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Ceremonies

Your current ceremony booking – what's happening?

The Government has announced that England will move to step 4 of the road map from 19 July 2021. 

Although most legal restrictions will be lifted, the Government advises we consider COVID-19 risks and introduce measures to manage and reduce those risks to protect ourselves and others around us.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-wedding-and-civil-partnership-ceremonies-receptions-and-celebrations-guidance-from-step-4#summary-of-changes-from-19-july

In line with government guidance, we have reviewed our risk assessments for ceremonies in the Wakefield District and can now advise how this will affect your ceremony below.

Your ceremony in an approved venue

Ceremonies at an approved venue can take place with the maximum number of guests the venue can accommodate whilst working safely and enabling the Registration Service Team to maintain a social distance from each other, the couple and those attending the ceremony, at all times.

Approved venues have been contacted and asked to provide a copy of their revised risk assessment.

Other additional measures relating to your ceremony to help our team work safely are;

  • If you (the couple) become symptomatic, or are isolating, you must contact us to reschedule your ceremony. 
  • If any witnesses or guests become symptomatic, or are isolating, they must not attend the ceremony.
  • We ask that guests at ceremonies wear a face covering, except those exempt for health, age or equality reasons.
  • The couple are not required to wear a face covering but can if you choose.
  • Only 2x witnesses can sign the schedule.  Witnesses should be seated at the front of the ceremony room to enable ease of access to sign the schedule.  To assist, please advise your venue so they can arrange seating.
  • You (the couple) and your witnesses are asked to clean your hands with antibacterial hand gel before signing the schedule. 
  • Your photographer can move around the ceremony room if the venue permits this, but will not be allowed in the area in front of you (the couple) to enable the registration service team to maintain a social distance.

Your ceremony in Wakefield Town Hall

Ceremonies in Room One can take place with a maximum of 20 guests.

Ceremonies in the Lofthouse Suite can take place with a maximum of 45 guests.

Your ceremony in Pontefract Town Hall

Ceremonies in the Hartley Suite can take place with a maximum of 15 guests.

Ceremonies in the Nelson Room can take place with a maximum of 60 guests.

Other additional measures relating to your ceremony to help our team work safely are;

  • If you (the couple) become symptomatic, or are isolating, you must contact us to reschedule your ceremony. 
  • If any witnesses or guests become symptomatic, or are isolating, they must not attend the ceremony.
  • You and your guests will be asked to scan the QR code and sanitize your hands when entering the building.
  • We ask that guests at ceremonies wear a face covering, except those exempt for health, age or equality reasons.
  • The couple are not required to wear a face covering but can if you choose.
  • 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 guest to the numbers outlined.
  • Children over 5 are included in the maximum number of guests.  Where children attend ceremonies, parents are responsible for ensuring they are supervised at all times.
  • Photographers are not included in guest numbers but movement around the room is restricted to behind you, the couple, to enable the registration service team to maintain a social distance.
  • Music must be chosen from the music options available on our website or contained on one CD. Personal mobiles or devices containing music cannot be used on our system. You are welcome to bring a bluetooth speaker and have a guest or a member of your wedding party control the music if you wish. We cannot facilitate live music.
  • Only two witnesses can sign the schedule.
  • Our team will maintain a social distance from you and your guests at all times.
  • Photographs cannot be taken inside the building (other than the signing of the display schedule) to ensure that safe capacities in the building are maintained at all times.

Ceremonies in Wakefield Town Hall / Pontefract Town Hall scheduled after 12 September

If you booked your ceremony during the pandemic you were only given the option for your ceremony to be held in one of our larger rooms, the Lofthouse Suite or the Nelson Room.  We appreciate that now you can you may want to change this. For more information about our rooms please visit https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/births-marriages-deaths/ceremonies/our-venues  

I want to go ahead in the larger room…

If you choose to continue with your ceremony in the Lofthouse Suite or Nelson Room please be advised that the number of guests will be limited to those outlined above to enable our team to work safely.  The fee for your ceremony is based on the room chosen and the day your ceremony will be held.  https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/Documents/community-housing/community/births-marriages-deaths/registrars/ceremony-fees-april-2021.pdf

Despite our best efforts, as we work to return our diaries to normal there are some ceremonies that will need to be moved by approximately 30 minutes.  Our Ceremonies Co-ordinator will contact you by telephone or email if you are impacted directly. We will contact those affected in date and time order of their ceremony.  If you have not heard from us 4 weeks in advance of your ceremony date please email ceremonies@wakefield.gov.uk

If you have not already made arrangements to give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership, you are within 20 weeks of your ceremony date and live in the Wakefield area please contact us to arrange an appointment to give notice on 0345 485 2888 or for more information please visit our page. https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/births-marriages-deaths/ceremonies/giving-notice-of-marriage-or-civil-partnership

If you have already given notice, then please remember that your ceremony fee, certificate fee and postage fee should be paid in full 8-10 weeks in advance of your ceremony. Payment can be made online when completing your ceremony choices https://forms.wakefield.gov.uk/Forms/Registrars/marriageceremony.aspx .

If you would like your ceremony to go ahead as planned, you do not need to contact us. If we do not contact you directly to discuss any necessary changes, your ceremony will go ahead as scheduled.

I want to change my ceremony to a smaller room….

If you wish to change the room in the same building in which your ceremony will take place because you were not given the option of that room at the time of booking then you can contact us by email at ceremonies@wakefield.gov.uk and provide the following information;

Subject of email; Surnames, date of ceremony, location and time i.e. Stead/McGuire 29.11.2021, Lofthouse Suite 14:00hrs.

Content of email;  Please reschedule my ceremony Stead/McGuire 29.11.2021, Lofthouse Suite 14:00hrs to the nearest date and time available in Room One.

Emails will be dealt with in date and time order of your ceremony.  If you fail to include this information in the subject line we will be unable to locate your booking and make the necessary amends.

Unfortunately, due to the volume of ceremonies scheduled, this may mean that we cannot guarantee the time and possibly the date of your ceremony.  Therefore the nearest date and time only will be offered.

If you wish to move but do not want to accept the nearest date and time offered you will need to request to reschedule your ceremony by completing our online booking form. A fee applies. https://forms.wakefield.gov.uk/forms/registrars/ceremonybooking.aspx

IMPORTANT INFORMATION - In the 'Relevant Information' section on the form you MUST type 'We would like to reschedule our ceremony booking from DD/MM/YYYY or time to the requested date or time above.

If your notice of marriage or civil partnership expires because you have chosen to move your ceremony to a later date you will have to arrange another appointment and pay to give notice again.

New ceremony bookings

Once you have chosen your venue you need to book a ceremony date and time. The 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. 

https://forms.wakefield.gov.uk/forms/registrars/ceremonybooking.aspx  

Ceremonies cannot be arranged in less than 12 weeks.  This is to ensure you can give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership within the statutory time frame.  If you live within the Wakefield District and wish to arrange a ceremony due to exceptional circumstances please contact us by email ceremonies@wakefield.gov.uk.