BCP Civic Centre (Town Hall) and The Guildhall - ceremony guide
Marriages in the Register Office
Marriages in the Register Office are for the couple and two witnesses only. Babies and children are not permitted to attend, and neither can a separate photographer. However, your witnesses are welcome to take photographs. Anyone is welcome to wait outside the building to greet you afterwards. The Register Office is a working office and will not be dressed.
Marriages in the ceremony rooms at the BCP Civic Centre (Town Hall) and The Guildhall
Young children and photographers
Children under 2 years can be counted in addition to the maximum guest number, but they will need to sit on laps. Pushchairs will need to wait outside the room. Children over 2 years will be counted in the guest number. A photographer or videographer is not counted in the guest number.
Decorations at the venues
The ceremony rooms at the Town Hall and The Guildhall are dressed with silk flowers and do not need any extra decorations. You can see these rooms in our licensed venues listing. You are welcome to bring something easy to display, such as a table arrangement or pictures of loved ones. However you will not have much time in the room before the ceremony starts and any additional decorations must be taken with you after the ceremony.
Contact before the ceremony
If you are getting married at the BCP Civic Centre (Town Hall) or the Guildhall, you will not hear from the registrar before the ceremony unless there is an issue. Information about the day is attached to your confirmation email of the ceremony booking. The registrar will prepare your ceremony for you and will discuss the finer details on the day before the ceremony starts - such as who you are walking down the aisle with and the ring exchange. However, if you have any questions about the day that are not answered here, please contact us.
When to arrive, and how to stay separate before the ceremony
If you are happy to arrive together, please arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the ceremony. If you would like to stay separate before the ceremony, the groom or first partner and the guests should arrive 15 minutes before the ceremony. The groom/partner 1 or first partner will be escorted inside to speak with the registrars and the guests will be welcomed in to be seated. The bride/partner 2 can arrive five minutes before the ceremony. The registrars will speak with them just before the ceremony starts.
You are welcome to play your own music at the BCP Civic Centre (Town Hall) or The Guildhall. We advise that you choose four or five songs:
- one to walk in to
- two or three for signing the schedule
- one to walk out to.
You must ensure that there is no religious content in the songs.
One of your guests would need to operate this from a phone or other device. They can connect to the speaker in the room via Bluetooth. We will help them connect to the speaker and explain when to play each song, before the ceremony starts. You can also bring the music on a CD.
We can play appropriate music that we have, but you would not be offered a choice of songs.
You are welcome to use confetti outside the building after the ceremony but you must ensure that guests bring biodegradable confetti.
Photos and the wedding car after the ceremony
After the ceremony you will have time to take some photographs outside the building but if you wish to take more photographs further away your wedding car will need to be moved as there will likely be a ceremony after yours.
There is no set dress code for a wedding or civil partnership but clothing must be generally appropriate. It is your special day - you can wear whatever you like.