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Marriage and civil partnerships

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies are suspended until further notice.

Copies of marriage and civil partnership certificates are suspended until further notice.

You can email a registrar on about:

  • transfer an existing booking for a marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation to another date
  • If you already have a ceremony booked with us, we will waive the normal transfer fee to move your booking 
  • we have no availability for bookings before November 2020, but are currently able to transfer bookings between then and March 2022
  • we can only respond to couples wishing to make new bookings once we have rescheduled all those wishing to transfer their ceremonies

Our response back to you may take days while we prioritise death registrations.

The Registration Service has produced a handy guide to your ceremony in the Borough of Bedford.

Choose a venue

You must know where you wish to be married/civil partnership before you can book a ceremony with the Registration Service.

Book a Registrar

To book a Registrar to attend your chosen venue and officiate at your ceremony you must contact the Superintendent Registrar for the district where the ceremony is to take place.

Bedford Borough Council's Civil Registration Service will accept bookings up to, but no more than, two years in advance. For example, for a ceremony to be held on Saturday 24 July 2021 the earliest you can call to book your Registrar is Wednesday 24 July 2019.

Email us at

Civil Registration Service
Bedford Borough Council
Old Town Hall
St Paul's Square
MK40 1SJ

How much will it cost?

Give notice

Once you have booked your ceremony with both the venue and the Registrars for the district where the ceremony is to take place you will need to complete the legal preliminaries of giving “Notice of Marriage/Civil Partnership”. If both of you are a British or EEA national your “Notices” must be given at the register office for the district where you each live. “Notice of Marriage/Civil Partnership” must be given in person, by appointment only.

If you have chosen your venue, but have not yet set a date for your ceremony, “Notice of Marriage/Civil Partnership” may be given, provided that the ceremony will take place within 1 calendar year of “Notice” being given. The date and time for the ceremony may be booked later, but will be subject to availability.

If one or both of you does not hold a British or EEA passport you will both need to give your Notice of Marriage or civil partnership at a Designated Register Office. Bedford is not a Designated Register Office.

Ceremony pack 

A Civil Ceremony is, by law, non-religious therefore no religious content whatsoever is permitted.

After you have given notice the registrar will send you a ceremony pack containing important information, our “Terms and Conditions” and a guide on photography.

For couples wishing to marry or form a civil partnership it will also contain a checklist. A civil partnership may be formed without any form of ceremony, however a checklist will be provided should a ceremony be required. A marriage ceremony requires the repeating after the Superintendent Registrar of legal declaratory and contracting vows, options of which are contained in the ceremony pack.

The pack will also provide options for personalising your ceremony with music, readings and additional, personal vows and/or ring words, which you must complete and return to the Registrar. All additional content to your ceremony must be checked and approved by the Registrar at least 1 month before the date of your ceremony.

An appointment may be booked, for a fee, to discuss your ceremony requirements. 

Getting married abroad

It is your responsibility to check that you have met all of the legal requirements to be married or form a civil partnership abroad. We recommend that you make enquiries with the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which you wish to be married or form a civil partnership in the first instance. They should be able to advise you of the conditions you will need to meet.

Find out more GOV.UK's getting married abroad

In some circumstances a document will be required however this is sometimes obtainable from a solicitor. If you have been advised to obtain a document from the registrars you will need to make an appointment to give “Notice” with a Registrar. 

If you have been advised that an “Apostille” will also be required, for further advice please visit GOV.UK's getting your document legalised.

Further information