Getting Married in Staffordshire
A marriage is formed by spoken vows performed in a ceremony witnessed by two people, followed by the signing of a marriage schedule. It is a legal contract between two people, within licensed premises. This can be a Registration Office, our County Buildings or an Approved Venue. Your choice of ceremony can be included. Entering into a marriage changes the legal status for both of you.
A civil partnership is formed by you and your partner signing a civil partnership document witnessed by two people (signing only). It is a legal contract between two people, within licensed premises. This can be a Registration Office, our County Buildings or an Approved Venue.
If you wish, you may want to include a ceremony. This will allow you to have more choice and more than two people present. Registering a civil partnership changes the legal status for both of you.
The Difference Between Marriages and Civil Partnerships
The main difference between the two legal relationships is that a marriage is formed by spoken vows performed in a ceremony, before signing a marriage schedule.
Whereas a civil partnership is formed by signing a civil partnership document. You may wish to include a ceremony.
If it is signing only this can only take place at a Registration Office and you can only have two witnesses present.
Your ceremony, your way
Naturally you will have your own ideas for your ceremony which are very personal to you. So we work closely with you, within our legal boundaries, to ensure yours is just perfect.
With that in mind, we offer two ceremony packages for your special day, Traditional and Enhanced. The main difference is that the Enhanced Ceremony gives you more options to make your ceremony more personal – but no matter which you choose, your ceremony can have your choice of music, readings and promises (personal vows), providing there is no religious content.
If you wish to hold your ceremony in a religious building the law is slightly different.
Marriages and Civil Partnerships can take place in churches, but they have to be registered or licensed for this purpose. If you are planning to marry in a religious building, it’s advisable to speak with the church first. They will tell you if you have to ‘give notice’ at the Registration Office.
You need to reserve your venue first before checking the availability of the registration service. When you book with us, you will be asked to pay a non-refundable booking fee.
We also offer ceremonies within our County Buildings, with room hire available. If you book one of these a few years in advance, note that the ceremony fee may be subject to change.
If you are not sure about anything and would like to speak to the Ceremony Support Team, we’re always on hand to help. You will also find our wedding planner timeline useful to plan your ceremony – it covers everything you need to do and when.