What is a Civil Marriage?
A Civil Marriage is a non-religious wedding ceremony conducted by a local council official called a registrar at an approved venue.
Both The Morning Room and The Bandstand at Pendrell Hall are approved civil marriage locations licensed for civil weddings and civil partnerships for up to 170 guests.
Same sex couples now have the option of a marriage ceremony or a civil partnership ceremony. A ceremony is booked in the same way for both same sex and opposite sex weddings.
Planning Your Civil Marriage
Aside from the obvious… meet someone special, fall in love, get engaged! The next step when planning your civil marriage is to choose your wedding venue and reserve a date for your wedding before ringing the local registrar’s office to reserve the registrar.
If you’ve booked Pendrell Hall for your wedding you need to contact Staffordshire County Council’s Registrar. You’ll find them very helpful and happy to answer any queries you might have. When you call, they’ll ask you for details of your wedding venue, the date you wish to get married and the time you’d like to hold the ceremony.
You can secure your chosen ceremony slot with a non-refundable £75 Booking Fee payable directly to the Registration Office.
Fees for the registrar to conduct your civil marriage ceremony at Pendrell Hall are £400 Monday to Saturday and £450 on Sundays & Bank Holidays. Please be aware that fees must be paid directly to Staffordshire’s Registration Office at least 4 weeks prior to the wedding.
You can contact the Registration Office directly on
0300 111 8001
Both you and your partner are legally required to ‘give notice’ of your intent to marry. You need to book an appointment to give notice at your local Registration Office.
The earliest you can give notice is 12 months prior to the date of the marriage or civil partnership and you must give notice at least 30 days before the wedding.
You must give notice at the Registration Office in the district where you have lived for seven full days immediately prior to you giving notice. So if you live outside Staffordshire you give notice at your local Registration Office even though a Staffordshire based registrar will be conducting your civil marriage.
You don’t have to attend the appointment as a couple, you could make two separate appointments, but you both have to give notice, at which time you’ll be asked to provide proof of ID and pay a fee of £35 each.
Personalise Your Ceremony
A civil marriage ceremony cannot have any religious content but you can add your own promises to the legal wording of the vows and select a couple of readings to make the ceremony more meaningful to you.
It is said that music is the gateway to the soul, by choosing a civil wedding you have the option to play music that really speaks to you. The Bride’s entrance is a pivotal moment and you can select a suitably moving piece of music, likewise your first steps as man and wife present a great opportunity to add a little individuality to your ceremony with a stand out piece of music.
Just remember to send your individual choices for the ceremony into the Registration Office at least 30 days prior to your wedding for approval and don’t forget to pay your ceremony fee at least 4 weeks before the wedding.
On The Day
In the movies, the bride is often fashionably late for her wedding but in reality the registrars often have another ceremony booked after yours at another location and can’t wait if you’re running late – another great reason to get ready onsite in our fabulous ‘Love is Enough’ Bridal
Preparation Suite – you can’t be late if you’re already there!
The Registrars will want a few moments with both the Bride and Groom before the ceremony to confirm the details for your marriage certificate. They’ll ask you to confirm your legal names and the name and occupation of your father.
Don’t forget that you need to have chosen two witnesses who will sign the marriage certificate with you on the day. It’s also a good idea to give the marriage certificate straight to our wonderful Events Manager for safekeeping as it’s your only copy of this legal document and it’s easily mislaid in the excitement of the wedding day.
Walking Down the Aisle
I can honestly say that those precious few moments before your wedding ceremony are my absolute favourite bit of the wedding day. Emotions are running high, the excitement is palpable, you’re already near to tears (of joy); when you hear the bridal procession music start and see your intended waiting for you it’s just phenomenal!
Everything you’ll plan from the moment you get engaged is working towards that joyful moment. As one wise bridesmaid once said to me… “everything else is a bonus, getting married is what it’s all about.”
Once you’ve reserved a date at Pendrell Hall it is your responsibility to book the registrar and settle all fees directly with them. Although every care has been taken when compiling this information please refer to Staffordshire County Council’s website for the most up to date information and fee structure for your civil marriage.
Thank you to our wonderful Event Manager, Sarah B, for sharing the photographs of her recent civil marriage at Pendrell Hall taken by One Little Daisy.
What about a Church Wedding?
If you are having a Church wedding, Pendrell Hall is the perfect wedding reception venue.