From 21 June the rules for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies; and wedding receptions and civil partnership celebrations will change.

For more information and updates, read GOV.UK's guidance on small marriages and civil partnerships.

Summary of changes from 21 June

From 21 June the rules for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies; and wedding receptions and civil partnership celebrations will change.

From 21 June, there will no longer be a maximum number cap for attendees set out in law. Instead, the number of attendees at weddings, civil partnerships and receptions will be determined by how many people the venue or space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place. This will be based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of the venue or outdoor space, and the measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In a COVID-secure venue, where the premises are operated or used by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body (such as a place of worship or a hospitality venue) your venue manager will need to tell you the maximum number of people who will be able to attend.

For events taking place in other venues, (such as a garden of a private home or on private land), organisers will need to make the space as safe as possible. A marquee or other structure in a private garden must have at least 50% of its walled area open at any time for it to be classed as ‘outdoors’ and for the limit based on safe capacity to apply.

If you plan on having more than 30 people in your chosen venue or outdoor space, you must do this by completing a COVID-19 risk assessment to determine how many attendees will be able to attend, and following this guidance to make the event as safe as possible. Please see information below on what a risk assessment is and how to complete one.

These events must not happen indoors at private dwellings, unless they are urgent marriages where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover. These can take place in private dwellings with up to 30 people. This includes enclosed structures in gardens of private homes.

Some restrictions on ceremonies and receptions remain in place to enable them to take place safely. This includes Step 3 requirements on table service, face coverings, social distancing, and restrictions on dancing and singing.

Viewings can continue to take place with appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures in place at any venue which is not required in law to remain closed. This includes, for example, any restaurant or indoor visitor attraction.

Getting married abroad

Visit GOV.UK's getting married abroad webpage to find out where to get advice about local marriage laws and what documents you will need.

Before you have your ceremony in Croydon

You must:

  • give us at least 29 days notice
  • confirm where your ceremony will be held before you give notice – you should not plan to have it within 29 days unless you have already given us notice

If you plan to have a ceremony outside of Croydon, you must give notice in the register office in the Borough in which you live.

Types of ceremonies

If you are getting married, you can have either a:

  • religious ceremony
  • non-religious civil ceremony 

If you are forming a civil partnership you can have a civil ceremony, but not a religious ceremony.

Civil ceremonies

You can have a civil ceremony at Croydon Register Office or in any approved venue.

Religious ceremonies

You can have a marriage ceremony at any religious building registered as a marriage venue. Your marriage must be registered immediately after the ceremony by an authorised person, such as a religious minister. If the venue does not have an authorised person you must book registrars to attend the ceremony and register the marriage.

Ceremony planning guidance

Read our guide to planning a ceremony.