Picture of a couple holding hands


Organising an occasion as big as this, is very exciting. Every wedding ceremony is individual and special. Wakefield Registration and Celebratory Services hope that this information will give you all you need to start planning your special day, whether it is to take place in one of our ceremony rooms or at an approved venue.

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Marriages are available for same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

For more information about the similarities and differences between civil partnership and marriage, see the government advice page here.

Choosing a venue

Your first decision is to choose a venue for your wedding and it will be one of the most important decisions you will have to make. However, your choice of venue may also depend on the type of ceremony you would like. 

If you are looking for a simple ceremony with just yourself and two witnesses this is called a statutory ceremony and is available at both Town Halls on a Wednesday, please see our venues for more information.

If you are looking for a ceremony where you can invite a number of guests, as well as enhance and personalise the ceremony so it is unique to you then your wedding can take place at one of 'Our Venues' or at a venue approved by the Local Authority 'Approved Venues'. Please click on the links for further information.


Outdoor Ceremonies

The law has recently changed to allow ceremonies to take place outdoors in the grounds of an approved venue. If the venue wishes to offer this, then they must first obtain confirmation from the local authority that the location for any outdoor ceremony is seemly and dignified. You should contact the venue for more information.

If your chosen venue has an approved outdoor structure or outdoor linked area and you would like your wedding ceremony to take place there, the venue should provide you with a copy of an outdoor ceremony agreement form which must be completed and returned to us at least 8 weeks prior to your ceremony. This document is available in downloads.

Please note that you should make additional plans with the venue to hold your ceremony in one of their approved ceremony rooms in case the weather is inclement on the day. The indoor ceremony room must be able to accommodate all of your invited guests.

Celebrate... your way

If you have your heart set on a wedding in a barn with hay bales, a tipi in the woods, a lakeside or in a private house or garden then choose to celebrate your way with us, by having your legal ceremony at one of 'Our Venues' or another venue approved by the local authority followed by a celebration ceremony at the venue of your choice (subject to a satisfactory risk assessment).

More information is available at our Celebrate your way page here.


The cost of getting married

The fees associated with getting married in Wakefield are provided in our Ceremony Fees 2022 document. A brief outline of the fees are below;

  • Non-refundable booking fee – a fee to secure your ceremony date and time
  • Notice of marriage fee – a statutory fee for each person to give their notice of intention to marry
  • Ceremony fee – is subject to the venue, day and time of your ceremony
  • Certificate fee – statutory fee of £11 for each certificate you require
  • Postage fee – fee to send certificates purchased, by first class signed for post after the ceremony

All other fees contained in the document are for additional non-essential services.

Your ceremony fee, certificate fee and postage fee should be paid full 8-10 weeks in advance of your ceremony. Payment can be made online* when completing your ceremony choices.

*Not available for statutory ceremonies

Book your ceremony or reschedule

Once you have chosen your venue you need to book a ceremony date and time. The online booking form is not linked to a diary system, therefore we will need to check the date and time you have requested is available before confirming your ceremony.

If you choose to make a booking for a ceremony you will need to book online. Bookings are not taken by telephone. Your booking will be confirmed in 5 days.

Ceremonies cannot be arranged in less than 12 weeks. If you live within the Wakefield District and need to arrange a ceremony due to exceptional circumstances, please email Please provide detailed information as to your circumstances and documentary evidence to support your request. Unfortunately we cannot consider requests that are for personal choice only.

Foreign Nationals - If you are a foreign national before you can be married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales you and your partner must give notice together of your intention to the Superintendent Registrar in the District where one of you lives. We highly recommend you only book a ceremony once you have a confirmed notice appointment with your local register office. We would also recommend that the ceremony date you choose is more than 70 days after the date of your notice appointment.

Give notice of marriage

Once you have received the provisional booking confirmation of your ceremony there is a legal requirement for you to each give notice of your intention to marry.

Immigration laws changed on 1 July 2021 changing the process for giving notice and the documentation required. There are two types of nationality defined by the Immigration Service: a relevant national and a foreign national.

A relevant national is a British Citizen, an Irish Citizen, or a person who has been granted EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) status (either settled or pre-settled or has a pending application for that status (submitted before 30 June 2021).

A foreign national is an EEA national without EUSS settled status, EUSS pre-settled or pending application to the EUSS, OR any other person from any other country.

The first date you can give your legal notice is 12 months prior to your ceremony, however, when you can arrange an appointment and attend to give notice will differ depending on where you live.

If you do not live in the Wakefield area you will need to contact your local Register Office to arrange an appointment to do this.

If you plan to marry in a Church of England or Wales and are a foreign national, you will be required to give notice at the Register Office as outlined above. Banns cannot be read.

Your wedding ceremony

Your provisional ceremony booking is confirmed when you have both given your notice of marriage.

Your ceremony at our venue or at an Approved venue* (does not include Statutory Ceremonies)

During your notice of marriage appointment, the Registrar will provide you with a marriage guide for your ceremony in our venues or for your ceremony at an approved venue at your appointment to give notice. If you live outside Wakefield and give notice in another District we will send a marriage guide to you in the post when we receive confirmation that you have given notice of marriage at your local Register Office. The guide provides all the information you need in respect of your wedding.

We provide you with many opportunities to enhance and personalise your ceremony so that it is unique to you. You can include personal vows, readings, and music. You can share your story, how you met, and your shared hopes and aspirations. You can also choose to combine sands, which symbolizes the two of you and your families joining together as one. If there is anything additional to this that you would like to include in your ceremony, please contact our Ceremonies Co-ordinator by email at

If at this point you would like to meet a dedicated member of our ceremonies team to discuss all aspects of your marriage ceremony, you can learn more about our bespoke ceremony meetings here.

Your ceremony will be delivered by a qualified, experienced, and dedicated Registrar.

Return your ceremony arrangement form and pay

You have been provided with a copy of a ceremony guide that outlines the choices you need to make in advance of your ceremony. If you cannot locate your original a copy is available to download on this page.

Your ceremony choices and fee should be completed and paid in full online 8-10 weeks in advance of your ceremony.

It is important that before you start the process of completing the online form you have the following information to hand:

  • The form cannot be completed more than 10 weeks in advance of your ceremony
  • The form cannot be saved part way through, therefore you will need to have made decisions about your choices and have accompanying information to hand to attach, for example, your own vows or readings can be attached as a file document. It would be helpful to have your guide with you when completing the form. A copy of the guide is available above
  • You will need your card details ready to make payment at the end of the process
  • If you have any problems completing your form please contact the Ceremonies Co-ordinator by email at providing your contact number and we will call you to provide guidance

You will receive an email confirming its receipt with a copy of the information you have completed and an email confirming payment.

Your statutory ceremony at Wakefield Register Office / Pontefract Registration Office 

During your notice of marriage appointment, the Registrar will provide you with information about your ceremony. If you live outside Wakefield and give notice in another District, we will send this information to you in the post when we receive confirmation that you have given notice of marriage at your local Register Office.

Your marriage or civil partnership will take place in a statutory room identified as the Register Office.

You will be provided with choices of legal vows and ring vows, however, there will be no readings, music or other personalised elements included in the ceremony.

Please note that attendance is restricted to the couple and two witnesses only. Children of any age or photographers cannot attend additionally.

If you require the use of a translator, they will sign the schedule as a witness to the marriage. They cannot attend as an additional witness to the numbers outlined.

Photographs can be taken inside the ceremony room.

Your ceremony will be delivered by a qualified, experienced and dedicated Registrar.

Return your ceremony choices and pay

You will have been provided with choices of legal vows and ring vows which need to be made in advance of your ceremony.

Your ceremony choices and fee should be completed and paid in full 8-10 weeks in advance of your ceremony.

You can return your choices by completing and returning the card provided or confirming the information by email to

To make payment for your ceremony please contact the Registry Office 0345 485 2888.

Re-registration of the birth of your child after marriage

If you and your partner are natural parents and have married each other or formed an opposite-sex civil partnership since your baby's birth and want the birth record to show your son or daughter as a child of your marriage/civil partnership then you need to:

  • Download and complete the application LA1 form
  • Return the form by email to or post it to Wakefield Register Office, Wood Street, Wakefield, WF1 2HQ
  • Upon receipt of a satisfactorily completed form, we will contact you for an appointment – only one parent needs to attend the appointment and bring the completed LA1 form which has been signed by both parents along with the documents as outlined on the form
  • Please note that if your marriage took place outside the UK then your application will need to be referred to the General Register Office, therefore you should advise us of this before booking an appointment, as the appointment cannot go ahead without the approval of the GRO
  • At the appointment to re-register you can purchase a new birth certificate

It is free to re-register a birth. However, if you wish to purchase a copy of the new birth certificate, it costs £11 per copy.

Correct a marriage registration

If you notice a mistake on your certificate after your ceremony you can apply for a correction. The correction will need approval and be undertaken by the General Register Office before the Registrar can issue new certificates.

You need to;

  • Contact us in the first instance as it is possible that the mistake is only on the marriage certificate. We can check if the details on the marriage schedule are correct, and a mistake was made when inputting the details into the electronic register
  • If the mistake is in the electronic register you will need to complete an application form stating what the error is and how it was made Documentary evidence showing the correct information will need to be produced in order for the correction to be authorised and you will need to return any certificates you previously purchased for destruction

It costs £90 to apply for a correction. If you wish to purchase a copy of the certificate after correction it costs £11 per copy.

Your marriage in a religious Building

If you are planning to be married in the Church of England you will need to speak to the person in charge at the church.

If you are planning to marry in any other church or religious building you will need to:

  • Make arrangements with the Minister or person in charge at the building
  • Live in the registration district where the church or religious building is situated, unless it is your usual place of worship (this applies to one or both of you)
  • Give notice of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar of the District in which you live
  • Some churches (not the Church of England) need the attendance of a registrar at the marriage, whilst some have their own registrar (an authorised person). Please speak to the Minister or person in charge to establish whether you will require a registrar to attend

If you do need a registrar to attend your marriage ceremony at a religious building book your ceremony

Getting married abroad

It is important that you consult with the local authorities in the country where you are planning to be married to find out what you need to do.

Some countries may require you to give notice of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar of the District in which you live please contact us by telephone for further information.

Urgent marriage or civil partnership (deathbed wedding)

The Registrar General can authorise marriages/civil partnerships to take place at short notice in circumstances where one of the parties is seriously ill, not expected to recover and cannot be moved to a place where a marriage or civil partnership could normally take place. This is known as a marriage/civil partnership by Registrar Generals Licence.

A service is available for urgent arrangements to be made for marriages or civil partnerships by Registrar General's Licence. The service can be accessed by contacting us or, if outside normal opening hours, by telephoning Wakefield Council Contact Centre on 0345 8 506 506 between 8:30am and 5pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays excluding Christmas Day.

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Wakefield Registration and Celebratory Services

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