VENUE LICENCE PICTURE

Terms and conditions

1. Ceremonies terms and conditions

These terms and conditions accompany your ceremony booking. By booking a ceremony you accept that it is subject to the terms and conditions as set out below in their entirety. Terms and conditions are intended to be informative and helpful. They will assist you in planning, preparing for and attending your ceremony.

Please make sure you have read and understood the section about cancellations and postponements.  Cancellations and postponements less than four weeks before your ceremony date will affect the amount you will be refunded or the amount payable.

If you have a query or are unsure about the meaning of any terms and conditions please contact the Register Office and we will be happy to assist you with your query.

1.1 A ceremony (for the purpose of these terms and conditions) is defined as a:

  • a. Marriage Ceremony
  • b. Civil Partnership Ceremony
  • c. Civil Partnership to Marriage Conversion Ceremony
  • d. Renewal of Vows Ceremony
  • e. Naming Ceremony
  • f. Commitment Ceremony

1.2 A non-refundable deposit (currently £100.00) must be paid at the time of the booking to secure your chosen ceremony date in our diary.

1.3 If you book the ceremony eight weeks before it is due to take place then full payment must be made at the time of the booking.

1.4 The balance of the ceremony fee is payable either at the time of the booking or eight weeks prior to the date of the ceremony. View a full list of fees for ceremonies.

1.5 It is the responsibility of the couple to ensure that they complete the required legal preliminaries to the ceremony correctly (where they are required), and within the statutory time limits. These legal preliminaries do not need to have been completed at the time when the ceremony is booked. For more details about legal requirements see below:

1.6 Legal Preliminaries to the Marriage Ceremony – In order to marry couples must give notice of intention to marry.

1.7 Legal Preliminaries to the Civil Partnership Ceremony – In order to form a Civil Partnership couples must give notice of intention to form a civil partnership.

1.8 Legal Preliminaries to the Civil Partnership to Marriage Conversion Ceremony. You must have arranged to attend an appointment at a Register Office on a date before the ceremony date in order to make your declaration of intention to convert your civil partnership to marriage. You will need to provide the appropriate documentation at this appointment.

1.9 Preliminaries to a Renewal of Vows Ceremony. One of the parties renewing vows must attend the Register Office in person before the date of the ceremony to provide copies of your marriage certificate and both your passports.

1.10 If it is alleged that a legal impediment to a marriage or civil partnership exists, the Superintendent Registrar has a legal duty to investigate before the ceremony can take place. Kensington and Chelsea Registration Service cannot be held accountable for any resulting delay, postponement, cancellation of your ceremony and/or financial loss that may occur.

1.11 If either party intending to marry has previously gone through a foreign divorce/dissolution of a previous marriage/civil partnership and/or decide to book a ceremony against the advice of Kensington and Chelsea Registration Service, before the divorce/dissolution has been approved, no refunds or financial compensation will be given if the marriage cannot take place due to processing times or decision of the Home Office, the Registrar General or another third party.

1.12 Both parties must be available to meet with the Registrars at the ceremony venue at least 15 minutes before the ceremony start time. In the event of late arrival your ceremony will not be able to extend over the time at which your ceremony/room booking was scheduled to finish. As a result the length and content of your ceremony may be reduced.

1.13 Kensington and Chelsea Registration Service are not responsible for any delay, postponement, cancellation of your ceremony, or financial loss caused by the late arrival of the couple or of guests. The registrars attending your ceremony have other ceremonies to attend and cannot allow the lateness of one ceremony to impact upon the start time of another. Ceremonies must start at the booked time.

1.14 The marriage ceremony must be legally compliant and of a dignified nature. Kensington and Chelsea Registration Service have the final decision on the wording and content of the ceremony.

1.15 Both parties to the ceremony must meet the criteria set out below and must be free and willing to undertake the ceremony

1.16 It is a legal requirement that the registrar must stop your ceremony from proceeding if:

  • Either of the parties to a marriage or civil partnership appear to be acting under duress;
  • Either of the parties to a marriage or civil partnership appear to be unable to understand the nature and purport of the ceremony due to intoxication;
  • Either of the parties to a marriage or civil partnership appear to lack the mental capacity to understand the nature and purport of the ceremony;
  • A lawful objection is made before or during the ceremony.

1.17 In order to be married the parties to the marriage or civil partnership must not have already been through any form of marriage which is legally recognised or is capable of being legally recognised. This applies to those marriages or civil partnerships taking place in the UK or in any other country. The exception to this is a previous marriage or civil partnership which ended by legal means such as divorce, dissolution, annulment or by death of the other party. If you are unsure as to the status of any previous ceremony you have participated in then please contact the Registrars before booking your ceremony.

1.18 Kensington and Chelsea Registration service will allocate staff to attend your ceremony. The attendance of any individual registrar cannot be guaranteed. It is not possible to choose which Registrar will attend your ceremony.

1.19 At your marriage/civil partnership ceremony you must provide two witnesses who are over the age of 16 and can speak and understand English. Kensington and Chelsea Registration Service staff cannot act as witnesses. It is your duty to provide witnesses for your ceremony. No more than two witnesses per marriage or civil partnership is permitted.

1.20 It is an offence under section 25(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 to enter into a marriage to help facilitate a stay in the United Kingdom. If a ceremony or appointment does not go ahead due to UK Visa and Immigration intervention, no refund shall be payable or financial compensation given for any losses incurred.

1.21 If your ceremony is at a licensed venue other than Chelsea Old Town Hall it is your responsibility to book and pay for that venue. The Attendance Fee secures the attendance of the Registrars to conduct the ceremony only.

1.22 Late guests to ceremonies will be admitted as soon as is possible in keeping with the continuity of the ceremony. Late guests will not be able to act as witnesses.

1.23 If the ceremony does not take place due to the application of any of the above terms and conditions the non-refundable Booking Fee will not be refunded and the Attendance Fee will not be refunded.  

1.24 It is a legal requirement that no food or drink - including alcohol - is permitted in any licensed wedding venue (including those at Chelsea Old Town Hall) during the ceremony and for an hour before the ceremony takes place.

1.25. Animals are not permitted within Chelsea Old Town Hall with the exception of assistance animals.

1.26 Any gifts, flowers or general goods delivered to, or left at, the Chelsea Old Town Hall in conjunction with your ceremony are not the responsibility of the staff at the Chelsea Old Town Hall, nor will the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea be liable for any loss or damage to the same.

1.27 The use of bio-degradable confetti is permitted on the steps on the outside of the Chelsea Old Town Hall leading from the Ceremony Rooms but not in the rooms or any part of the interior of the building. The throwing of other items, including but not limited to, rice and pasta is not permitted.

1.28 The Programme of Events must be returned one week before your ceremony.  Any readings, ring words, additional vows or music not included in the pre-approved list must be approved.  Any readings or music lyrics in languages other than English must be translated.  Failure to return the Programme of Events on time may result in some of the requested elements of the ceremony being excluded.

1.29 Live music is welcomed during ceremonies but it must not be so loud as to disrupt other ceremonies or cause a disturbance on the street.  Musicians are not counted within the number of guests. Musicians must set up and pack up within the ceremony time. The Register Office are not obligated to facilitate the setting up of equipment.

1.30 Disabled access is available however for the comfort of disabled guests they should arrive 15 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin and should give prior notification.

1.31 A waiting area is provided for guests and couples prior to the commencement of their ceremony. The waiting area may need to be shared by guests of more than one ceremony.

1.32 Guests are requested to keep noise to a minimum outside the Ceremony Rooms.

1.33 If either of both party to the marriage or civil partnership do not speak or understand English they must bring an interpreter who fully understands / is fluent in the language of the party to the ceremony who will sign as a witness.

Ceremonies at Venues not approved for Marriage or Civil Partnership

1.34 Registrars can conduct ceremonies at venues which are not approved for Marriage or Civil Partnership if the following applies:

1.35 If you have a ceremony at a venue not approved for Marriage or Civil Partnership then this will not be a legal marriage. You will be required to have a legal register office marriage (parties to the marriage and two witnesses) before the ceremony.

1.36 Registrars must be booked to attend the ceremony and the booking fee and attendance fee paid.

1.37 It is your responsibility to book and pay for the venue. The Attendance fee secures the attendance of the Registrars to conduct the ceremony only.

1.38 A health and safety assessment will need to be carried out at venues not approved for Marriage and Civil Partnership before the date of the ceremony. If the venue does not meet health and safety requirements then the ceremony may not be able to proceed.

1.39 The Coronavirus pandemic has not ended and the virus is still present in the population.  Ceremonies and appointments may be subject to cancellation and rescheduling at short notice.  Such changes may be due to government guidelines and restrictions, the need for staff to self-isolate or other pandemic related issues  
By booking or rescheduling at this time you are agreeing that you understand and accept the risk of late notice cancellations and/or rescheduling.

1.40 If it is mandated that no weddings may take place then the Register Office must abide by that mandate.  This could include but is not limited to: periods of lockdown, restrictions on free movement, times of national mourning or other national public events. 

2. Booking, rescheduling and cancellation policy

2.1 A Booking Fee for ceremonies is payable at the time of booking. This Booking Fee is non-refundable in all circumstances. If a Booking Fee is not paid the ceremony, room and/or service will not be reserved.

2.2 The Attendance Fee for the ceremony is to be paid eight weeks before the ceremony or earlier. If payment is not made eight weeks before the ceremony your ceremony may be cancelled (removed from the calendar). Ceremonies may not proceed without full payment.

2.3 If a ceremony is cancelled more than four weeks before the ceremony then we will refund the Attendance Fee in full. If a ceremony is cancelled less than four weeks before the ceremony then 50% of the Attendance Fee will be refunded and 50% will be retained.

If a ceremony is postponed more than four weeks before the ceremony then we will transfer the full amount of the Attendance Fee to the new date.  If the fee for the new date or room is different than when you paid then the difference will need to be adjusted. 

If a ceremony is postponed less than four weeks before the ceremony then 50% of the Attendance Fee will be transferred to the new date and 50% will be retained. An additional 50% of the fee will need to be paid at the time of rescheduling.  If the fee for the new date or room is different than when you paid then the additional payment will need to be adjusted.     

In the event of a cancellation of a ceremony, any certificates paid for will be refunded.

2.4 Ceremonies can only be rescheduled to a different date, time and room within your chosen licensed venue and subject to availability. Ceremonies cannot be moved to a different licensed venue without new notices of intention being completed within the time legally required for the giving of such notice.

2.5 If the new ceremony date, room or time incurs a higher fee the difference must be paid at the time of rescheduling. If your alternative date or room has a lower fee the difference will be refunded but the postponement fee is still payable.

2.6 Ceremonies can be rescheduled in writing, by telephone or by personal attendance at Chelsea Old Town Hall (within our opening hours). Only parties to the ceremony (e.g. the bride and groom/ civil partner) can reschedule and must provide their password in order to do so.

2.7 Ceremonies may be cancelled in writing, by telephone or by personal attendance at Chelsea Old Town Hall within our opening hours. Only parties to the ceremony (e.g. the bride and groom/ civil partner) can reschedule and must provide their password in order to do so.

2.8 If cancelling or rescheduling a ceremony full details must be provided including the date, time and venue and your full names. It is also helpful if you are able to supply the date of payment and/or the authorisation code number from the payment receipt, payment reference and method of payment.

2.9 The Booking Fee is non-refundable in all circumstances.

2.10 The full Attendance Fee, less the Booking Fee paid (currently £100), is refundable in the circumstances set out at 2.3 above.

2.11 Cancellation and rescheduling requests should be sent to registrars@rbkc.gov.uk. Please put ‘cancellation’ or ‘reschedule’ in the subject line of your email.

2.12 The Coronavirus pandemic has not ended and the virus is still present in the population.  Ceremonies and appointments may be subject to cancellation and rescheduling at short notice.  Such changes may be due to government guidelines and restrictions, the need for staff to self-isolate or other pandemic related issues  
By booking or rescheduling at this time you are agreeing that you understand and accept the risk of late notice cancellations and/or rescheduling.

3. General terms and conditions

3.1 In the event of an emergency, disaster or extreme weather conditions Kensington and Chelsea Registration Service will do everything it can to ensure your ceremony takes place on your chosen day and at the allotted time.

3.2. Kensington and Chelsea Registration Service cannot be held responsible and is not liable for any consequences, financial or otherwise, for a ceremony which has to be cancelled or delayed as a result of such events, which are outside our control.

3.3 The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is not responsible for the behaviour or actions of members of the public using the premises of the Chelsea Old Town Hall.

3.4 All electrical equipment supplied by the Royal Borough is to be operated only by staff of the Kensington and Chelsea Registration Service. Any person not a member of staff using the equipment does so at their own risk.

3.5 Customers ceremonies and their guests may not occupy the ceremony rooms at The Chelsea Old Town Hall, earlier than the time booked, and must vacate the room at the end of the period for which the room was booked.

3.6 For fire safety the maximum capacity of all our rooms may not be exceeded. If the number of guest exceeds the capacity of the room some guests will be excluded.

3.7 Should the fire alarm be sounded before, after or during a ceremony the premises must be vacated immediately by the nearest fire exit. With regards to ceremony attendees who have special accessibility needs or requirements (such as wheelchair users), please note that it will be the responsibility of the persons who have booked the ceremony to make sure that there is an evacuation plan in place for these attendees in the event of an emergency.

3.8 Ceremonies can only take place in venues that have been licensed for this purpose. Kensington and Chelsea Registration Service cannot take responsibility for any failure on the part of licensed venues in relation to the provision of their services, additional services, or arrangements. Licensed venues cannot allow or undertake services and arrangements other than those permitted in their ceremonies.

3.9 The Coronavirus pandemic has not ended and the virus is still present in the population.  Ceremonies and appointments may be subject to cancellation and rescheduling at short notice.  Such changes may be due to government guidelines and restrictions, the need for staff to self-isolate or other pandemic related issues  
By booking or rescheduling at this time you are agreeing that you understand and accept the risk of late notice cancellations and/or rescheduling.

4. Health and Safety

Safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of our service users at work is of paramount importance and we strive to provide working environments which are safe and without risk to health.
 
Kensington and Chelsea place a significant emphasis on Health and Safety, which includes a thorough COVID-19 risk assessment. Please make sure you read this section carefully and if you have any questions, do contact the Register Office.
 
4.1 To ensure our ceremony rooms and building environment remain Covid-19 secure, we have taken all the necessary precaution and steps to keep everyone safe. 
 
4.2 Security guard situated at the entrance to facilitate client movement. This allows a controlled entry so social distancing can be maintained inside Kensington and Chelsea Register Office.  

4.3 Hand sanitiser is situated at the entrance to the building and outside ceremony rooms and must be utilised by all parties inside the premises. 

4.4 If you or any of your guests have any of the symptoms associated with the Coronavirus (a high temperature or loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste and a new continuous cough); tested positively for the coronavirus, or have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case, please self-isolate as advised and contact 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 for further advice.  Do not come to the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office.
 
4.5 Unless there is a medical exception, please ensure a face covering is worn as you enter Kensington and Chelsea Register Office.
 
4.6 A perspex screen has been installed in each of our ceremony rooms. 
 
4.7 Social distancing observed in each of our ceremony rooms.
 
4.8 You should not exceed the maximum capacity numbers for the ceremony rooms.  Registrars reserve the right to refuse access to guests exceeding the maximum capacity. 
 
4.9 We strongly discourage bringing large objects to the ceremony such as suitcases, bags or prams.  If these are unavoidable then these mustn't be left in an emergency escape route during the ceremony.  There is a small non-lockable closet on the ceremony floor where guests may leave bags during the ceremony at their own risk.
 
4.10 Our registrars are trained fire evacuation officers, in the event of a fire alarm it’s extremely important to follow their guidance in leading you safely out of the building.  The registrars will follow the requirements of our general fire and emergency evacuation procedure.
 
4.11 There is step-free access to the ceremony rooms. At Chelsea Old Town Hall, there is a lift at the library entrance to the building. A security porter at the library’s entrance would be able to assist any wheelchair users through the building to the Registrars' department. If you or any of your guests require wheelchair access, please let us know in advance either at the time of booking.
 
4.12 If you or a guest has mobility issues such or requires step-free access, it will be your responsibility to assist them out of the nearest emergency escape exit.  If you would like us to prepare a personal emergency evacuation procedure for them, please let us know at the earliest opportunity.
 
4.13 Please take care on the front steps of the Chelsea Old Town Hall.  Although these are kept clean and free from obstruction, the age of the stone means that they can become slippery in wet or wintry weather.  Please therefore use the handrails provided.