Cookie Policy

This website works best using cookies. You can find out more and change your settings any time but by continuing you agree to this.

Council Services:

About your ceremony

What you should expect and plan for on your special day.

Arrival at the venue

  • The couple must be interviewed by the registration officer prior to the ceremony, together or separately
  • Ensure that all guests are aware of the ceremony venue address and parking availability
  • Ensure you and your witnesses/guests arrive on time
  • Please allow for local traffic conditions when planning the journey

Remember there may be traffic delays or you may wish to take photographs before the ceremony begins. For:

  • An enhanced ceremony - arrive 15-30 minutes before your ceremony time
  • A standard ceremony- arrive 10-15 minutes before your ceremony time
  • A legal ceremony - arrive 10 minutes before your ceremony time

At the registration office

It’s helpful to nominate a responsible person, such as an usher, to look after your guests and make sure your guests are seated where you want them.

The registration officer will need to confirm your details and collect any cash fees.

A legal or standard ceremony, including seeing the registration officer beforehand, will last for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Enhanced and licensed venue ceremonies can take longer.


There are numerous wedding-related websites which can help with ideas for readings but we have provided some of the more traditional ones in the downloads section below.

Photographs and videos

Your guests/witnesses are welcome to take photographs before and after the ceremony. You may also nominate one person to take still photographs without flash during the ceremony. See our photographic policy in our ceremony guide.

At the end of the ceremony, there will be an opportunity for photographs with your guests/witnesses. Many offices and venues have attractive gardens/grounds for some extra photographs.

Indicate on your ceremony plan, if someone is going to film using video equipment and we will be able to show him/her the best place to stand on ceremony day. For safety reasons, we cannot allow extra lighting and all equipment must run on batteries.


  • You must provide two witnesses to a legal or standard ceremony
  • You must provide a minimum of two to four witnesses to an enhanced ceremony

Witnesses should be over the age of 15, be able to understand English and the significance of the ceremony they are witnessing.

If you are using an interpreter, they must be one of your witnesses. They must be present throughout the ceremony and will all sign the marriage register at the end of the ceremony.

Statutory declaratory and contracting words

In both cases, the parties to be married/form a civil partnership must choose the same Statutory Declaratory and Contracting words. You will be asked to indicate your one option from each section on the ceremony plan:


  1. If you are in agreement please answer “I am” to the following question. Are you (full name) free lawfully to marry/form a partnership with (full name)?
  2. I declare that I know of no legal reason why I (full name) may not be joined in marriage to /form a partnership with (full name)
  3. I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I (full name) may not be joined in matrimony to/form a partnership with (full name)


  1. I (full name) take you (full name) to be my wedded husband or wife/my civil or life partner
  2. I (full name) take thee (full name) to be my wedded husband or wife/my civil or life partner
  3. I call upon these persons here present to witness that I (full name) do take thee (full name) to be my lawful wedded husband or wife/my civil or life partner


Guests may throw confetti at our registration offices, but we ask that they only do so outside the building. This keeps offices tidy for subsequent ceremonies on the same day. You are advised to check the policy on confetti directly with any licensed venue.


The following files will open in their associated programs. To view PDF files on our website Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 or above is recommended. To upgrade or for help, visit the Adobe website.

Need an appointment?

For your convenience, you can book an appointment to register a Birth or Death online.


Did you find what you were looking for?

Please give us your name, email address and any comments you have.

Last updated: 13 July 2016

Bookmark with:

What are these?


Powered by Webstructure.NET