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Staffordshire County Council, working in partnership with Civil Ceremonies Ltd, is pleased to announce that as from 1st January 2018, couples marrying in the county will be able to have a ‘Combined Wedding Ceremony’ under a new pilot scheme.

The scheme will, for the first time, allow marrying couples the opportunity to have their legal formalities conducted by Staffordshire County Council Registrars at an approved venue, and have a civil celebrant ceremony as well.

Q&A

Where can I find information on participating civil celebrants?

Couples wishing to find out more about this new and exciting pilot scheme can in the first instance contact Civil Ceremonies Ltd where a list of celebrants participating can be found.

If I wish to use a civil celebrant, do I still need a Registrar?

Only an authorised person such as an approved religious person or Registrar can legally marry you.  A civil celebrant can therefore not conduct the legal ceremony. 

Where can a ‘Combined Wedding Ceremony’ take place?

As the legal ceremony must be conducted in an Approved Venue within Staffordshire, the combined ceremony must also take place in one of our Approved Venues.

How does a ‘Combined Wedding Ceremony’ work?

If you wish to use a civil celebrant, you can contact participating celebrants directly to discuss details of the ceremony you would like.  As long as the venue for your ceremony is an Approved Venue  within Staffordshire, you can now combine the celebrant led ceremony by booking your legal ceremony with Staffordshire County Council in the usual way.  

Registrars and the participating Civil celebrant will then liaise with each other to incorporate the choices you have made for your legal ceremony with those made with the civil celebrant led service.

What are the benefits of combining the two ceremonies?

If a celebrant led ceremony was your choice, historically you would still need to legally marry, often on a different day without all of your guests etc. 

You can now ensure that the legal marriage is on the same date and at the same time. 

You may also wish to have parts of the ceremony in different locations at the venue, i.e outdoors.  Whilst some venues have approved outside structures to conduct your legal ceremony, many do not.  A combined ceremony would allow the civil celebrant to continue your celebrations in other, non-licenced parts of the venue.

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