Skip to main content

Celebratory ceremonies

We are delighted you are considering celebratory ceremony within the Borough of Bedford. We offer two types of celebratory ceremonies, a renewal of vows ceremony or a naming ceremony. A celebratory ceremony provides an opportunity to mark an important date or event with family and friends. You may want a very simple, or an elaborate ceremony, but whichever you choose, we aim to make your day very special and personal.

A Ceremony pack is provided once a booking has been made, offering options and suggestions for what may be included on the day.

Please be aware that although neither of these ceremonies have any legal status, and may include some religious content, a full religious ceremony will not be provided.

Naming ceremonies

A Naming Ceremony provides an opportunity to celebrate the birth of a child, or to welcome an adopted child or a step-child into your family. Parents, siblings and other family members may wish to make commitments of love and support, or to acknowledge responsibilities and to share hopes and dreams for the future. You may wish to formally introduce “Supporting Adults” who wish to pledge a special interest in the childs upbringing.

As it carries no legal status, each naming ceremony may be personalised and tailored to individual circumstances. Reading or poetry may be included along with music and perhaps a gift for the child and may include some content from any cultural background or religious belief.

Renewal of vows

A renewal of vows ceremony provides couples with a unique opportunity to re-affirm their commitment to each other and celebrate their relationship. Any couple, regardless of how long they have been married or in a civil partnership, may choose to renew their vows.

Typically a renewal of vows ceremony will include vows and re-dedication or giving of new rings. As the ceremony has no legal status it can be personalised ensuring that it is unique and meaningful for each couple and may include some content from any cultural background or religious belief.

Choosing the venue

You can choose to have your ceremony at the Old Town Hall in Bedford (with capacity for up to 75 guests), or at an approved venue. Have a look at the list of approved venues in Bedford Borough.

Please call to speak to a registrar on 01234 718 028 or email civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk for more information.

Fees for celebratory ceremonies

With effect from 16 February 2019, the fees are as follows:

  • Monday to Thursday
    • Approved venue: £490*
    • Old Town Hall: £207*
  • Friday and Saturday
    • Approved venue: £540*
    • Old Town Hall: £310*
  • Sunday
    • Approved venue: £642*
    • Old Town Hall: £362*
  • Bank Holiday
    • Approved venue: £672* 
    • Old Town Hall: £414* 
  • Ceremony planning meeting £50

*We are unable to perform ceremonies on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, or New Year's Day.