Booking A Registrar
One step of your wedding preparations that you may not have thought about is booking a registrar. But what will that require, and who does a registrar actually do? Welcome to a full run-down of everything you need to know about booking a registrar and what steps you need to take in order to make sure your are married in the eyes of the law.
What Is A Registrar?
Registrars are employed by local authorities and are responsible for making your union official and lawful. They can conduct ceremonies in their local district offices, or any space that is licensed for weddings or civil ceremonies.
If you are getting married in a religious building, you may not need to hire a registrar as some priests, vicars, imams or other religious figures may be authorised registrars. Please speak directly with the person marrying you to find this out.
When Should We Book A Registrar?
It is recommended to contact a registry office as soon as possible, typically once you have booked your venue. The relevant documents, licenses and such may be different depending on your wedding venue, its location or other individual circumstances, so the quicker you get in touch, the earlier you can organise your files. You need to book in with the local council registry office of your venue. For example, if you live in Manchester but will be getting married in Newcastle, then you will need to speak with the registry office in Newcastle.
Sometimes, there may be no registrars available on your chosen wedding date. In this case, you may have to move your wedding date or have a “registry wedding” on a different day to your wedding celebration. A registry wedding occurs at a registry office, is no longer than 30 minutes, needs two witnesses and legally binds a couple. This allows you to have the wedding you originally planned at a later date, but simply without a registrar. If you would still like someone in place of a registrar, you could hire a celebrant.
The quicker you speak with a registrar, the better. Typically, you should be in contact with them no later than 6 months before your wedding. This will give ample time to gather all the documents you will need and to order new copies of any that you may have misplaced.
It is the couples shared responsibility to book a registrar for their wedding, venues and wedding planners will not usually do this for you.
How Do You Book A Registrar?
The best and easiest way to begin your pursuit for a registrar is through a simple google search such as ‘book a registrar’ followed by the local council of your chosen venue. You will quickly find an online form, email address or phone number for the correct registry office and you can then get the ball rolling with this process.
How Much Does A Registrar Cost?
The cost of a registrar can differ depending on the venue that you get married in. On average, the cost sits between £100 and £400, depending on the time, date and location of your wedding.
You can usually make a provisional booking reserving a registrar on the time and date that you wish to have your wedding. This booking will require a smaller, non-refundable fee of around £30 to £40. Should you follow through with this booking, you will then have to pay the remaining ceremony costs.
Can We Meet Our Registrar Before The Ceremony?
Typically, couples do not meet face to face with their registrar until the day of the ceremony. Around 15 minutes before the ceremony, the couple will meet with the registrar separately, where you will both be asked some basic questions about your partner, just as a final confirmation that your union is consensual and lawful.
In some cases, couples may want to meet their registrar before they get married, so they have more of a rapport with them, instead of meeting a relative stranger on their wedding day. Couples will need to speak with their registrar and their local office about organising this meeting, as it is a case by case issue.