. 

    Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, please note your call may be held in a queue as our team experience high volumes of calls at peak times of the day. We thank you in advance for your patience.

    From 20 July notice of marriage/civil partnership can commence again in our Registration Offices.  

    We are prioritising these appointments in date order for the next few months. 

    Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, please note your call may be held in a queue as our team experience high volumes of calls at peak times of the day. We thank you in advance for your patience.

    All ceremonies are due for payment within 12 weeks of the ceremony date. If you are having difficulties please email us ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk to discuss your options. We will not be charging late payment fees in the current circumstances.

    Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, please note your call may be held in a queue as our team experience high volumes of calls at peak times of the day. We thank you in advance for your patience.

    We are committed to helping you reschedule your ceremony to another date.  If you would like to cancel your ceremony our normal refund policy will apply.  Please contact us on ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk.