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Marriage arrangements and ceremony

We know that planning a wedding can be demanding, but our experienced team are here to help you organise a personal, meaningful ceremony, and to ensure it is carried out in accordance with the law.

Important considerations could include personalising the ceremony, organising readings or poetry, music and flowers, and securing the venue of your choice.

Couples can have a unique and tailored civil ceremony in either the Register Office or a venue of their choice which is licensed to hold civil ceremonies. Find out more about the venues available on our ceremony venues page.

Superintendent Registrar

District Register Office,

Municipal Buildings

Gelliwastad Road


CF37 2DP

Tel: 01443 494024


The legal preliminaries to marriage in England and Wales

Before you can marry by Civil Ceremony in England and Wales, notice of your Intention to marry must first be given to the Superintendent Registrar for the district in which you live.

A Notice of Marriage is a Legal Document and is valid for one year.

Both parties must have lived in a Registration District within England and Wales, for at least the previous seven days before the giving of a Legal Notice. If you both live within the same district, you will each be required to attend in person at your local register office, to give Legal Notice to the Superintendent Registrar.

Your Legal Notice must be given personally and independently.

If you live in different districts, then each of you must give Legal Notice in your own Registration District.

After you have given your Legal Notice, you must then wait a further 28 clear days, before you can get married. The waiting period is an essential part of the Law and everyone is expected to comply with it.

Please note: This may be extended to 70 days in some circumstances and you will be advised if this is the case.

There is a statutory fee to enter legal notice payable at the time the notice is given, either by cash, debit or credit card. You will be asked to pay the ceremony fee in advance at this time also.

If you live in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Legal Notice of intention to Marry should be given at the Register Office, Municipal Buildings, Gelliwastad Road, Pontypridd.  Please ring to arrange an appointment  on (01443) 494024. 

Register Office Ceremony

The Register Office is situated in the town centre at the Municipal Buildings, Gelliwastad Road, Pontypridd.

It holds ceremonies between 9.30am to 3pm on weekdays and 9.00am to 2pm on Saturdays.

You can view the lovely rooms on offer before making a decision and, once you have chosen your room, date and ceremony time, you can make a provisional  booking with a small,non-refundable booking fee.

Find out more about the Register Office and its ceremony rooms.

Approved Premise Ceremony

You can also choose to have your wedding at one of our approved premises, which range from beautiful parks to country hotels.

Please contact the venue of your choice to check availability and options, but do not confirm any bookings until you have checked with the Register Office to ensure a registrar is available.

Find out more about approved wedding premises in Rhondda Cynon Taf

Please note: it is essential that you agree the date and time of your wedding, with BOTH the Superintendent Registrar and the Responsible Person at your chosen venue BEFORE making any other arrangements for your wedding. A small non-refundable booking fee is charged to provisionally book a date and time for your ceremony in advance of entering your legal notice.

Once you have confirmed your wedding date and time, you will then need to make an appointment to give Legal Notice of your Intention to Marry, to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you live.

Once notice has been entered, you will receive written confirmation of your booking assuring you of our attendance at your ceremony. In this confirmation we will ask you to arrange an appointment approximately 6 weeks prior to the ceremony to discuss the format and content of your ceremony and to pay our attendance fees.

On the day of the ceremony guests should be asked to arrive at the venue approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. You are asked to be punctual as Registrars often have to attend other ceremonies on a tight schedule.

Whether you wish to have a short informal ceremony with only a few guests, or an enhanced formal one with many guests, our dedicated registration team will be happy to offer suggestions on how to make your ceremony a memorable one tailored to your individuality as a couple.

Whilst there are certain legal vows you must say during the ceremony, we have a varied choice of "Enhancements" which you may, if you wish, add to your vows, or you may prefer to write your own special and meaningful words to one another. whatever you decide upon, our experienced and friendly team will help you plan your perfect ceremony.

Couples sometimes wish to enhance their ceremony further by having poetry or readings. We have a selection available for you to choose from, or you may prefer to supply your own. If you decide to use your own poem then please ensure a copy is available for the Superintendent Registrar to see prior to your ceremony.

You will need to speak to the responsible person at the venue regarding facilities for your music. Generally speaking you will need at least four pieces of music to be played:

  • As your guests arrive
  • For the entrance / walk down the aisle
  • During the signing of the register
  • For the couple's departure

Please note: any enhancements chosen, including any music, poetry or readings, must be non-religious in nature.

Getting married in a church or other religious building

Couples wishing to be Married in the Church of England or the Church in Wales, (generally you would only be able to do so if you or your partner live in the Parish where the Church is situated), should first speak with the appropriate vicar. He /she will then arrange for the Banns to be called on three Sundays before the date of the wedding, or for a common licence to be issued.

In the above circumstances, there is generally no need to involve a Superintendent Registrar.

If however, you wish to be married in any other Church or religious building (generally you would only be able to do so if you or your partner live in the district in which the Church or Religious Building is situated), you should first contact the Minister or governing body of the appropriate building to agree a date and time for the ceremony but you must also contact the Register Office to make an appointment to enter legal notice of your intention to marry. A marriage can only take place in a building that has been registered for marriage and the ceremony must be according to non-conformist rites for example, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic etc. A small non-refundable booking fee is charged to provisionally book a date and time for your ceremony in advance of entering your legal notice.

Although the marriage is likely to be conducted by a Minister, Priest, Imam etc, a Registrar is usually needed to register the marriage and you will need to make sure a Registrar is available to attend before making any other arrangements for the ceremony.

Both parties to the intended Marriage are required by law to give Legal Notice of their intention to marry, to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which they live. A Wedding cannot take place unless civil preliminaries to the marriage have been entered. You will be asked to pay the fee for the Registrar's attendance in advance of the ceremony when you enter your legal notices.

Although the content of your ceremony will be discussed with the minister conducting your ceremony your guests should be asked to arrive at the venue approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. You are asked to be punctual as Registrars often have to attend other ceremonies on a tight schedule.

Making a Provisional Booking

A notice of marriage is valid for one year, but it is always advisable to make a booking as soon as you can. This applies whether you are marrying at the Register Office, in one of our Approved Premises or at a Church or Chapel where a registrar is required to attend.

Most  venues within the district run a provisional booking system, this allows you to book your wedding further ahead enabling couples to make all the necessary arrangements in good time.

A provisional booking should be made in writing to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you intend to get married. your legal notice of marriage must then be given to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you live, within one year of the date of the ceremony regardless of where within England or Wales the marriage is to take place.

Please note: Rhondda Cynon Taf now charge a non-refundable booking fee at the time of the booking to provisionally secure the date and time of your ceremony.

Attesting a notice of marriage

A notice of marriage cannot be given jointly by both parties or by anyone else. Each party must attend personally before the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which they have had their usual residence, to give their own notice of marriage. Where both parties live in the same registration district, they should attend together. Notice of marriage can be given up to a year before the wedding and is attested by independent personal interview. The process takes approximately 20 minutes per person and is by appointment only.

If you are a foreign national subject to UK immigration control, you should contact your local register office for advice on how to proceed.

 To find the nearest register office please check the General Register Office website and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate website.

What documents will I need?

You will need to bring the following documents with you to your interview:

  • Your current valid passports OR birth certificates (If you were born after 1st January 1983 and do not have a passport, a full birth certificate must be produced together with your mother's birth certificate or passport)
  • Confirmation of address (driving licence, recent utility bill etc).
  • If you have been widowed, the death and marriage certificate of your late spouse.
  • If you are divorced, your decree absolute (with an original seal)
  • If you have formally changed your name, documentary evidence of this
  • If you were born outside the UK your passport or travel document.
  • (When booking your appointment, the Registrar will confirm the relevant documents you will need to bring along for your appointment.) 

Bi-lingual Ceremony

If you are Welsh speaking and would like your ceremony conducted in the Welsh language please discuss this with the superintendent registrar when you telephone to book an appointment.

If you require special assistance

If English is not your first language you will need an interpreter to attend the Register Office with you to enter your legal notice and on the day of the ceremony to translate for you. this cannot be the other party to the marriage.

Parties Domiciled Abroad

If either of the parties to the intended marriage live outside England and Wales and want to get married either a church or chapel, or by civil ceremony in England and Wales, please contact the Register Office for more information/advice.