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.

Register Office

The Register Office is now at St Georges Town Hall, Shadwell. More information may be found on our Access page.

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

National registration system issues

Due to technical issues with the national registration system that are out of our control, registrations may take longer than usual. You may not be able to receive certificates on the day of registration.

We thank you for your patience and apologise for any difficulties this may cause. We hope that this national issue is fixed soon.

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Register Office terms and conditions

Rescheduling/cancelling appointments at short notice

The novel coronavirus is still a real threat around the country. We may need to cancel and/or reschedule appointments and ceremonies at short notices due to changes in government restriction, or the need for our staff to self-isolate.

By booking at this time, you agree that you understand and accept the risk of late notice cancellations and/or rescheduling.

  1. Marriage and Civil Partnership Ceremonies

  2. Appointments

  3. Copies of Certificates

  4. Privacy notice

  5. Coronavirus precautions (Covid-19)

Marriage and Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Your booking for a marriage or civil partnership ceremony in Tower Hamlets is accepted on the following terms and conditions:

  • no legal impediment to the marriage or civil partnership exists and legal preliminaries, such as giving notice of intention, are completed within the current statutory time limits

  • where necessary, foreign divorce or dissolution papers are accepted by the Registrar General before the ceremony

  • where necessary, Home Office permission is granted before the ceremony. If either partner is subject to immigration control or the statutory waiting time extension is applied, you will be liable for any loss of fees or additional fees payable as a result

  • full payment of your ceremony fees is made at least 12 weeks before the ceremony. All other fees are payable on demand.

  • 'Register Office' ceremony fees are non-refundable.

Provisional bookings

To hold a provisional ceremony booking, you must pay a non-refundable deposit found in our table of fees. This payment can be used towards the full payment for your ceremony.

If you are booking a ceremony that is less than 12 weeks away, you must make the full payment for the ceremony to hold the date.

Amendment fees

You may request to change the date, time or venue of your ceremony after your booking has been accepted. The acceptance of any such request is subject to an amendment fee found in our table of fees. If your new ceremony date is less than 12 weeks away, you may be asked to pay for the full cost of the ceremony and an amendment fee. All details that are changed at the same time are only subject to one amendment fee. You will need to pay another amendment fee for any further changes you make.

If you wish to change the date of your ceremony, note that:

  • there must be 12 weeks between the date that you notify us and the date that you have originally booked for your ceremony

  • you may need to pay an updated or additional fee for the ceremony itself

  • you may need to give new notices, because these are specific to your venue and only valid for one year

  • if you later cancel your ceremony, the amendment fee is not refundable

  • we will only accept an amendment to a booking from either person entering into a marriage or civil partnership

  • 'Register Office' ceremonies are subject to an amendment fee. 

Refunds and cancellations

To cancel a provisional or confirmed ceremony booking, you must give us a minimum of 12 weeks’ notice. If you give us less notice, no refund will be given. We will retain the non-refundable desposit  on any eligible refunds.


We will not accept liability for:

  • any delay or loss caused by the late arrival or non-arrival of you or any of your guests. The registrars attending your ceremony have other ceremonies to attend throughout the day, so cannot delay the pre-agreed start time of the ceremony. If it is necessary for the registration team to leave the venue and attend their next ceremony, they will make every effort to return and conduct your ceremony. If this is not possible and the registration team needs to return to conduct your ceremony on another day, you would be liable to pay any additional fees incurred. This may include giving new notices

  • any loss caused by a request from you or your representatives to delay the ceremony. Any decision to delay the ceremony is entirely at the discretion of the Tower Hamlets Registration Service

  • any loss or compensation where a ceremony is stopped from going ahead due to there being a legal impediment or such. This would be owing to an offence committed under the Marriage or Civil Partnership Acts or the Immigration Act

  • any ceremony that has to be cancelled as a result of events that are outside our control

  • the failure of any music system provided by you, the venue or a third party

  • failure, neglect, non-compliance or omissions caused by any venue that is not owned by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, or for any agreement between you and the venue for the use or provision of any services. Approval of the venue is granted only in connection with the provision of ceremonies

Arriving late to your ceremony

The Register Office will charge a late fee if the ceremony is delayed. If your ceremony is cancelled you will need to re-book the ceremony and pay the full fees again for the marriage, as per the terms and conditions.

The Vestry - enhanced ceremonies

You must arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to start. If you arrive after this time, you will need to pay a late fee found in our table of fees. If you arrive more than 30 minutes after the ceremony is due to start, the ceremony may be cancelled and no refund issued.

The Vestry - simple ceremonies and Register Office Ceremonies

You must arrive at least 15 minutes before the ceremony is due to start. If you arrive after this time, you will need to pay a late fee found in our table of fees. If you arrive more than 15 minutes after the ceremony is due to start, the ceremony may be cancelled and no refund issued.

Ceremonies at approved premises

You must arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to start. If the ceremony cannot begin at the due start time, it may be cancelled and no refund issued. This is due to other scheduled ceremonies our registrars need to attend.

Payment of late fees

Please note that late fees must be cleared before the ceremony starts.


It is your responsibility to make sure that you are ready for your appointment and that you have read all correspondence from Tower Hamlets Register Office.

Tower Hamlets Register Office team are not responsible for checking immigration applications and we cannot offer you any advice regarding immigration application processes.

Tower Hamlets Register Office reserves the right to exercise discretion in exceptional circumstances.


Booking fees are taken at the time of booking your appointment.

Once we have received the fee, your appointment will be confirmed in writing.

We are a cashless office and only accept online or card payments. You must have permission of the cardholder before making a card transaction.

Please note that for Notice of Intention appointments, a booking fee found in our table of fees is taken at the time of booking for each party. If you or your partner are subject to immigration control there will be an additional charge per person for the legal notice fee which will be taken at the end of your appointment. This is the difference between the booking fee and the government-set notice fee.

You will also be liable to pay for any fees in relation to the consideration of a divorce document by the Registrar General or the Superintendent Registrar.

Cancellations and refunds

You can only cancel or re-book your appointment in writing.

Cancellations and requests to re-book are processed Monday to Friday. We do not process them weekends or on public holidays.

You are able to:

  • claim a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours of booking your appointment (this includes appointments booked for the next working day)
  • claim a refund of 50 per cent of the original fee on a cancellation or reschedule free of charge, if you let us know within two working days of your booking that you can't make the original appointment

Refunds will not be given if you

  • cancel or reschedule an appointment less than two working days before your appointment

  • are late or do not attend your appointment

  • your appointment is terminated by Tower Hamlets Register Office

  • are advised by the UKVI or any other agency that your application has been unsuccessful.

Tower Hamlets Register Office will terminate your appointment, and you will be charged a new fee for a new appointment, if they are not satisfied that you have:

  • read, understood and met the UKVI or other legal requirements.

  • supplied correct and original documents at your appointment.


In some appointments it may be possible to bring an interpreter. Please ensure you let our office know beforehand if you will be bringing an interpreter. We are unable to provide interpreters for you.

Copies of Certificates

Payment for certificates must be made at the time of request according to the fees set out on our fees page. Refunds will not be issued if your certificate is lost in standard post or if the details do not match what you expect. We will only issue refunds if we are unable to find your requested entry but from 1 August 2021 we will retain a £2 administrative search fee on all applications where we are unable to find the required entry.

Privacy notice

Find out how the information we collect about you is used and your rights in relation to that information on our legal notices page under GDPR privacy notice - Registrars service (births, death and marriages)

Coronavirus (Covid-19) precautions

Despite relaxing restrictions from 19 July 2021, we still need to protect colleagues and customers against coronavirus. Our service will still have restrictions in place. Please make note of the following terms of service with us:

  • Only a limited number of people will be allowed in the building at any one time- you and others may be asked to wait outside so please dress appropriately.

  • If you are not married, both parents must attend. We request that childcare is arranged in advance to limit the spread of coronavirus to our colleagues and other customers. If this is not possible, please email before attending your appointment.

  • You must arrive no earlier than five minutes before your appointment. There will be no waiting area inside, so please dress appropriately for the weather.

  • If you are late for your appointment, you will not be seen. There are no exceptions. This is to manage the number of people in the building.

  • You will be asked to use the hand sanitiser provided before entering the registration. We also ask that you wear a face covering (unless proven medically exempt) when you enter the building and during your appointment or ceremony.

  • Please follow the one-way system we have in place and follow the advice given by colleagues at all times.

  • Do not leave your home if you or any member of your household shows any of the symptoms related to coronavirus as listed by the government. Please ensure you follow all government guidance in regards to self-isolation.

If you have any other questions please email us