Preparing for the Big Day

Late arrival

Although it may be traditional for the bride to be late, it is important that your ceremony starts promptly as the Registrar may be attending other ceremonies after yours. Late arrival may result in your ceremony not going ahead.


You do not need to bring any identification with you on the day.

Photographs and video

We ask that your guests refrain from taking photos during the ceremony, however, a nominated photographer may take photos of the entrance of the bride and on the exchange of rings. For reasons of data protection photographs cannot be taken of the actual signing of the marriage register. There will be plenty of opportunity for photos afterwards with a blank register.

Music and readings

Many couples choose to have music when the bride makes her entrance, while they sign the marriage register and as they exit the room together. If you would like to enhance your ceremony and make it more personal, you may wish to include readings or choose your own music (although please note that neither must be religious in nature). You should provide copies of any readings or titles of music choices to the Registrar before the ceremony.


The marriage ceremony will take approximately 20 minutes. Herefordshire registration service policy states that witnesses should be aged 18 or over and capable of understanding the events which have taken place. The minimum requirement is for two adults to witness the ceremony and sign the marriage register. If an interpreter is required they must sign as a witness.

Religious blessing after a ceremony

Marriages in approved premises may be followed by a religious blessing provided the Registrars have left the building. There must be a clear break between the civil ceremony and the religious proceedings. The blessing should not take place before the civil marriage ceremony.