You may choose to have your civil ceremony at any Register Office in England or Wales or any approved premises in any district in England and Wales, regardless of where you live. Or you may be able to be married in a church or religious building to which you are affiliated.
Bedford Borough Council's Civil Registration Service currently offers two ceremony room options:
The Old Town Hall
The first option is the Old Town Hall usually holds up to 80 people (including all guests, two registrars, two parties to be married and any photographers). Multiple weddings may be held each day. The Old Town Hall can host ceremonies every day of the year, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, or New Year's Day.
Changes due to COVID-19
Following our COVID-19 risk assessment at the Old Town Hall only the couple and 26 other persons (two of which must be witnesses) are able to attend ceremonies or formation. No other persons, including babies and children will be permitted in the building. Photographers / videographers must be included in this number too. The risk assessment will be continued to be monitored with a review due at the end of September 2021. Please note that all parties are required to wear a face covering to enter the Old Town Hall (exceptions apply).
Statutory fee ceremony at Bedford register office
The second option is for a statutory fee marriage or civil partnership which is for the couple being married or forming a civil partnership and two witnesses only. No other guests are permitted. They are basic ceremonies, without any enhancements offered and are conducted in Bedford Register Office, an active office normally used for our birth, death, notice of marriage or civil partnership appointments. These ceremonies or formations are held on selected Wednesdays or Mondays only, subject to availability.
Civil weddings or partnership ceremonies can take place in specially licensed venues. Please see our list of licensed venues for ceremonies for more information and contact details.
Church or religious building
If you and your partner decide to be married in a church belonging to the Church of England then you should contact the vicar of that church who can advise you of the process.
If you are having your ceremony in a religious building, excluding a Church of England, you must still give Notice. Our Registrars will be glad to give you help and advice on this matter.
At some religious venues you may need to book a Registrar to attend the ceremony. The venue should be able to advise, but if in doubt email us firstname.lastname@example.org.