Ceremony booking terms and conditions

Your ceremony booking is accepted on the following conditions:


  • No legal impediment to the marriage/civil partnership exists and legal preliminaries are completed within the statutory time limits.
  • Any foreign divorce/dissolution papers are accepted by the Registrar General where applicable.
  • Home Office permission is granted where applicable.

Booking confirmation/ceremony fee

A non-refundable fee is payable at the time of booking and your provisional booking is held until you provide your statutory notice and confirm the details of your booking. Your booking is held subject to you both giving your statutory notice and conformation of booking within the timescales outlined in your provisional booking confirmation. It's also subject to payment of the ceremony fee no later than 12 weeks prior to your booking. For ceremonies booked less than 12 weeks in advance, all fees are payable in full within seven days of giving your statutory notice and confirmation of your booking.

The ceremony fee payable will be the relevant fees applicable at the time of the ceremony as set out by the registrar from time to time.  

Notice in another district

Your provisional booking confirmation will give the date from when your statutory notice can be given. If you are required to give notice in another registration district, and your appointment with them is later than two months from the earliest date that statutory notice can be given, please advise us of the date of your appointment so that the council can keep your booking open. If the council do not hear from you within one month of the date your statutory notice can be given, your booking may be cancelled.

Marriage and civil partnership approved venue

At the time of you giving your statutory notice the registrar will check the status of the approval at your chosen venue. If the approval is due to expire before your intended marriage date, the registrar taking the notice will advise you of this. Notice can still be given should you wish to proceed. You're advised that if an approval is not in force by the date of the marriage, the marriage cannot take place. Fresh notice will be required if you choose to get married in a different venue, with the statutory fee payable.

The Ceremony Suite, Barnsley Town Hall

The registrars will be available approximately 10 minutes prior to your ceremony as they will need to see you both together, but in private. Unfortunately, due to the building there are no facilities to see you separately. Please consider this before finalising your reservation as the booking fee is non-refundable. This is to enable us to check the information on the schedule and confirm how the ceremony will proceed. We will also be able to answer any last-minute questions you may have prior to the ceremony commencing.

Outdoor ceremonies

If your chosen venue has an approved outdoor ceremonies and you'd like your ceremony to take place outdoors, you should make additional plans with the venue to hold your ceremony in one of their approved ceremony rooms in case the weather is inclement on the day. The indoor ceremony room should be able to accommodate all your invited guests.

Inclement weather is defined as rain (or the high likelihood of showers), wind, cold conditions (under 16 degrees), extremely hot and sunny, and any other extreme conditions. Your guests need to be comfortable and be able to hear the ceremony, especially if you're under cover and they're not. You acknowledge and agree that the decision about whether your ceremony can take place outside is at the sole discretion of the attending registration staff and that their decision is final. If the weather is inclement or if for any other reason holding the ceremony outside is not possible, it's at the discretion of the registration staff to decide if the ceremony is to be moved inside when they arrive at the venue. You must agree to abide by the decision of registration staff in attendance and confirm that you've made contingency arrangements with the venue for the ceremony to be moved into an approved room, which can accommodate all invited guests.

Cancellation of ceremony

All cancellations must be notified in writing or from the email address used to book the ceremony. The council reserve the right to cancel your booking if fees have not been paid by 12 weeks prior to the date of your ceremony, or in full if your ceremony is booked less than 12 weeks in advance.

If you need to cancel your ceremony after full payment has been made, you're required to give 12 weeks minimum notice to be eligible for a full refund of the ceremony fee. For all other cancellations, a percentage of the ceremony fee paid will be retained by the registrar to cover service costs incurred:

  • More than 12 weeks written notice of cancellation – full refund of the ceremony fee
  • Cancellation between 12 weeks and 14 days before the ceremony – 25% of the ceremony fee paid will be retained
  • Cancellation less than 14 days before the ceremony – 50% of the ceremony fee paid will be retained
  • Failure to cancel – no refund will be given

Refunds are made to the original payee/payment method only.

Changes of ceremony

All changes to the date, time or venue of your ceremony must be by prior arrangement and notified in writing or by the email address used to book the ceremony and submitted with the relevant fee.

Approved venue ceremony content

Please note that if you choose to write personal vows or choose a reading not contained within the ceremony pack to be used during your ceremony, these must be provided and agreed with the registrar no later than eight weeks prior to your ceremony.


It is the responsibility of the couple to ensure they have two credible witnesses at the ceremony. The witnesses will be required to sign the marriage schedule.

Registration staff

The council will allocate staff to attend your ceremony but reserve the right to substitute an alternative member of staff in case of sickness or other unforeseen circumstances on the day.

Late arrival of the parties

It's essential that both parties arrive no later than 10 minutes prior to the commencement of the ceremony to complete statutory preliminaries. The council reserve the right to postpone the proceedings taking place should the parties arrive 15 minutes later than this. The council will endeavour wherever possible to provide an alternative time for the ceremony to take place subject to statutory requirements should they have to leave to attend another event. In these circumstances, additional charges may apply. The council strongly recommend that you take out ceremony insurance to cover losses or expenses incurred in the case of events outside your control.

Circumstances beyond anybody’s reasonable control

If any ceremony cannot proceed due to circumstance beyond anybody’s reasonable control, which may include intervening damage, fire or flood at your chosen venue, including Barnsley Town Hall, the following provisions shall apply:

  • If you know your ceremony cannot proceed at your chosen venue before the day of your ceremony, fresh notice will be required if you choose to have your ceremony at a different venue. If you are unable to give at least 28 full days’ notice, you must apply to the General Register Office for a waiver to get the notice period reduced together with evidence of your reasons and pay the appropriate fee; or
  • If you become aware on or shortly before the day of your ceremony that the ceremony cannot proceed at your chosen venue, you can only:
    • postpone your ceremony at your chosen venue until a later date; or
    • give a fresh notice if you choose to have your ceremony at a different venue on a later date.
      It will not be possible in these circumstances to have your ceremony at a different venue on your chosen day.

The council shall not be liable for delay beyond our reasonable control in performing, or failure to perform, any of our obligations which may include intervening damage, fire or flood at your chosen venue, weather or other circumstances preventing staff attending.


The council are unable to accommodate animals other than assistance dogs during ceremonies held at Barnsley Town Hall. If you have animals participating in your ceremony with authorisation of your approved venue you must advise the council of this so that they can ensure the registrars are comfortable in their presence and your day can run as smoothly as possible.

It's the responsibility of individuals attending ceremonies at Barnsley Town Hall to notify the Facilities Management host that they have a disability (whether or not such disability is immediately apparent) that may hinder normal evacuation in the event of an emergency.

It's the responsibility of carers to ensure they assist 'their' disabled or sensory impaired persons to evacuate safely and direct them to the refuge point if necessary. If they're unable to assist escape, they should themselves evacuate the building and inform the fire warden, fire marshal, or fire services the location of the disabled person.

Register entry

The registrar will ask you legal questions on the day of your ceremony to check that the information you gave at submission of the statutory notice of marriage is the same or whether there have been any changes. This is to ensure that the register entry is correct.

You'll then be invited to check the entry carefully after the ceremony to ensure it is correct before signing. If any errors are found later, you'd be required to attend the register office and pay a statutory fee to make the necessary changes.


If your ceremony is at the register office, as this is a statutory ceremony music is not permitted.

If your ceremony is in the Ceremony Suite at Barnsley Town Hall, we have a CD player. Please bring one CD along on the day of your ceremony. However, we do not guarantee this will play on our equipment. We do have a small selection of CDs if you wish to use our choice of music.

Alternatively, you can appoint one of your guests to play music via their own device/phone and a wireless Bluetooth speaker, which you must provide.

You may wish to have music:

  • to make an entrance (one track)
  • whilst signing the marriage schedule (two tracks)
  • to make your leave (one track)

Please note: live music within the Town Hall is prohibited. If you attend with any instruments or singers, these will be refused as the building does not hold a licence for live entertainment.

Please ensure that any choice made is secular to conform to the law of a civil ceremony.


The council will not accept liability for any of the following:

  • The failure of any music system provided by the venue, you or a third party.
  • Any delay or loss caused by late or non-arrival of any person(s) within the ceremony parties.
  • 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:
    • it would be void if it went ahead
    • an offence under the Civil Partnership Act would be committed; and
    • it would be against the public interest.

Any decision to delay the ceremony is at the discretion of the registrar attending the ceremony on the day.


Approval of the venue is granted only in connection with the provision of ceremonies. The council cannot accept liability for the failure or neglect on behalf of the venue for the use or provision of any services and/or facilities.

Any reference in these conditions to Barnsley Register Office shall also refer to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (the council) in so far as they relate to its legal responsibilities and obligations. 

Other words and phrases shall be interpreted as follows:

  • Marriage Act: means the acts of Parliament (any regulations made under those acts) covering the legal preliminaries to, the solemnization and registration of a civil marriage either in a register office or approved premises within England and Wales.
  • Venue: means approved premises approved by the council under the Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 for the solemnization and registration of civil marriages and civil partnerships.

These terms and conditions represent the entire agreement between the council and the parties wishing to have their marriage or civil partnership ceremony registered. They are subject to English law and the parties agree that the English courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any disputes in relation to these terms and conditions.

Fees and charges

Will increase on 1 April each year.


Acceptance of terms and conditions of booking

Upon receipt of a completed booking for a civil marriage or civil partnership it will be deemed that you've fully accepted all terms and conditions.