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Marriage and civil partnerships

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.

Contact us on: 

Telephone: 01234 718 028 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

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 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 & Conditions” and a guide on photography.

For couples wishing to marry it will also contain a checklist containing the choices of the legal declaratory and contracting vows which you must repeat after the Registrar.

For couples wishing to form a civil partnership there is no requirement for you to repeat any contracting or declaratory words but we provide a choice of words that you may wish to say.

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. Please telephone 01234 718028 to book an appointment.

Getting married abroad

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

We also advise that you visit GOV.UK for more information. 

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. Please call to speak to a registrar to book on 01234 718 028.

If you have been advised that an “Apostille” will also be required, for further advice please visit GOV.UK.

Order certificates online (certified copies) 

Please follow the links below to complete an online form to order your chosen certificate using the Standard Service.

You will need to provide certain information to enable us to find the correct record. If you do not have all of the information or you are unsure about the details please make this clear by explaining in the free text boxes of the form. In all cases please ensure that you provide your contact details, in case we have any queries.

If you are unsure where the event occurred please contact the General Register Office.

You can also order commemorative marriage certificates to mark an anniversary and research your family history through GOV.UK.

Further information