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Book or move a ceremony during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Book or move a ceremony during coronavirus (COVID-19)

What date you can book a new wedding or civil partnership ceremony from, number of guests allowed, what the ceremony can include.

Book a ceremony

We’re only taking new ceremony bookings for dates from 1 June 2021. If you’d like to book a ceremony from then, call us on 0117 9038874. 

This includes: 

If you need to marry before 1 June 2021 because of exceptional circumstances, email register.office@bristol.gov.uk explaining your circumstances.

We’re reviewing the date from which we accept new bookings every month. Keep checking this page for updates.

If you booked an approved ceremony venue before 5 January 2021,and your ceremony is before 1 June 2021, call us on 0117 903 8874 to arrange registrars.

Your ceremony was booked in another district and cancelled

If your ceremony was booked in another district and cancelled, you can book with us. As this is a new ceremony with us, you won’t be able to book a date before 1 June 2021. 

You may need to give a new notice of marriage, depending on when your current notice of marriage expires.  

Move your ceremony

If you already have a ceremony booking with us and would like to change the date, email register.office@bristol.gov.uk or call us on 0117 903 8874 with some alternative dates. We can check availability for you.  

If you’ve given notice and it will have expired by your new ceremony date, you’ll need to give notice again. 

If you move your ceremony to a date after 1 April 2021, you’ll need to pay our 2021 ceremony fees.

Book a notice appointment

You can either:

Our appointments are usually booked up around 6 weeks in advance.

Number of guests allowed

The number of guests you can bring to any ceremony will depend on: 

  • the government guidance on your chosen date
  • room capacity, this must follow any social distancing rules in place

We’ll keep our web pages updated and contact you before your ceremony to confirm numbers. 

If your ceremony is at an approved venue, you should contact them to discuss capacity. 

Photographer

Whether your photographer counts on the guest limit will depend on: 

  • the venue you’ve booked
  • the date of your ceremony

If your ceremony is at Bristol Register Office between the 20 March 2021 and 21 June 2021, email us at register.office@bristol.gov.uk for confirmation.

If your ceremony is at an approved venue, contact them directly.

Children

Children count towards the number of guests for capacity purposes. 

Babies

The Register Office does not count very young babies that must be carried as guests. 

Babies must be seated with a parent or guardian throughout the ceremony. 

If your ceremony is at an approved venue, you should contact them for guidance on very young babies.   

Children of all ages, including very young babies, count as a guest in the Statutory Room.

Seating of guests

The seats in our rooms at the Register office are laid out to meet the current social distancing guidelines, so that the building can stay certified as COVID-secure. 

The current capacities of our rooms at the Register office are based on the maximum number of people we can safely seat, while following social distancing guidelines. We cannot go over this number, regardless of whether people are in bubbles. 

We cannot rearrange chairs so people in bubbles can seat together, due to our busy ceremony schedule.

During the ceremony

Readings 

Current government guidelines state that a ceremony must be as brief as possible. We cannot allow any extras such as readings or poetry.

Music and singing

In line with current government guidance, we cannot allow musical instruments or singing at ceremonies. 

You can, however, have recorded music played. Contact us or your approved venue to talk about your requirements.