Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

If you’re looking for more information on the process of booking your ceremony, take a look at our blog post on how to do it.

I don’t live in Westminster, can I still get married in this borough?

Yes, of course. You may still have to give notice in your home borough. Read more here: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/giving-notice-of-intention 

I have given my notice of intention. Will you let me know when it has been issued?

No. We will only contact you if there has been a problem with your notice. If you have given notice elsewhere for a ceremony in Westminster, we will be automatically informed that you have done so - you don’t need to inform us.

I am having my wedding in Westminster but I live abroad. Do I still need to give notice in person?

Yes, even if you are having a 'destination wedding' in London, you must give notice in the UK. See our blog post on how to get married for more information on this.

Do I need to bring ID/paperwork on the day of my ceremony?

You do not need to bring anything on the day. As you would have provided identification when giving notice of intention, you do not need to do so again on the day of your ceremony.

Who can be my witness and how many witnesses do I need to bring? Do they need to bring ID?

Witnesses are required to observe you make your verbal contract of marriage, and to sign the marriage register. Therefore, they need to be present throughout the ceremony, and not be involved in other roles which may distract them, such as taking photographs.

Your witnesses need to speak and understand English, and ideally should be over the age of 16. They can be friends or family members and they do not need to bring ID on the day. You must supply your own witnesses – Westminster Register Office staff cannot act as witnesses.

 

 

Can I request a specific registrar? Can I meet them before the day of the ceremony?

Registrars are allocated based on availability, however we will try to accommodate any requests for a specific registrar where possible. If you wish to meet with your registrar prior to the day, we will endeavour to arrange this for you, depending on availability. You can meet your registrar during normal office hours, but you will need to book an appointment. If you require an appointment outside of office hours, or at a venue of your choice, there is a fee. We can also attend wedding rehearsals, but again, there is a fee for the attendance. If you are unable to meet your registrar in person, we can arrange a telephone call instead.

Can my friend conduct my ceremony?

Your ceremony needs to be conducted by a Westminster registrar or a registrar currently working in another district. However, friends and family are welcome to give readings during the ceremony.

Can I personalise the ceremony or write my own vows?

Yes. As long as you and your partner exchange the required legal words, you are free to amend the scripts and/or add your own readings, personal vows etc. Read more about this on our 'ceremonies' page.

Do we have to exchange rings?

No. You can leave this out of your ceremony altogether, especially if you wish to do this another day, or you can exchange other symbols of commitment, as long as your registrar is happy that it is in keeping with the solemnity of the occasion.

When will I receive my marriage certificate?

You will receive your marriage certificate on the day of your ceremony. If you have requested additional copies of your certificate, you may also receive these on the day, or they may be posted to you following the ceremony. N.B. This process may change in 2020, we will update you.

I am having a civil partnership – when will I receive my certificate?

You will receive your certificate in the post within a week of your civil partnership.

What is the best way to get to the Old Marylebone Town Hall?

Baker Street and Marylebone are the closest underground stations, each within a 5-minute walk of the building. There are also bus stops on the Marylebone Road and Gloucester Place. The nearest railway main line station is Marylebone, however there are good transport links from Paddington, Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras

Is there somewhere for my wedding car/bus to park?

There is a pick-up and drop-off point at the front of the building, but vehicles are not permitted to wait here. Parking is restricted in the surrounding streets, although there is a privately owned multi-story car park found diagonally opposite to the Old Marylebone Town Hall. Parking fees will apply. If you are hiring a bus for your wedding, please discuss parking arrangement with the company.

What time should I/my wedding party arrive for my ceremony?

You should arrive for your ceremony half an hour before your allotted time. This is to allow for you and your partner to be interviewed prior to your ceremony. If you do not wish to see each other before the ceremony, one of you should arrive 30 minutes in advance and the other 15 minutes ahead so we can conduct your interviews separately. Guests are welcome 30 minutes ahead too, they will be shown to the ceremony room.

Where do I go when I arrive at the Town Hall?

You and your guests will be directed to the appropriate rooms on arrival by our team of ushers.

Is there disabled access?

Anyone requiring disabled access to the building; will be escorted by a member of staff through the adjoining building, the Sammy Ofer Centre, on Marylebone Road. There is access to a lift from the ground floor to the 2nd floor, where the marriage rooms are located. We ask that you complete a Personal

Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP form) beforehand and email it to registeroffice@westminster.gov.uk. The form can be download from our website here.

Is there a disabled toilet in the building?

Yes, the disabled toilet is located on the ground floor adjacent to the ladies’ bathroom. There is also a baby changing table in both the ladies’ and gentlemen’s toilets.

Can I have my own music or hire a musician for the ceremony?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own music or organise a live performer (without amps). However, please ensure that any recorded music is downloaded to a smart device i.e. phone or tablet, as we no longer have the facility to play CDs or music via a USB stick. We recommend playing music in three places: entrance, document signing & exit. Please be aware that any music or readings cannot be religious in nature – incidental references to a god or deity is acceptable, but the piece must be essentially non-religious in context.

Can my musician / singer / bagpipes come and warm up in the room before the start of the ceremony?

Yes, of course. Access to the ceremony room is permitted up to 25 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Unfortunately, the use of bagpipes is prohibited. Another option is having a recorded playlist playing at this time.

How many weddings take place at the same time?

Our ceremonies have staggered start times, so there is only ever one ceremony due to start at any one time. It is still important to bear in mind that no one has exclusive use of the building.

How long do we have use of the room for?

You are granted access to your chosen room 25 minutes prior to your ceremony. The ceremony will normally last approximately 20-25 minutes and we factor in 5+ minutes departure time at the end.

Can we change the layout of the room/decorate the marriage room?

Each ceremony room has a fixed layout. Unfortunately, we cannot remove chairs from the rooms. There are seven different rooms with individual layouts to choose from.

Can we change to a large room if we need to?

Yes, but please be aware that it will depend on room availability and an amendment fee may be applicable.

Are there flowers in the rooms? Can we bring our own?

There are always floral arrangements that are replenished on a quarterly basis and the colours are seasonal. Additional flower arrangements can be brought and added to the permanent arrangements in the room as long as they are easy to put up and can be removed directly afterwards by the wedding party. Please let us know in advance if you plan to do this.

 

Can we have confetti?

Yes, please contact us here if you would like to purchase our in-house biodegradable confetti. It will be ready for you on the day of the ceremony. You are also welcome to bring your own biodegradable confetti. It can only be thrown on the front steps of the building. Unfortunately, we cannot permit rice, metallic or plastic confetti in the interest of the environment.

Can our dog attend the ceremony?

We are dog friendly. Please let us know in advance if you plan to bring any dogs so we can make a note on your booking.

Is there a loop system?

No, there is no loop system in the building.

Can we bring helium balloons?

Unfortunately not, as our ceilings are very high and stray balloons are difficult to retrieve!

Can we use areas in the building to take photos before and after our ceremony?

You are welcome to use other areas of the building, such as the corridor, front steps and the landing, which are all good points for photos. You will only be able to take photos in other ceremony rooms if no other ceremonies are taking place within the building at that time.

Can we have candles?

Naked flames are not permissible, for health and safety reasons. You can bring your own faux candles – just let us know in advance.

Where should my guests leave pushchairs/luggage?

They are to be left in the foyer, to save space in the ceremony rooms. These areas are open and we will not accept responsibility for the items.

Can we have a drinks reception?

We offer a ‘First Toast’ service from Sunday-Thursday for ceremonies in the Pimlico, Soho, Marylebone & Paddington rooms. On some occasions, we may also be able to offer this in the Mayfair & Knightsbridge rooms. There is a fee of £90 for this service. Drinks are served immediately after the close of the ceremony – one glass per person - and you can spend up to 30 minutes in the room enjoying your celebration and taking photos. Alcoholic drinks need to be light coloured (i.e. sparking white wine, prosecco, champagne etc.) and delivered to OMTH at least 24 hours prior to the day of the ceremony. The same applies to soft drinks. 
 

You can contact us regarding a ‘first toast’ here

A longer drinks reception is subject to availability and requires booking an additional ceremony slot. Please contact us if you are interested in this.

 

Can I get ready at the venue?

There is a powder room located next to the ladies’ bathroom for quick touch-ups before the ceremony begins. However, we ask that you arrive fully dressed.

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