COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

Our services are running at a reduced capacity. Please check our individual pages for updates on what services are running and any restrictions that are in place.

Our terms and conditions have also been updated to show the changes we have in place to keep our building, customers and colleagues safe.

Please also read the council advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

Face coverings must be worn at the Register Office unless you are medically exempt.


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Getting married guide

22 September update

Following government guidance, we are happy to continue offering marriage and civil partnership ceremonies. However, there are some changes you need to be aware of.

Ceremonies taking place in Tower Hamlets can have no more than 11 guests attend in addition to the two witnesses. This would include any children (who need to be supervised at all times), photographer and videographer. This is from Monday 28 September 2020.

  • Marriage/civil partnership parties should arrive 15 minutes before their ceremony time. If parties are late you will need to re-book and will be charged.
  • All family and friends will be waiting outside the building until the time of the ceremony therefore please dress accordingly - you may need an umbrella.
  • Unfortunately any late arrivals/guests will not be allowed in and anyone displaying COVID/cold/flu like symptoms (this will also include hayfever) will be asked to leave
  • Regrettably, we will only be offering a simple ceremony with no readings, poems, music or walking down the aisle.
  • If you are exchanging rings then these can only be held by the couple.
  • Parties will be in the ceremony room for a minimum time in line with public health guidelines
  • Couples will be sent a Test and Trace document which we will use to monitor the guests who arrive to the ceremony, in line with government guidelines. This document is kept for 21 days after the ceremony.

We appreciate that this may not be the ceremony you had hoped for, but we will ensure you enjoy it nevertheless.

We will be checking the latest government guidance and updating our website should anything change.

In order to form a marriage or civil partnership, you must complete the following steps:

Please read the government guidance on the difference between a marriage and a civil partnership. It is not possible for opposite-sex couples to convert a civil partnership to a marriage.

Step one: select the time and place 

A venue that suits you and your partner is a huge part of having a day to remember, so picking the venue is the first port of call. There are a number of different venues to choose from:

You must decide where you wish to form a marriage or civil partnership before you can complete any legal paperwork.

Step two: book your registrars 

As soon as you decide on a venue, you must check to see that there is a registrar available to conduct the ceremony. You will need to arrange a registrar from the district in which the ceremony is taking place.

If you're getting married in Tower Hamlets, please email our team with your name and telephone number and a member of our team will be in touch.

If you have already made a provisional booking and need to pay an outstanding balance, you can now do this online.

Pay Remaining Balance

Step three: give your notice of intention to marry or form a civil partnership

Once you have chosen the venue for your ceremony, formal notice of marriage or civil partnership has to be given by each of you personally at the register office in the district where you live.

Once notice is given for a specific venue, you cannot change it without giving a new notice.

Find out everything you need to know about giving notice.

Marriage in a religious building

If you are getting married in a Church of England church, or a Church in Wales, you may not need to do anything with the Register Office unless you are subject to immigration control.

If you wish to marry in another religious venue you must meet the criteria.

For any marriage queries, please check the website for further information before placing your notice of intent to marry.