Civil ceremony costs

If you are intending to book an inclusive ceremony/reception at a licensed wedding venue, many examples that you look at won’t be specific about how much the ceremony itself costs, at least not at first glance.

So, whether you’re looking to save money and have an external civil ceremony separate to your reception venue, or simply wondering how much you should be paying overall, then this is probably the article for you! :)

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Your local council

In order to determine the base price for any civil ceremony, your first point of call should be your local council’s website (or the relevant council where you are getting married). For the purpose of this article we’ve looked at a few councils around the country (BANES, Somerset County Council and Leicestershire) for typical reference, but remember that the cost may vary somewhat in your local area.

The pages you should look for on the relevant council website may be entitled something along the lines of ‘Community’ or ‘Community and Living’ or ‘Services’.

Giving notice

First of all, it is a legal requirement to publish formal Notice of your forthcoming marriage. This usually costs £35.

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Civil ceremony in approved premises

If you want to hold a civil ceremony in a recognised wedding venue, then these are referred to as ‘approved/ licensed premises’ on your council’s website. There is a standard fee that your local council will require for the attendance of an officiating registrar and for the issue of your marriage certificate. Of course, this does not include other aspects such as the hire of the room and any venue-specific setup costs. For example, Priston Mill in Somerset charges a fee of £150 on top of the registrar’s bill. Many venues may not openly state how much they charge on top of your council’s fees, so you will need to ask.

The fees you are expected to pay in an approved premises vary depending on which day of the week you want to get married. It’s generally cheaper to get married during Monday to Thursday (sometimes Friday is more expensive, but not always). We’ve seen these fees range from £260 (Leicestershire) to £380 (Bath).

Getting married on Saturday, Sunday or a Bank Holiday is typically (and understandably) more expensive (between £320 and £450).

Administration fees

There may be an administrative booking surcharge (£30 or so) in addition to these fees too! If for any reason you need to change the date of your ceremony, there will be further costs (£10-30).

Registry Office

If you are looking for a simple and cost-effective manner of getting married, then perhaps you have considered a registry office ceremony. A statutory registry office marriage costs between £43 and £49. Don’t forget to add administration fees and your ‘Notice of Marriage’ fee on top of this!

Phew! That may be a great deal to take in all at once, but it’s just the bare basics of the costs of getting legally married. Good luck to you, and remember to bookmark this page for reference!

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