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Changes to Register Office services due to coronavirus

Changes to Register Office services due to coronavirus

Temporary changes to how you register deaths and still births, marriages and civil partnerships, and how to get certificates, due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Marriage and civil partnerships

Notice appointments

You can give notice for a marriage or civil partnership.

Not all venues have reopened for weddings or civil partnership ceremonies. If you've booked a place of worship or an approved venue for your ceremony, check with them before booking your notice appointment. 

If you decide to give notice and your venue doesn't reopen in time, you'll need to give notice again when you have a new date for your ceremony. Check the costs section of our guide to planning your marriage or civil partnership ceremony for information about fees.

Ceremonies for marriages and civil partnerships 

From 19 July 2021 the number of guests who can attend your ceremony has increased. The maximum number that can attend is based on how many people the venue can safely accommodate with one metre social distancing, ventilation, and access to and from the building:

  • the Statutory Room: up to 4 people plus the couple
  • the Mayoral Room: up to 20 people plus the couple
  • the Lantern Room: up to 30 people plus the couple
  • the Grand Council Chamber: up to 60 people plus the couple

If you'd like to bring a photographer, they must be included in these numbers.

You must give proof that all attendees over 16 years of age are not infectious, with one of the following:

  • certification via text message or email from NHS Test and Trace of a negative NHS COVID-19 lateral flow (rapid) test result taken in the 48 hours prior to attending
  • your NHS COVID-19 Pass confirming double COVID-19 vaccination received at least 2 weeks prior to attending the event via the NHS App
  • proof of COVID-19 status through demonstrating natural immunity, for example with a positive NHS PCR test in the last 180 day, via the NHS COVID-19 pass on the NHS App   
  • proof of a negative lateral flow (rapid) test taken 48 hours prior to attendance for visitors from outside the UK, demonstrated via a text message or email

We cannot accommodate requests for extra guests.

If you're holding your ceremony in one of the approved venues within Bristol, contact them for further advice on capacity. 

Postponed ceremonies

If your marriage or civil partnership ceremony has been postponed and your legal notice has expired, you'll need to give a new notice. This applies even if the new date is for the same venue.

Cancel a ceremony

Email register.office@bristol.gov.uk to cancel a ceremony and ask for a refund of the ceremony fee. The notice and booking fees are non refundable.

It can take up to 8 weeks to process a refund.  

Deaths and still births

We're only registering deaths and still births by phone.

See register a death to make a phone appointment. 

We’ll take your contact details, and a registrar will call you to register the death or still birth as soon as they're available. You’ll be able to ask questions when they call. They’ll ask if you want to use government’s Tell Us Once service on GOV.UK. 

We need the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) to register a death. The hospital or GP can send the MCCD to us. If you have the MCCD, take a photo of it and send it to us by email, we'll tell you how when we call you. 

We’ll send you any certificate that you order and pay for or by post. 

Certificates

Family history certificates

We’re not providing copies of family history certificates at the moment. 

Getting your birth, death or marriage or civil partnership certificate

Birth, death and marriage certificates will be posted to you.  You will not be able to collect them at the Register Office.

If you require a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate urgently, apply online stating the reason for the urgency.