Register offices blurb Photo by Tim Hollings (109)

Photo by Toby Lidstone Photography

Civil Ceremonies
in Devon & Cornwall

If you don’t plan a religious ceremony, there are two types of venue for civil marriages and partnership ceremonies: a register office or an approved venue licensed for the purpose.
Although you may not incorporate any religious content into a civil marriage ceremony, most registrars are happy to include individual touches provided they can have sight of your choices of readings and music beforehand, so they can ensure they comply with the law.
Register office weddings are typically easy, intimate and inexpensive and, while in the past the ambience might have left a little to be desired, nowadays register office marriage rooms are smart and comfortable.
They will usually have a display of fresh flowers in season and the facility to play music.

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On the day…

Before the ceremony

Guests should arrive around 20 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. They will be shown to a waiting room before being invited into the marriage room at the appropriate time. Both bride and groom should arrive at the wedding venue 15 minutes before the ceremony, so the registrar can finally confirm the information to be recorded on the register, collect any fees which are still owing and check all the details of your ceremony. Bride and groom can be interviewed either together or separately, if they don’t want to see each other before the wedding. Whatever you do, don’t be fashionably late! While your registrars will make every effort to accommodate a late arrival, they may be committed to other appointments – especially on Saturdays, so do allow for traffic problems and unforeseen hold-ups.

Arrival of the bride

The bride can be escorted into the marriage room to processional music by her father or family friend or the couple can enter together. It is perfectly acceptable to have bridesmaids and attendants if you wish, though if you’re marrying in a register office, bear in mind the restrictions on space.

The ceremony

The registrar will begin by welcoming everyone and explaining what will happen during the ceremony, reminding you of the solemn and binding nature of the vows you are about to make. The couple will then be asked to declare their intention to marry, make their vows to each other and exchange rings if they decide to do so. While there are strict legal constraints on the declarations and contracting words you must say, you may also write your own promises to each other, which you can ask the registrar to lead you through on the day.

Signing the register

In the final part of the ceremony, the registrar will oversee the signing of the marriage register by the bride and groom and two adult witnesses. At every part of the proceedings, the registrar will explain what is happening and lead the couple through their responses.


Email: [email protected]


Lucie specialises in creating bespoke wedding ceremonies and can offer advice on everything from hand-fasting and sand ceremonies to incorporating details like lighting candles to remember a deceased friend, celebratory tree planting or encouraging your guests to write their good wishes for you and hang them on a special wish tree.

She says: ‘Each celebrant has his or her own style and it’s important to find the right type of celebrant for you, whether that’s wacky, formal or a middle grounder chameleon?
‘The important thing is that choosing a celebrant for your wedding gives you absolute creative freedom. Your ceremony is written with you and only you in mind, whether it’s a Disney wedding, a beach event or Granny’s back garden. It’s your day, your way!’


Tel: 07809 583652
Email: [email protected]


Rebecca loves working with couples and reflecting their story and love for each other in a ceremony bespoke to them, wherever they like, however they like. ‘As long as there is love,’ says Rebecca, ‘I can work my magic.’

Rebecca is a certified independent life celebrant with the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants and covers Devon, north Cornwall, south Somerset and west Dorset.
Her ceremony scripts, combined with a romantic ritual, beautiful words and songs, are aimed to create an intimate occasion with lasting memories.



Larkbeare House, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4NG
Tel: 0345 155 1002
Email: [email protected]

Devon Registration Services looks after register offices all over the county, except in Torbay and Plymouth, which are unitary authorities and work on a separate system.

The Devon services are as follows:

Devon Register Office, Old Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot TQ12 4XX

East Devon Register Office (Exmouth), all enquiries to Larkbeare House, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4NG (temporary address)

East Devon Register Office (Honiton) East Devon Business Centre, Heathpark Way, Heathpark, Honiton EX14 1SF

Exeter Register Office, Larkbeare House, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4NG

Mid Devon Register Office, Old Heathcoat School Community Centre, King Street, Tiverton EX16 5JJ

North Devon Register Office, Taw View, North Walk, Barnstaple, EX31 1ED

South Hams Register Office, Follaton House Plymouth Road, Totnes TQ9 5NE

Torridge Register Office, Caddsdown Business Support Centre, Farm Road, Bideford EX39 3DX

West Devon Register Office (Okehampton), Okehampton Town Council Offices Fore Street Okehampton, EX20 1AA

West Devon Register Office (Tavistock), West Devon Borough Council Offices, Kilworthy Park, Tavistock PL19 0BZ


Tel:  07446 167687


Em, the Leopard Print Celebrant, celebrates life and all its journeys – and she loves weddings. Based in South Devon, she creates and facilitates unique and memorable ceremonies.

‘Traditions are there to be broken and new ones forged,’ she says, ‘so if you fancy doing things your way and thinking outside the box, then let’s get together and create memories to last a lifetime.’






Tel:  07525 848667


Celebrate your wedding on a glorious beach, in a secluded wood next to a stunning waterfall, in a field at midnight with only the stars for light or even in your own beautiful garden. When you choose a celebrant, you can conclude the legalities at the register office and then design your own ceremony with no restrictions on time or place.

Keely the Celebrant at Memory Makers will write and conduct a ceremony which is all about you and your unique love story.  She says: ‘You will have a dream of what you want to achieve and I will listen and collaborate with you, to tell your story. Have you considered a themed ceremony? We can include poetry, readings, music, videos… anything that you feel showcases your love for each other.’

Keely also designs commitment ceremonies and vow renewals and is happy to include rituals from hand-fasting and candle-lighting to sand-blending and jumping the broom.
For a no-obligation initial consultation, call or visit





Tel: 07977 561450
Email: [email protected]

Multi award-winning celebrant Sabine creates bespoke and unique indoor or outdoor wedding and elopement ceremonies in Cornwall and Devon. She loves working with couples who are looking for a ceremony which is as unique as they are, using her creativity, passion and enthusiasm to help celebrate their most special day – exactly as they imagine it will be.

Sabine can help you to create ceremonies for all your life experiences and is happy to travel to your chosen venue in the UK or abroad! She is also bilingual and can officiate  in German and English.

Whether you’re planning a beach wedding, a romantic coastal elopement, a memorable vow renewal or a child-naming ceremony, you can rest assured that she will go the extra mile to create the ceremony of your dreams.



1 Derriford Business Park, Plymouth  PL6 5QZ
Tel: 01752 268331
Email: [email protected]

Plymouth Register Office is situated near Derriford Hospital. It is accessible by public transport and there is a small car park. Parking is limited and there are pay and display car parks at Derriford Hospital if required. It is open Mondays to Thursdays from 9am to 5pm and Fridays from 9am to 4.30pm. An appointment system operates, so call or email before you visit.

Plymouth Register Office offers a range of marriage and civil partnership ceremony options, designed to suit every venue and style, from a basic legal requirement option, to their supreme ceremony designed to be individualised by adding promises, readings and poetry to your script. For a full list of venues licensed for civil ceremonies, visit the website.


Tel:  07397 965654
Email: [email protected]

Independent civil celebrant Hazel Tyler loves both meeting people and helping in any way she can. For 17 years previously she worked in the care sector and hopes to use her caring experience to help her in her in this new venture in  her life. Quite quirky and outgoing, she loves doing themed, Gothic and unique ceremonies

As well as weddings and civil ceremonies, Hazel officiates at vow renewals, themed weddings, funerals, memorials and pet memorials – and she always takes care to plan every ceremony individually, catering for everyone’s unique requirements.
Hazel is happy to discuss your ceremony by email or on the phone with no obligation


1st Floor Cockington Court, Cockington,Torquay,TQ2 6XA
Tel: 01803 207130
Email: [email protected]

Situated in the heart of idyllic Cockington Village, hidden in a deep valley just one mile from the bustle of Torquay. Cockington is easily accessible from the seafront by bus or car.
The Register Office is available for ceremonies Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9:30am to 12:30pm and has seating for 12 guests. The statutory fee payable for a ceremony in the Register Office is £50 (including a copy of your marriage certificate).
If you would like to view Cockington Court, please contact the Register Office who will be happy to make an appointment for you.
You can also marry at a huge variety of venues int he area approved for civil ceremonies. For a complete list, visit the website.