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Getting married

There are lots of things to think about when planning your wedding. To help, we have outlined everything you need to do on this page.


From 28 September, no more than 15 people can attend a wedding or civil ceremony.

You can give your notice of marriage/civil partnership for weddings taking place up to 31 December 2020. To make an appointment, contact us on 03000 266 000. Please do not visit our register offices without making an appointment first.

We are accepting wedding and civil partnership bookings for 2020 for our register offices and licensed venues in line with current government guidance.

All naming ceremonies and non-statutory celebrations are still suspended. Email any queries you have to

You can order birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates online or over the phone.

You can get married in the UK if you are:

  • 16 or over
  • free to marry (single, divorced or widowed)
  • not closely related

You need permission from your parents or guardians if you are under 18.

Coronavirus update - changes to weddings and civil partnerships

  • The ceremony can not take place if either the groom or the bride has symptoms. Guests with symptoms are not allowed to attend.
  • Only weddings and civil partnerships, conducted by one of our registrars or within a religious building and conducted by a minister, may take place.
  • The ceremony must be in line with government guidance on social distancing.
  • Up to a maximum of 15 people are allowed at a ceremony (depending on venue). It has been clarified that this maximum number includes all those attending, including the couple, witnesses and guests. However anyone working, for example officiants, photographers, security, staff employed by the venue, third-party suppliers or catering staff are not included.
  • Only one photographer per wedding is allowed and he/she will count as one of your guests. 
  • Ceremonies must be kept as short as possible.
  • Someone can give the bride away but best men and women are not permitted.
  • You will have to sanitize your hands before and after signing the register.
  • Rings must remain on the table in the ceremony room until required.
  • No live music is allowed but we can play a pre recorded piece of music or song.
  • There is no opportunity for group photos within the ceremony rooms.
  • Seating plans of our venues can be provided.

What you need to do

Give notice of your intention to marry

You can give notice at either Aykley Heads House register office or Bishop Auckland register office.

After you have both given your notices of intention to marry you will be given a ceremony pack. The pack gives you information about making your wedding personal, with readings, music and personal promises. 

You must plan to have your wedding at least 28 days after you give notice.

Plan and book your wedding

There are two options for your wedding in County Durham: 

  • a civil ceremony: this can take place in a register office or a licensed venue such as a hotel and is a non-religious ceremony performed by one of our registrars  
  • a church wedding: this is a religious ceremony performed in a church

Registrar booking fee

You will need to pay a non-refundable booking fee of £40. Changes to bookings will result in another £40 booking fee becoming payable.

This fee needs to be paid to the superintendent registrar at least six weeks before your wedding is due to take place.


Contact us
Registration Service
03000 266 000
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