Hero Wedding Checklist1

Wedding Checklist

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By now, you must already have given notice of intention to marry or enter into civil partnership.

In exceptional circumstances, such as serious illness, you may be able to get married within a month even if you have not yet given notice – in this case please contact us at [email protected] for further information.

One month before your ceremony:

Give notice of intention to marry. You can even give notice up to 12 months before the ceremony date.

One week before your ceremony week:

On the day of the ceremony:

Arrive around half hour before the start time (stagger your arrivals if you don’t want to be seen by each other!);

Undergo your pre-ceremony interview

Let the registrars guide you through every step of the ceremony

After the ceremony:

Await any additional certificates that you’ve ordered to arrive to you in the post;

If you are changing your name, update your passport using your marriage certificate

On the day

Before the ceremony


On the day of the ceremony, we ask that you and your guests arrive 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony so we can ensure, wherever possible, that it will start on time.

You and your guests should enter via the side entrance of the Registrars department at Chelsea Old Town Hall, on Chelsea Manor Street. You will be greeted at the door of Chelsea Old Town Hall and asked to go straight upstairs into the ceremony waiting area.

Pre-ceremony interview

Your registrars will need to do a short and easy interview with you before the start of your ceremony and this will take place in your designated ceremony room. You do not need to bring any documents with you to this interview – except in the rare circumstance that you’ve officially changed your name after giving notice but before getting married. You can do this interview together or separately. This ceremony will be done in private and shouldn’t last more than 5 minutes per person.

This pre-ceremony interview is a legal requirement. The registrar is ensuring that all your details are correct before they go into the marriage or civil partnership schedule and that you are still happy to proceed with the ceremony.  After the pre-ceremony is completed, your guests will then join you in the ceremony room.

During the ceremony

Two registrars will be with you throughout your ceremony: one to conduct the ceremony; and the other to enter the details onto the schedule, assist you and your two witnesses with the signing.

The registrar conducting the ceremony will welcome your guests again, quickly introduce themselves, and start with the ceremony.
Each of our registrars gives a slightly different but equally professional and heartfelt ceremony, almost identical to the example ceremony provided in the Frequently Asked Questions section. They all follow a similar format which includes:

  • Welcoming and introduction
  • Reading the ceremony proper
  • Asking you both to repeat the declaratory and contracting vows
  • Guiding you through the exchange of rings (optional)
  • Declaring you as legally married / civil partnered at the end of the ceremony
  • Inviting you and your two witnesses to sign the schedule
  • Congratulation you at the end and guiding you and your guests to the front steps for your photographs. 

You do not need to memorise any words for your ceremony – the registrar will ask you to repeat the legally required vows after them. Your registrar will say the words clearly, in short parts, so that they’re easy to understand and repeat. Your registrar will guide you through every part of the ceremony.

Music is optional and can be played during the signing of the schedule.

  • As you walk down the aisle after the registrar has welcomed the guests;
  • During the signing of the schedule;
  • As you leave the room at the end of the ceremony.

Once you and your partner have exchanged vows, exchanged rings, the schedule has been signed, and photographs taken, the registrar will congratulate you.

After the ceremony

After your ceremony has finished, you will exit the room and your guests will line the famous stone steps at the front of Chelsea Old Town Hall, whilst you wait at the top. Your registrars will assist you with this. Once everyone is ready, you will walk down the steps as your guests throw biodegradable confetti on you (which is optional). Your marriage or civil partnership certificate(s) will be posted to your address.

After you’ve got married or had your civil partnership

  • Await for your marriage or civil partnership certificate(s) that you’ve ordered to arrive in the post;
  • If you are changing your name, update your passport using your marriage certificate, and then use your passport in your new name with all other official bodies e.g. driving licence, employer, banks, financial, mortgage, legal, insurance, etc.
  • Apply for Marriage Allowance