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Your Ceremony

Wherever you choose to get married in Hull the registrars will work with you to make your day really special.

It’s your day so we want you to have a ceremony of your choice, this may be a small intimate ceremony or a larger celebration. While a civil ceremony has a fairly standard format, there is plenty of scope within it to make it personal and we will be as flexible as we can to ensure your ceremony is how you want it to be and befitting for the occasion.

Music and Readings

If opting for a ceremony at The Guildhall or at one of our approved premises it is possible to personalise your ceremony with your choice of music and readings.  Any poem, reading or music chosen must not include religious reference.

If opting to include a poem or reading then these can be read by yourselves, a relative or friend (it is a good opportunity to involve others in your ceremony) or the registrar.  A selection of poems and readings to consider are included in our ceremony brochure which you will be given after giving notice, although you can suggest including one of your own.

You are able to choose the music to be played when you make your entrance, during the signing of the register and at the end of the ceremony.  You may also want to consider proving some additional music to be played whilst your guests arrive.

If you have opted to have your ceremony in Register Office Room in The Guildhall, we prefer that you provide CD(s) containing your music on the day of your ceremony and not prior to it - however the registrar is not responsible if the CD provided does not play.  We do have the facility to play music from a mobile phone or iPod, however we would suggest that any music selected is saved in a separate play list and that one of your party is given responsibility for accessing the chosen music.

It is not possible to include additional readings or have music if you have opted for a basic ceremony at the Wilson Centre.

‘Do It Yourself’ promises

If getting married at one of our approved venues, after the ‘legal’ part of the ceremony has taken place, you can become more personal and creative, if you wish to do so, by saying additional promises to each other.  A selection of suggestions are included in our ceremonies brochure, alternatively you can chose to be creative and write your own.  This is a great way of personalising your ceremony as the promises you make can come straight from the heart.  This part of the ceremony does not have to be serious, promises can be funny yet still evoke emotion and bring a smile to everyone face.  If you are going to write your own promises or choose a funny alternative please always discuss this with the registrar in advance of your ceremony.

Unfortunately due to time constraints it is not possible to include promises in Register Office ceremonies.


It is possible to personalise your ceremony with a theme.  The registrars will where possible help to incorporate your theme into your ceremony.  It is important that the ceremony is still befitting for the occasion and incorporates all the prescribed legal elements however it may be possible to include additional references to reflect your theme.  Please contact us to discuss further.


Photographs can be taken during a ceremony, but we ask for considerate use of flash photography and that the photographer remains in situ whilst taking photographs during the ceremony.  It is not possible to take photographs during the signing of the register - however there is an opportunity to take photographs after the register has been signed.

Ceremonies may be recorded using video cameras.  It is possible to broadcast your ceremony using a web cam - however we are unable to provide equipment for this purpose.


Please check with the venue provider if or where confetti is allowed to be thrown.

For ceremonies at The Guildhall please ensure that confetti is not thrown within the entrance area or on the steps outside of the building. 

Hull City Council encourages the use of biodegradable confetti.


Animals are allowed into a venue at the discretion of the management of the venue but only allowed to be in the room during a ceremony with the agreement of the registrar.  Any requests to include or involve a well behaved animal within your ceremony should be discussed with us before the ceremony.


You must have a minimum of two witnesses but can have up to a maximum of four.  Witnesses must be both able and old enough to understand the ceremony and their role in it.  If you would like to include an older child as witness we would suggest that this is as an additional witness and that two adult witnesses are also present.

Arrival times

Please be aware that it is not traditional to be late for a civil ceremony.

Please remember to make allowances for traffic delays and time for pre-wedding photographs.

It is legal requirement for the registrars to meet with both parties (either individually or together) prior to the ceremony therefore time (10 – 15 minutes) needs to be allowed for these preliminaries.

Although we make every effort to accommodate late arrivals, if delays are incurred your ceremony may have to be postponed or a shorter more basic ceremony provided.  You should do your utmost to ensure everyone arrives on time.

Please note it is not possible to have any guests other than your two witnesses if you have opted to have your ceremony in our office at the Wilson Centre.  The office used is very small and for health and safety reasons we will not permit additional people to be present in the room. 


A rehearsal is not normally needed, however we can provide this service if required.*

Please contact us if you want to discuss any element of your ceremony.  We will work with you and be as flexible as we can to ensure your ceremony is how you want it to be and befitting for the occasion.

If opting for a ceremony at the Guildhall as the building is a public building you are able to visit and view our room on the ground floor, during working hours, as long as the room is not being used for a ceremony.

*an additional fee would be payable for this service.

Changing your name

It is tradition for at least one partner to change their name after the ceremony.  Although this is a tradition it is not a legal requirement. 
When signing the marriage register you will be required to sign using the name you were known as at the start of the ceremony and not your new married name.

Changing the date or time or cancelling your ceremony

If you need to change the date and time of your ceremony please contact us at the earliest opportunity.  If you have already given your notice and want to make a minor amendment only we may be able to transfer your booking and any amounts paid.

If you have not given notice an additional booking fee will be payable.

In the event of a cancellation ceremony payments are non refundable if the ceremony is cancelled less than one month prior to the date of the ceremony.  Booking fees are non refundable in all cases.

To cancel a ceremony we will require this request in writing, and that any request is signed by both parties.  Any refund due will be issued to the party whom made the original payment and refunded using the same payment method as originally used.

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Hull City Council, Guildhall, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull, HU1 2AA

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