COVID-19 Update: 6th January 2021

Due to the new National lockdown all ceremonies are postponed until further notice.

The national restrictions provide for people to meet with others from outside their household for the purpose of marriages and civil partnerships but these should only take place in exceptional circumstances and must only take place with a maximum of 6 attendees where these can be delivered safely in COVID-19 secure venues. The maximum number of 6 that are allowed to attend includes the couple, witnesses and guests, but those working, such as registration officials and venue managers are not included.

Applications to reduce the waiting period if needed should be submitted via the registration service for consideration.

You may feel that the current restrictions don't allow you to have the ceremony you want, but please remember you can change the date free of charge with the registration service - please speak to your venue or email us at

HM Government hands face space poster

COVID-19 ceremony guidance for Bath and North East Somerset Registration Service (Not applicable during the current National Lockdown from 6th January 2021 until further notice)

  • On arrival at a registration office everyone must wait outside until invited in by a member of staff. Social distancing should be adhered to.
  • There is a QR code at the entrance to the Guildhall for use with the new NHS Track and Trace App. If you have this app on your smart phone we advise that you scan in when entering the building.
  • All attendees must sanitise their hands on entering the building and follow the instructions of the registrar.
  • Anyone showing signs of Covid-19 symptoms should not attend and will not be allowed into the building – if this is one of the couple the ceremony should be rescheduled.
  • A risk assessment has been completed to ensure the room used is Covid-19 secure.
  • Social distancing rules will apply – this will govern the number of people allowed to gather in the ceremony room.
  • Face coverings must be worn by all guests attending the ceremony in all venues unless they are medically exempt or under the age of 11years old. The couple can decide whether to wear face coverings. The Registrars will be wearing face visors. 
  • If you are exchanging rings, these must be placed on the table before the ceremony begins.
  • Following the guidance from the government the ceremony will be as short as possible therefore we are only allowing ONE short reading and the reader must deliver this reading from their seat. 
  • Those walking down the aisle must socially distance unless they are from the same household. If a couple choose to walk down the aisle together, they do not need to socially distance.
  • Guests and the couple must leave the building immediately after the ceremony.

Restrictions on ceremony numbers

The couple may have up to 13 guests only. This number must include the two witnesses and any children/babies attending. The 13 guests plus the couple are the 15 people stated in the current government guidelines permitted to attend a wedding or civil partnership ceremony. The registrars and photographer/videographer are NOT included in the 15. Only one photographer per ceremony is permitted.

In registration offices and ceremony room there will be fixed capacity. These numbers are non negotiable and we would ask that you do not turn up with additional guests as they will not be allowed in to the building. Babies and children are counted in the number of guests permitted.

These procedures are in place to protect you and your guests and to keep us all safe.

Ceremony postponement/cancellation

You may feel that the current restrictions don't allow you to have the ceremony you want, but please remember you can change the date free of charge with the registration service - please speak to your venue or email us at

If you have cancelled your venue please remember to contact the register office to cancel your registrars.

If your notice of marriage or civil partnership expires before your new ceremony date, you will need to book an appointment at your local register office to give fresh notices. Notices are valid for a year after the date you gave your notice.

We are still taking new bookings for ceremonies in the future. If you would like to book your ceremony with us please call the office on 01225 477 234 between the hours of 09:00 - 15:45 Mon-Fri or email the office at 

What to do if you want to get married or form a civil partnership in three steps

  1. Find and book a licenced venue
  2. Book your Registrars to conduct your ceremony
  3. Give notice of marriage



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