Marriages & civil partnerships

Due to recent issues with the Government IT system used to register births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, our appointment availability is severely affected. We apologise if you have been unsuccessful in securing the appointment of your choice. We are working hard to deal with existing appointments and we hope to be able to offer more appointments in the near future. If you have an appointment booked, please ensure you arrive on time, however please note, your appointment may take longer than anticipated.

If you are trying to book an appointment, but have been unsuccessful, please accept our sincere apologies. Please continue to check the website for updates.

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

We are delighted to be able to offer new marriage and civil partnership ceremony bookings. Please contact us to request a booking.

Further to the lifting of government restrictions on attendee numbers, the maximum capacity for ceremonies in our ceremony room at Reading Museum and Town Hall is now 47 (including the couple, witnesses, photographer and all guests).

  • In line with government guidance we would kindly suggest and recommend that, where possible, guests wear a mask when attending ceremonies in our ceremony room. Hand sanitiser is also available at various points throughout the building.

If you want to get married, or form a civil partnership, you must:

  • be over 18, or 16 with parental consent
  • live in the UK and have lived in your registration district for at least nine days
  • be legally free to get married
  • attend a notice of marriage or civil partnership appointment at your district Register Office

Approved venues

List of approved venues in Reading

If you want to get another venue approved for your ceremony you should contact us. We do not usually approve open air venues or temporary structures. It should not have a religious connection and should be a public venue.

Planning the ceremony

After you have booked your marriage ceremony with us and given your notice of marriage, please complete the online marriage planner. You need to do this at least two weeks before the date of your ceremony. The planner helps you to decide on the style of ceremony but it also helps the Registrar to know what you want for your day.

The marriage or civil partnership ceremony

In line with fire safety legislation, our ceremony room has a maximum capacity of 47. This includes the couple, witnesses and photographer.

Before the ceremony can take place, you are required to have a private interview with the Registrar, during which you will be asked to confirm/update the details given at your notice appointment. You must both arrive, to be seen together, 15 minutes prior to the start of your ceremony. 

You may wish to enter the ceremony room to music of your own choice, which must be played from your own mobile device. We have a speaker system which you can connect to via Bluetooth speaker.

During the ceremony the Registrar will ask you to repeat the declaratory words, or to sign the civil partnership schedule. If you are making additional vows or giving rings, you will be able to do this after the formal requirements have been fulfilled.

Once the marriage or civil partnership has been registered, we can issue certificates. Unfortunately due to the change in the way in which marriage and civil partnerships are registered, we are not usually able to issue certificates to you on the same day as the ceremony, so we will send your certificate out to you by post as soon as possible.

Please, note that we do not permit animals at ceremonies within the Reading Registration Service premises, except for registered assistance dogs. If an approved venue permits a couple to have animals or wildlife at the ceremony, the venue is entirely responsible for the health and safety of the guests and any housekeeping issues which may arise as a result. Please, let us know about the arrangements in advance.

Converting civil partnership into marriage

You should read the information on Gov.uk and contact the Register Office to make an appointment, if you want to convert your civil partnership to marriage.

You may want to hold a conversion ceremony where you sign a declaration, which legally converts your civil partnership into marriage. Find out more about civil partnership conversion.

Replacement marriage certificate

Replacement marriage certificate application form