Getting married guide
Getting married can seem daunting at the best of times, but especially now where we are still under the effects of a global pandemic.
Please ensure you check this page regularly for updates. We contact all couples who have booked a ceremony with us when major changes to guidance has affected their ceremony.
Latest update - 5 January 2021
Following the latest announcement by the government, restrictions mean we cannot offer weddings or civil partnerships until February 2021.
All affected couples will be emailed. Those who had bookings up to 31 January 2021 will be contacted and offered a new date for free.
We are also offering free cancellations to those who should have had a ceremony before 31 January 2021 but are unable to.
Our usual terms and conditions apply, including those relating to amendments and cancellations to all ceremonies after 31 January 2021.
Please note the government guidance on wedding and civil partnerships in Tier 4. Ceremonies may only be held in exceptional circumstances with a maximum of six people. These circumstances include those who are seriously ill and not expected to recover and those who will be undergoing life-changing surgery.
If you feel this applies to you, please email us and we will do what we can to help.
Thank you once more for your patience. If you have any urgent questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There may be a delay in responding due to increased demand.
We look forward to celebrating with you soon.
There are things you need to know and do when wishing to get married or form a civil partnership.
Decide on a venue
One of the most important aspects of day, the venue must be decided before giving notice.
The notice is only valid for one venue for one year. If you are marrying in Tower Hamlets, we can book your ceremony or registrars in your notice appointment.
If you are getting married in another area, you will need to discuss availability with that local authority first.
Give notice of intention
More information can be found on our notice of intention page.
Book your venue
If you are getting married in Tower Hamlets, we can book your ceremony or registrars in your notice appointment if you are giving notice with us.
Please email us to discuss options once you have read the information on this page.
Attend your ceremony
Follow all the instructions in your confirmation emails to ensure you attend your ceremony on time and with the correct documentation and people.
Failure to arrive on time will result in your ceremony being postponed and may be subject to a fee.
Marriages and Civil Partnerships: what is the difference?
Marriages and Civil Partnerships provide couples with broadly similar rights. Please check the government guidance for a full comparison.
The major difference is a marriage ceremony is a verbal contract given in a ceremony. A civil partnership is a signed contract and a ceremony is optional.
If you chose to have a civil partnership in our Register Office, our most basic offering, then the couple will only be able to sign the schedule with their witnesses- there would be no ceremony.
If you chose to have a marriage in our Register Office, our most basic offering, then you will have the most basic ceremony which asks you to say the minimum words necessary to form a marriage.
Ceremonies in Tower Hamlets
A list of all our ceremony fees can be found on our fees page. Coronavirus restrictions mean we may not be able to hold our ceremonies in the usual way.
The Register Office
These are the most basic ceremonies and have extremely limited availability.
If you chose to have a civil partnership in our Register Office, then you will only be signing the schedule with your witnesses - there would be no ceremony.
If you chose to have a marriage in our Register Office, then you will have the most basic ceremony that will ask you to say the minimum words necessary to form a marriage.
The Vestry is our main ceremony room where we hold the majority of our ceremonies.
It is an historic space, once home to the East London suffrage movement, and has seen thousands of people cement their love for each other. We hold basic ceremonies Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
These ceremonies do not allow for any walk-ins, change of outfits or readings but will still provide a perfect backdrop for a simple celebration.
We hold larger ceremonies on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the Vestry. These ceremonies allow for custom music, readings, entrances and other embellishments such as time for the couple to change.
These will need to be discussed with us beforehand to ensure we can accommodate your request.
The Vestry can also be opened to allow more people should you require it. There is a fee for this.
Tower Hamlets has many beautiful, modern, sophisticated and varied venues for you to celebrate in, covering a wide range of budgets.
Please see our list of all our approved venues. Please contact the venues individually to discuss getting married with them.
You will also need to contact us separately to organise the attendance of registrars at your ceremony.
Please email us for availability once you have some dates with the venue in mind.
If you are interested in booking a ceremony within Tower Hamlets, please email our ceremonies team.
Pay the remaining balance
If you have already made a provisional booking and need to pay an outstanding balance, you can still do this online.
Pay remaining balance