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Marriages and civil ceremonies

Information on giving notice of intention, booking a registrar for your ceremony and approved venues in the borough. 

Check if you can get legally get married or form a civil partnership

Giving notice of intention

By law, if you want to get married in a civil ceremony you and your partner must both notify the registrar of the borough in which you live of your intention to marry.

Giving notice of intention involves attending an appointment at a register office where you will declare who you intend to marry or form a civil partnership with, where the ceremony will take place and that you are legally free to get married or form a civil partnership.


If either of you does not speak English you must bring an independent interpreter when you give notice, and again when you get married. The interpreter must bring identification and sign documents to confirm they have helped you.

When and where to give notice Toggle accordion

For marriages or civil partnerships you must give at least 28 full days notice at your local register office. You can give notice up to one year before the date of the planned marriage ceremony.

Your notice is publicly displayed in the register office for 28 days before the marriage authority (the legal documents which permit you to marry) is issued. This is usually 29 days after the notice appointment. 

If you are both British or EEA nationals and wish to give notice in Barking and Dagenham, you both must have lived in the borough for at least 9 full days immediately before giving notice.

Foreign nationals Toggle accordion

If you and/or your partner are non-EEA nationals, the notice period may be extended to 70 days and you should allow sufficient time before the date of your planned marriage or civil partnership.

If you and/or your partner are foreign nationals and are subject to immigration control, you must go together to a designated register office in England and Wales. Woodlands House is a designated register office for the borough.

If you live abroad and are coming into the country to give notice of marriage, you must be resident here for 7 complete days (24 hours x 7) immediately prior to the date of notice. You cannot give notice until day 8 of your residency.

If either you or your partner is non-EEA and subject to immigration control, your case may be forwarded to the Home Office for investigation. An additional £12 charge for this is included in the notice booking fee.

If you or your partner is from outside the EU, EEA or from Switzerland you will need to bring a passport size photo for each of you (even if only one of you is from outside the EU, EEA  or from Switzerland’ Notice of marriage cannot be taken without them.

Marriage notice fees Toggle accordion

  • if both of you are British/EAA/Swiss nationals or non-EEA nationals who have right of abode (limited leave to enter or limited leave to remain) or diplomatic status or valid EEA residence cards the fee is £35 per person 
  • if either or both of you are non-British/EEA nationals and do not have marriage/civil partnership visa, or limited leave to remain, or limited leave to enter, or valid EEA residence cards the fee is £47 per person 
  • consideration by superintendent registrar of a divorce/civil partnership dissolution obtained outside of the British Isles the fee is £50 per person 
  • consideration by a registrar general of divorce/civil partnership dissolution obtained outside of the British Isles the fee is £75 per person 
  • emergency fee (non refundable/transferable) £25
  • all fees are non transferable and non refundable so ensure you can attend and provide all required documentation before booking.


Documents required Toggle accordion

When attending your appointment you will need to bring documents to prove your name, age and nationality. Photocopied or scanned documents will not be accepted.

Both of you need to bring a valid passport (we may accept a current EEA identity card and Home Office travel documents) and 2 proofs of address for each person, 1 of which must be one from the list below:

  • Council Tax statement dated within the last year 
  • utility bill dated within the last 3 months (not a mobile or landline telephone bill) 
  • bank statement dated within 1 month of the date of notice (online statements can be accepted with the corresponding bank card) 
  • valid UK driving licence 
  • mortgage statement dated within the last year, or current local authority tenancy agreement

If you have previously been through a marriage or civil partnership in this or any other country you will need to provide documents relating to the divorce. We will need to see the decree absolute, previous marriage certificate (if your identity documents do not match the information shown on your decree absolute) and translations (as appropriate). Additional fees apply for foreign divorce document clearance as stated above. If you are a widow/widower you will need to bring a death certificate and your marriage certificate.

Book an appointment Toggle accordion

To book an appointment to give notice of your marriage or civil partnership and pay your notice fees, use our online booking service. You will need to be signed in to your Barking and Dagenham council My Account. If you don't have one, you can register for My Account.

When you login, select either the notice of marriage or the notice of civil partnership option. 

Notification of marriage or civil partnership


We reserve the right to cancel your appointment if you arrive more than 5 minutes late for it. Failure to bring the correct documentation may result in the registration officer being unable to undertake the relevant legal requirements and you may need to re-book and repay for a another appointment.

Register office weddings and civil partnerships

Find out about the ceremony we offer, fees, approved venues, terms and conditions, and how to book a registrar.

The ceremony Toggle accordion

We provide the ceremony and do not use scripts provided by anyone else. However, you may wish to include some additional vows and promises and we will make every effort to include your choices, provided the content remains seemly, dignified and reflects the solemnity of the occasion.  

We will make the final decision on any wording used, and will not accept liability for any omission, which may be caused by reasons beyond our control. 

For ceremonies at our approved venues, if you wish to include religious blessings or any further materials this must be separate to the main ceremony and take place once the registrars have left the building. You are responsible for obtaining copyright licence for music, reading or other materials permitted at the ceremony.

Ceremony fees and approved venues Toggle accordion

We offer a wide range of prices to suit all budgets.

Booking fee

A ceremony booking fee (non-refundable and non-transferable) is charged to secure the date and time of your ceremony and costs £120. 

Ceremony fees for approved venues

A ceremony at one of our approved premises (see below) costs:

  • Monday to Saturday £385 
  • Sunday, Bank Holidays £470

A change to the date or time is £40 per change. 

Ceremony fees for The Register office

A register office ceremony (bride, groom and 2 witnesses only) at Woodlands House is available on Tuesday mornings and costs £57. This ceremony does not include access to the side or rear garden for post-event celebrations such as photographs. 

All prices are inclusive of one marriage certificate.

Ceremony fees for Woodlands House ceremony suite

  • Monday to Thursday £190 
  • Friday (morning or afternoon) £230
  • Friday evening (dusk) £372 
  • Saturday £330 

An additional charge of £85 will be applied to all bookings taking place on St Valentine's Day, Christmas Eve, New year’s Eve, public holidays and bank holiday weekends.

All prices are inclusive of one marriage certificate.

Your civil marriage or civil partnership ceremony can take place at Woodlands House Register Office, ceremony suite or at either of our other two approved venues, Eastbury Manor and The City Pavilion. Woodlands House offers a beautifully decorated ceremony room and gardens for parties of up to 48 people. 

If you are using one of the approved venues, contact the venue and the Register Office before confirming your booking.

Terms and conditions Toggle accordion

Licensed venues

All ceremonies must take place in a building or structure to that has a licence for marriages and civil partnerships.

Civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

Your ceremony booking is accepted on the condition that:

  • no legal impediment to the marriage or civil partnership exists and legal preliminaries are completed within statutory time limits
  • any foreign divorce/dissolution papers are accepted by the registrar general where applicable
  • a booking fee is paid  

The balance of ceremony fees is payable either at the time of booking or by 8 weeks prior to the date of the ceremony, whichever is the nearer date to the day of the ceremony. Fees are subject to change on 1 January each year. You will be required to pay the fee that is applicable for the date of your ceremony.

Booking confirmation fees

Booking confirmation fees are payable at the time of booking and are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Amendment fee

An amendment fee is payable whenever details of a booking are changed and includes changing the time, date or venue of a ceremony. Where applicable, this may require an updated or additional ceremony fee to be paid.

Cancellation of bookings by us

Your ceremony may be cancelled by us if:

  • the total fees have not been paid
  • legal preliminaries have not or cannot be completed

We reserve the right to cancel your appointment if you arrive more than 5 minutes late.

We reserve the right to cancel your appointment if the number of wedding guests exceeds the maximum permitted number for the room booked.

If you don't bring the right documents the registration officer may not be able to undertake the relevant legal requirements needed for the ceremony and you may need to re-book and pay for another appointment.

Cancellation of bookings by you

If you have to cancel a ceremony you'll need to notify us in writing.

If you have already paid the full amount for the ceremony and it is: 

  • more than 8 weeks before the ceremony date you will receive a full refund of the balance fee (excluding non-refundable reservation/booking fees)
  • between 1 calendar month and 8 weeks before the ceremony date you will receive 50% refund of the balance fee (excluding non-refundable reservation/booking fees)
  • less than 1 calendar month before the ceremony date (or failure to cancel), there will be no refund


We will allocate staff to attend your ceremony and reserves the right to substitute other experienced and qualified staff in case of sickness or other unforeseen circumstances on the day.

Room capacity

For fire safety and comfort, the number of guests must not exceed the capacity of the room, which is stipulated in the licence of the venue (48 for the main ceremony room, 8 for the small ceremony room and 4 for the Registrars Office). Additional guests will be excluded from the ceremony.


The couple and witnesses must arrive at the venue 15 minutes before the specified service begins to enable the registrar to conduct the necessary legal preliminaries

The registrars conduct a number of ceremonies per day and is unable to delay your ceremony.

You and your guests must arrive at the venue promptly to enable the ceremony to start on time. The registrar, at their discretion, may commence the ceremony without all the guests present.

Failure to commence the ceremony on time could impact on the amount of time available for the ceremony and could mean reductions to content and timings The allocated time per ceremony is 30 minutes in total.

Your ceremony may have to be postponed if it cannot be completed within 30 minutes of the scheduled start time of the ceremony and the delay is not our fault. In these circumstances the registrar will advise if the ceremony can be completed on that day. 

If the ceremony is postponed to later on in the scheduled day and is not due us, you may be required to pay an additional fee for costs incurred by us. 

If the ceremony cannot proceed on the scheduled date due to no fault of the of us, you will be required to pay the registrar’s attendance fee for the new date and possibly the cost to obtain fresh, legal notices. The booking fee will not be refunded.


Apart from trained guide/hearing dogs, animals (including pets) are not allowed to be present or take part in any part of a ceremony.


We will not accept liability for:

  • the failure of any music system provided by the venue, you or a third party
  • the failure of any CD provided by the venue, you or a third party
  • any delay or loss caused by your late or non-arrival
  • any loss caused by a request from you or your representatives to delay the ceremony
  • any loss or compensation where a ceremony is stopped from proceeding because (a) it would be void if it went ahead, (b) an offence under the Marriage Act or Civil Partnership Act would be committed, c) it would be against the public interest
  • any decision to permit a delay the ceremony is at our discretion


In the event of a force majeure, we will endeavour to perform your ceremony on your chosen day. We strongly recommend that you take out ceremony insurance to cover losses or expenses incurred in the case of events outside our control.

Any reference to working days does not include Saturday, Sunday, bank or public holidays.

Approval of the venue is granted only in connection with the provision of ceremonies.

We cannot accept liability for the failure or neglect on behalf of the venue, of any agreement between you and the venue for the use or provision of any services and/or facilities.

Code of conduct for Woodlands House

  • smoking and/or the use of vaping devices is not permitted at any point during any ceremony or on the premises
  • the consumption of food or alcohol is not permitted anywhere on the premises
  • anyone obviously under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be asked to leave a ceremony and/or the premises
  • recordings may not be made anywhere within the building, except during civil marriage/civil partnership, renewal of vows, naming ceremonies and post-event celebrations as agreed by staff
  • staff reserve the right to exclude visitors and guests from the premises or to withdraw a service from those who, in their judgement, behave in a rude, uncooperative or disruptive manner


Contact us or book a registrar Toggle accordion

If you are using one of the approved venues above, contact the venue to agree a date before booking a registrar. To book a registrar or enquire about booking Woodlands House call us on 020 8270 4744.

Convert a civil partnership into a marriage Toggle accordion

How to convert a civil partnership into a marriage

To book a conversion from civil partnership to civil marriage appointment, call us on 020 8270 4744.

Contact us

Register Office, Woodlands House, Rainham Road North, Dagenham RM10 7ER

Explore our Register Office, Woodlands House

Woodlands House offers a beautifully decorated ceremony room and gardens for parties of up to 50 people. For less formal occasions we offer a service for four people in the superintendent registrar’s office.

We offer a wide range of prices to suit all budgets. Contact us to discuss your requirements or book an appointment.