However you choose to formerly celebrate your union, the only right answer is the one that is right for you
Religious Marriage Ceremonies
In England and Wales, if you have an Anglican wedding the minister will act on behalf of the state so you don't have to involve the local registrar.
For all other religious wedding ceremonies you will need to give formal notice to a registrar before your marriage can take place. Many churches will be able to do this for you and arrange things with the registrar, but you should check.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland the celebrant is licensed to conduct a marriage ceremony almost anywhere but notice must still be given to the registrar.
For more information on religious wedding ceremonies contact your own religious organization.
Civil Marriage Ceremonies
In England and Wales if you don't want to marry in church you will either have to attend a Register Office or have your ceremony conducted by a registrar at an approved venue.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland you can marry in existing approved premises or apply for temporary approval of a venue of your own choice.
You may be considering a civil partnership which can be registered in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland at a register office or in licensed premises. Have a look at our special Civil Partnerships section.
Whether your ceremony is in church, a register office or an approved venue, fees are charged for the notice of marriage, for the service and for a copy of the marriage certificate. Up to date costs can be found on the relevant websites.
Alternative Wedding Ceremonies
A wedding ceremony is steeped in tradition, often its very spiritual - a unique and deeply personal commitment to one another. Once you have fulfilled your legal commitments there's tremendous scope for personalising your dream day.
If it's a second marriage, you may be having a blessing in church or chapel after the civil ceremony.
You may want to arrange to have your own wedding ceremony and you could ask a friend to conduct it, or find a Celebrant to help you plan a specially tailored wedding blessing to suit you.
Perhaps you've decided on a pagan hand-fasting or you're planning a renewal of vows. Celebrants are always open to ideas and variety for couples wanting to renew their vows and name their children a few years down the line.
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