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Celebrate in Essex c er e mony

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The Essex Barn is a stunning structure in the grounds of The White Hart, Great Yeldham. Situated on the Essex/Suffolk border the natural English countryside surrounds the venue.


The decor is a mixture of old and new, contemporary, yet set within a traditional style barn and can hold upto 200 guests. The open mezzanine floor creates a romantic setting for your ceremony and the main barn is warm and welcoming for your meal and evening reception. Your wedding breakfast will be cooked and prepared by our 2AA Rosette team of chefs, who pride themselves on fresh produce delivered daily. Our serving staff are professional and discreet giving you both reassurance that your wedding breakfast will be one to remember. We have a bridal preparation room in the main building for the bride and her bridesmaids or the bridal party to use as they prepare for the day. In the barn the couple have their own bathroom too where they can freshen up throughout the day. We also have eleven en suite bedrooms, to Four AA Gold Star standard for you and your guests to retire to. To find out more about our stress free ceremonies, please call our wedding advisor. 01787 237250 Poole Street, Great Yeldham, Halstead CO9 4HJ


Welcome to Celebrate in Essex


Weddings in a Registration Office


Essex Registration Offices

Braintree • Brentwood • Castle Point & Rochford • Chelmsford

Colchester • Epping Forest • Harlow • Uttlesford


The only way is Essex


Two Special Days


Approved Venues in Essex


Reception Venues in Essex


Civil Weddings notice and documents


Make it your own


On the day

37 Readings 39

Wedding traditions


Civil Partnership in a Registration Office


Civil Partnership Formalities


Civil Partnership Registration


Same Sex Couples Act


Naming Ceremonies


Renewal of Vows


Supplier directory


Countdown to the Big Day


Approved Venues & Registration Areas

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Welcome to Celebrate in Essex - where you can find out why our great county is one of the most popular in the country for a celebratory occasion. We offer civil weddings, civil partnerships, renewal of vows and naming ceremonies. MARRI


Whether you already have a vision of what your dream day will look like or are searching for inspiration, we can help. Essex has so much to offer and we are delighted to be able to showcase the wealth of venues on offer for your very special occasion. Civil ceremonies are permitted at ‘Approved Venues’ and Essex can boast something for everyone from historic towns to coastal charm and beautiful countryside settings. At the Essex Registration Service we are proud of our customer service and the quality and range of venues on offer.



We always ensure that every ceremony is an enjoyable and memorable occasion, whether it takes place in one of our Registration Offices or any of the Approved Venues. The choice of venues in Essex is ever increasing - see pages 65 and 66 for the current list of Approved Venues. For an up to date list of Approved Venues, visit our website For more information please contact us on 0845 603 7632 or email TN PAR

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WEDDINGS in a Registration Office www.davi d-islip-ph otograph

Each year over 7000 couples get married in Essex which makes it one of the most popular wedding destinations in England.

Increasingly a civil ceremony is the preferred choice with 70% of couples now opting for this type of ceremony.

For more information on the ceremony rooms visit

With a civil ceremony in mind, there is the choice of Registration Offices or Approved Venues for the important day. In 2012/13, 1,714 couples chose a Registration Office wedding.

You may wish to marry in the area where you and your partner live, but you don’t have to. You can choose to marry in any Register Office in England or Wales, as well as in Approved Venues. With so much choice, where do you begin? Fortunately, Essex Registration Offices have something for everyone.

It may surprise you to learn that the most popular civil ceremony location in the whole of Essex is The Brentwood Registration Office, where more than 500 couples ‘tie the knot’ each year.

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If you’re planning a simple wedding, we have attractive, contemporary rooms. If you’re looking for something more traditional, we’ve got historic buildings with a wealth of character. If you want a stylish background to your wedding, you’ll find something to match your taste. Many of our offices have their own gardens for photography, while others are close to attractive public parks or gardens that are favourites with photographers.

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Most important of all, you will be dealing with people who know how to make your day really special. The staff of the Essex Registration Service pride themselves on making each ceremony a unique experience to treasure.

The Essex Register Office When you’re planning your special day, you can now choose from a variety of options for your wedding ceremony. The Essex Register Office is located in Brentwood in a converted cottage on the edge of Shenfield Common. The ceremony room is tastefully decorated and can accommodate 30 guests.

Telephone any of our offices and talk about the ceremony, your preferred choice of music, flowers and the photography. Or simply go and see for yourself. You’ll find the staff friendly and approachable and they’ll do their

Former Register Office ceremony rooms Seven former Register Office ceremony rooms are now available to couples for ceremonies. These can be found in Braintree (John Ray House), Benfleet (The Registration Suite), Chelmsford (The Chelmer Rooms), Colchester (The Roman Rooms), Epping (The Victoria Suite), Harlow (The Watergarden Suite) and Saffron Walden (The Civic Suite).

best to make your day relaxed and enjoyable for everyone. For your own peace of mind, please contact us as soon as possible. That way, you’re more likely to get the location you really want.

Each venue has a character of its own, but they all share the same commitment - to make your ceremony an occasion to remember. All our offices give you the opportunity to make a provisional booking for your wedding up to 24 months in advance. The earliest you can legally enter your official notice of marriage is 12 months in advance of the ceremony. A provisional booking can be made simply by telephoning, calling at the office of your choice or by written application.

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Registration offices BRA



John Ray House Lavish or simple, traditional or contemporary, John Ray House in the heart of Braintree provides an elegant backdrop to your perfect day. With its magnificent neo-Georgian features, including colonnade, vaulted ceiling, ornate white plasterwork and extensive paved gardens, this Grade II listed venue has all the ingredients for a ceremony to remember. Seating 50 guests and an additional 30 guests standing, with air conditioning, excellent wheelchair access, hearing loops and private parking, John Ray House has something for everyone. The professional, friendly team will guide you through every step of your personalised ceremony, giving you plenty of time for photographs at the end of the ceremony either in the John Ray room, private gardens, or nearby public gardens.

t: 01376 323463 | e: Braintree Registration Office, John Ray House, Bocking End, Braintree CM7 9RW





Mon-Fri: 8.30am-5.00pm

Essex Register Office The Ceremony Room is located in a converted cottage on the edge of Shenfield Common and can accommodate 30 guests seated. After the ceremony you will find Shenfield Common, with its wooded areas and pond, an ideal spot for photographs.

t: 01277 221155 | e: Essex Register Office, 1 Seven Arches Road, Brentwood CM14 4JG


Mon-Fri: 9.00am-5.00pm

The Registration Suite In the South East of the county you will find the Castle Point and Rochford area. The service is located within the Borough Council offices in Benfleet. The Registration Suite is small, light, modern and particularly suitable for those looking for a more personal and intimate ceremony. Capacity is limited to 12 seated and 12 standing.

t: 01268 361350 | e: Castle Point & Rochford Registration Office, Council Offices, Kiln Road, Thundersley, Benfleet SS7 1TF





Mon-Fri: 9.00am-5.00pm

The Chelmer Room The Chelmer Room forms part of the County Hall complex in the centre of Chelmsford and has an attractive public square where your guests can meet before the ceremony. The Ceremony Room can accommodate 40 guests. Public car parking is available nearby.

t: 01245 430700 | e: Chelmsford Registration Office, 17 Market Road, Chelmsford CM1 1GF

Mon-Fri: 9.00am-5.00pm

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The Roman Room Our recently decorated Roman Room can be found at Stanwell House, with its own attractive private garden offering a perfect back drop for those special photographs. Centrally situated in the historic town of Colchester it offers near access to the beautiful gardens of Castle Park. There are many restaurants, hotels and easy parking within the town. The Roman Room is a popular venue. It can accommodate 43 guests seated and 7 standing. We look forward to welcoming you here and we will make every effort to suit your own requirements for your special day.

t: 0845 603 7632 | e: Colchester Registration Office, Stanwell House, Stanwell Street, Colchester CO2 7DL

Mon-Thu: 9.00am-5.00pm Fri: 9.00am-4.30pm

The Victoria Suite


The Victoria Suite is located in a modern building close to the centre of town and Central Line underground station. We look forward to welcoming guests in the pleasant contemporary area before the Ceremony. The Victoria Suite has been decorated to an extremely high standard and can accommodate 45 seated and 15 standing guests. It is air-conditioned, bright and elegant and the friendly staff are happy to personalise your day to ensure you have a truly memorable occasion.

t: 01992 572789 | e: Epping Forest Registration Office, St John’s Road, Epping CM16 5DN


Mon-Fri: 9.00am-5.00pm

The Watergarden Suite


The Watergarden Suite is centrally located, adjacent to the shopping precinct. You and your guests can meet in an attractive entrance atrium where curved walls of brick and panelling meet. The Watergarden Suite can accommodate 50 guests.

t: 0845 603 7632 | e: Harlow Registration Office, Watergarden Offices, College Square, The High, Harlow CM20 1AG





Mon-Fri: 9.00am-5.00pm

The Civic Suite The Civic Suite is located in the heart of historic Saffron Walden. Your guests enter through a glass atrium and reach the Civic Suite by a striking staircase. The Council Chamber, which is ideal for larger parties of up to 100 seated, is available on Saturdays. A large circular room with light oak panelled walls and a dark blue carpet. This stunning room has an attractive domed ceiling and large windows that overlook mature gardens.

t: 01799 510319 |


Uttlesford Registration Office, Mon, Tue & Fri: 9.00am-4.30pm Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4ER Wed: 9.00am-4.00pm

The only way is ESSEX

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When it comes to weddings, the only way is essex!

The Marriage Act 1994 enabled couples to marry in what are commonly known as ‘Approved Venues’ which are specifically licensed by local authorities for civil ceremony purposes.

The increase in popularity of weddings in ‘Approved Venues’ has been staggering. There are now over 140 such venues in the County. In 2012/13, 68% of all ceremonies took place at such venues. When you see the range and quality of ‘Approved Venues’ in Essex it is no surprise that this type of civil ceremony has become the preferred choice.

Previously, couples had to choose between a Church and a Register Office wedding.

Where are the approved venues wedding hotspots in essex? GOSFIELD HALL

Some of the most popular ceremony venues in Essex include: LEEZ PRIORY A stunning Tudor mansion set in the heart of Essex was awarded The Wedding Ideas Magazine ‘Best Wedding Venue’ in 2007 and 2008. Civil ceremonies can be held in any of five different settings including the stunning Great Tower. PARKLANDS, QUENDON HALL Parklands is a 17th Century Mansion on the Essex/Herts border. The venue is set in 100 acres of one of the country’s oldest deer parks. Ceremonies take place in various locations including the silk-lined pavilion and a beautiful gazebo adjacent to the mansion.

Winner of the Wedding Ideas Magazine ‘Best Wedding Venue’ in 2012, Gosfield Hall is a stunning Georgian Manor House which was once a Royal residence. The Queen Charlotte oak panelled gallery with a 120ft long aisle is perfect for wedding ceremonies as is the carriageway which enables guests to sit outdoors during the ceremony. THE FENNES The Fennes won the ‘Best Wedding Venue’ award in 2008 and ‘Best Wedding Venue - Heritage’ at the Essex Wedding Awards in 2013. The Georgian Manor House is set in 100 acres of beautiful Essex countryside. Elegant reception rooms overlook landscaped gardens providing the ideal backdrop for your perfect day.

www.theedgep .uk

Other popular venues include The Reid Rooms at Margaret Roding, Stockbrook Manor in Stock, Hedingham Castle and Gaynes Park in Epping (who won “Best Wedding Venue” in 2012). With Essex venues taking the ‘Best Wedding Venue’ award for six out of the last seven years, we can confidently say that for a quality ceremony ‘The Only Way Is Essex’. phic. hotogra ountryp c d n a n w

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13 08/ / 0 :3 all h k& ted wic owan s r e a R Pr a W ew nn th Joa Mat n ra Kie

Kieran and I met in a bar/restaurant in Romford, Essex called the Brick Yard. I was in need of a seat as my feet were hurting after wearing heels all night, so we headed to a seated area upstairs and Kieran & his friends were occupying some of the seats, I asked if I could take a seat and Kieran directed me to sit down……from there we got chatting & exchanged numbers. After dating and then moving in together, Kieran proposed to me, we had a lovely engagement dinner overlooking beautiful Tower Bridge in London at Gauchos Restaurant. It was the most romantic dinner I have ever had, and after he proposed and I said yes, I couldn’t help but feel so excited about our future together. Soon after getting engaged we decided to start looking for potential wedding venues to hold our special day.

13 05/ / 4 :1 all h m d ro iel lst es f u s e H eev Go xin t R Ma BRet &

Where did you meet? Brett and I met in Morrisons, where we both worked at the time. We got talking and instantly had a connection and knew we were meant to be together from that point, I guess you could say it was love at first sight. Who proposed to whom? Brett proposed to me on my 22nd birthday on holiday in Corfu on the beach as the sun came up, it was such a shock as I wasn’t expecting it, it was so sweet and romantic, Brett got all emotional asking me and telling me how he felt about me, I just couldn’t say no and realised how much I love him. How long did it take you to decide on your venue? Not long at all - as soon as we saw pictures on the internet we instantly fell in love with the place, then viewing it we knew that would be the place we wanted to get married.

Prested Hall was one of the first places we went to see - from the moment of driving down the long tree lined road we had very good feelings about this place. Once inside we were met by one of the wedding coordinators to whom we had an appointment with. After our initial meeting we were able to look around and explore the venue at our leisure, we were shown some of the beautiful bedrooms and marquee, & took a walk outside to see the grounds and lake that surrounds the back of the venue. The staff at Prested were so helpful, we were not rushed, and made to feel really welcome while we were there, and nothing was too much trouble. Although we did visit other venues, we just didn’t get the feeling we initially got when we visited Prested. We had the run of the house and grounds; it was completely private to us and our guests. The ceremony was beautiful, the Registrars were so lovely and really helped to put me at ease as I was so nervous, they were friendly and smiling the whole time.

What made you choose Gosfield Hall over the other approved premise venues? We had in mind that we wanted a stately home from the beginning, but just seeing Gosfield Hall we fell in love with the space, the rooms, everything - it’s just stunning - we didnt need to look around we knew this was the one. Give us an overview of the ceremony? The ceremony was lovely, everything went perfectly, the ceremony hall was stunning very picturesque something we will always remember. Did you have readings or music? what did you choose and why? We didn’t have readings during the ceremony but Brett and I wrote each other a poem a couple days before the wedding which we asked our mums to read out during the wedding breakfast. I walked down the aisle to Celine Dion “The power of love” as we both love this song and the lyrics to it. We walked back up the aisle to Brian McKnight “Back at one”, as Brett loves that song and says the lyrics to it is how he feels about me.

We had two readings during the ceremony, one was read by Kieran’s sister–in-law Lisa, and the other was read jointly between Kieran’s two nephews, Jack & Dale. We had 135 guests attend our ceremony and witness Kieran & I marry, it was a very special day. We booked a harpist to play some light sounds before the ceremony started, to entertain our guests and then she continued to play after we were married - it was a lovely touch and so relaxing. The whole day was filled with love, laughter and smiling faces and spending it with so many special friends and family meant the world to me. It was a day Kieran & I will remember for years to come. I have memories I will cherish forever. If I could live the whole day over again I would do any time.

Who was more nervous during the ceremony and why? I think I was more nervous than Brett, what with all the planning and leading up to our big day just praying everything would go well, which it did we couldn’t have asked for a better day, walking down the aisle was nerve racking but I just focused on Brett. I was so happy I couldnt wait to marry him, as soon as I saw him I got all emotional, Brett held my hand to comfort me and my nerves seemed to just disappear. Were there any humourous moments during the ceremony? Not so much the ceremony, more so in the evening reception, we surprised our guests with a second dance to Gangnam style and pulled everyone up with us to join in some wore silly hats. It was nice to see how many people got up and had a laugh with us. For the next song, Brett’s uncle decided to amuse us all with his dancing skills to the song “Hot Stuff ”. It was the highlight of the evening and the funniest we have ever seen. Sum up your day in one word! incredible.

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Braintree | Uttlesford

Located in 100 acres of scenic North Essex countryside, Fennes is a charming Georgian Manor House, with a welcoming feel.



The elegant reception rooms overlook landscaped gardens, providing the ideal ambience for your perfect day. Accommodating parties from 25 to 600 guests.

A beautiful 17th Century mansion near Stansted, nestled in one of the country’s oldest deer parks, Parklands creates the perfect setting. Vast grounds provide a magnificent backdrop with stunning reception rooms and a silk-lined pavilion accommodating from 25 to 1000 guests.

The Tabor Group is a prestigious wedding venue company, offering a choice of six premier locations. With over 20 years’ collective experience of hosting tailor-made weddings, you can be assured that your special day will be perfect in every way. The Tabor Group aims to provide you with a heartfelt welcome, delicious food and drink and memories that will last a lifetime. All The Tabor Group venues offer: • Exclusive-use basis for your day • Indoor and outdoor civil ceremonies • Stunning settings for your wedding photos • Your own Wedding and Events Manager • Luxurious ensuite accommodation • Stunning wedding-night bridal suite 01376 324555

01799 543800

Fennes Estate, Bocking, Braintree CM7 5PL

Quendon Hall, Quendon CB11 3XN


Sturmer Hall offers the perfect setting for a truly memorable day.


With so much to organise, you can relax in the knowledge that we will take care of your every need, ensuring that your wedding day is everything you want it to be. Our hotel is really quite amazing. Perfect for a fairy-tale wedding to simple weddings, you will find Sturmer Hall has everything you need in one fabulously romantic, yet exclusive venue. To discover our secret, call us today on 01440 705368.

01440 705368 S T U R M E R L A K E S I D E



Sturmer Nr. Haverhill CB9 7XD


A stunning 15c Barn set in the heart of the Essex countryside. If you are looking for a very special wedding venue, with an intimate atmosphere, that’s exclusively yours, and offers every couple a very personal service then Crabbs Barn is the perfect choice.


As a family owned and run business, with superb accommodation for every bride and groom and their chosen guests, we are commited to ensuring that your special day is everything you have dreamed of.

15th Century

01376 572643 Cranes Lane, Kelvedon CO5 9AX

This hidden gem has won many hearts, awards and accolades over the years. A charming small manor house at the end of a tree-lined drive, Prested invites you to relax and enjoy your wedding ‘at home’ with your guests, while our staff take care of every detail.


The house is yours for the day and night, with all 14 lovely bedrooms, elegant reception and ceremony rooms, a pretty gazebo for outdoor ceremonies and a summer marquee. We have an Elemis spa, a hair salon and more guest accommodation on site, and, if you prefer to ‘go away’ for your wedding night, we have a beautiful hideaway, The Dingle, just a stroll from the Hall. We look forward to showing you around our lovely venue.

01376 573300 Prested Hall Chase, Feering, Colchester CO5 9EE

Braintree | Castle Point & Rochford

Something Old, Something New…..


On the Essex/Cambridge border and just 45 minutes from London the 2000 acre Spains Hall Estate, on the fringes of the picturesque village of Finchingfield, has been lived in for over 900 years and the Ruggles-Brise family home for over 250 years. From our 600 year old Elizabethan Hall, Drawing Room & Dining Room in the main house for your ceremony and drinks reception through to the 16th Century converted Stables complex with air conditioning, under-floor heating and built in music & lighting systems for your wedding breakfast and evening reception. We offer a unique, authentic and inspirational venue for your big day and a perfect blank canvas for you to style as little or as much as you like! 

01371 811596 Finchingfield CM7 4NJ


The Windmill was built in 1809 and has been sympathetically refurbished. It is located next to the sensory garden and historic Rayleigh Mount, a perfect backdrop for your pictures. With seating for up to 20 guests, Rayleigh Windmill offers an intimate venue for your Civil Marriage, Naming Ceremony or Renewal of Vows. Several packages are available including the option to hold your reception at The Mill Arts and Events Centre adjacent to the Windmill. The services of a dedicated event co-ordinator are at your disposal to ensure that your special day runs perfectly.

Pictures courtesy of Hearts and Flowers Photography

01702 318120 Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh SS6 7ED

Chelmsford THE PERFECT CHOICE FOR YOUR WEDDING VENUE, EVENING RECEPTION OR CIVIL PARTNERSHIP From a small event to a grand affair, the Crowne Plaza Resort is the perfect location for any size of wedding. We know how important your special day is and we pride ourselves on our flexible attitudes to any and every wedding. Our dedicated wedding team will do everything in their power to create the perfect package tailored to meet your specific needs.


Set in 320 acres of beautiful Essex countryside we are just 15 minutes from the A12. With 194 bedrooms on site, your guests will be able to celebrate with you on your wedding day and on your first morning as husband and wife.

01621 868888 Colchester Road, Tolleshunt Knights, Maldon CM9 8HX


Set in over 500 acres of historic parkland Hylands Estate now offers the best of both worlds: a spectacular Grade II* listed mansion with meticulously restored period rooms or our new Grand Pavilion, offering timeless glamour, exclusive to you. Our range of celebration spaces presents the perfect setting for intimate gatherings or lavish receptions for up to 250 guests. At Hylands Estate we are completely committed to creating your perfect wedding, welcoming civil marriages, partnerships and ethnic weddings.

01245 605500 Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ

Chelmsford | Colchester


One of the best Wedding Venues in Essex. The Newland Hall Country Estate is situated 4 miles west of Chelmsford. It consists of a large picturesque 15th Century Tudor Manor House with a moat, beautiful gardens and over 100 acres of grass and woodland with four lakes surrounded by unspoilt countryside. Long established and recently fully refurbished Newland Hall is a premier wedding venue, catering for exclusive wedding ceremonies and receptions. Well established, specialist wedding venue - over 19 years experience of organising and running weddings Beautiful Grade II Listed Tudor Manor House set in 100 acres 100% Guaranteed Exclusive Use Ceremony & Reception customised to match your exact requirements

01245 231010 Roxwell, Chelmsford CM1 4LH

Holiday Inn Colchester provides an appealing venue in which to mark the ceremony and ensuing celebrations.


Conveniently located in a quiet area on the outskirts of the historic town, our attractive grounds make for a pleasant backdrop for your photographs. Our resourceful and accommodating team of events staff can help you build the perfect package for your big day.

0871 942 9020 Abbotts Lane, Eight Ash Green, Colchester CO6 3QL

Colchester | Epping Forest

If you want to have your wedding at a really special venue, then come and visit Layer Marney Tower. We will provide you with a unique setting, whether you are considering a civil ceremony, civil partnership or a wedding reception.


With a reputation for good food and service, you can rely on our staff to make your special day perfect – and wedding receptions at Layer Marney Tower include the complimentary use of a 1931 Rolls Royce, as well as our Bridal Suite. Telephone or email to arrange an appointment to view. Karen Brand, our wedding co-ordinator, will be delighted to show you what we have to offer and answer any questions you may have.

01206 330784 Layer Marney, Colchester CO5 9US

For a day filled with glitz, glamour & sparkle.


This amazing venue, located in the heart of Epping Forest, is perfect for a magical wedding reception or private party. Licensed to hold Civil Ceremonies in 3 stunning function rooms.

0208 508 5000 Paul’s Nursery Road, High Beach IG10 4AE

Photos by Pengelly Photography

Epping Forest | Uttlesford Mulberry House offers a combination of traditional Georgian architecture and modern, twenty first century additions, successfully combining the character of the old and new. 22 acres of beautiful gardens provide a romantic and magical backdrop for your perfect wedding day.


Whether you are looking for intimacy or grandeur, Mulberry House offers exclusivity and has a variety of rooms from which to choose for your wedding celebrations. Licensed for Civil Ceremonies and offering guest accommodation, we shall ensure that your wedding is seamlessly perfect. Coupled with first rate service and delicious catering using the finest ingredients, we are extremely proud of our growing reputation as a wedding venue and our experienced team are dedicated to creating your everlasting memories.

01277 365398 Chelmsford Road, High Ongar CM5 9NL


A historic Country House, situated in the breathtaking beauty of the Hertfordshire/Essex countryside, providing an exquisite backdrop for your special day... Down Hall is the place where your dreams are turned into perfect reality. Dating back to 1540, Down Hall has a wonderful array of rooms and suites to host the most intimate of ceremonies,

luxury wedding breakfasts and stunning receptions, most with panoramic views over our beautiful gardens. Our Chef and his team have created the most exquisite menus for your special occasion, using the freshest and finest ingredients either from our own vegetable garden or locally sourced produce, complemented by outstanding personal service from our staff.

01279 732153 Matching Road, Hatfield Heath, Bishop’s Stortford CM22 7AS

Our dedicated Wedding Coordinators will guide you through your arrangements from the very first time you contact us, to the moment you take your vows. Every detail is taken care of and they come equipped with lists of recommended suppliers, creative ideas, years of valuable experience to help you make your wedding day everything you could have ever dreamed of and more.



The Town Hall is without doubt one of the town’s most beautiful buildings. This Georgian style building is steeped in history and provides a perfect venue for your wedding. The friendly and professional staff will help you through your planning to make sure your special event will be perfect in every way. With the combination of high quality services and affordability we will ensure a unique and memorable experience whatever your needs. 01376 557776 Market Square, Braintree CM7 3YG


Georgian country house set in 10 acres Licensed for Civil Ceremonies Exclusive use 120 ft aisle and area for outdoor ceremonies Seating for 110 guests for the reception 21 luxury bedroom suites Exquisite food 30 minutes from Stansted Airport and M11 Winner of Wedding Ideas ‘Best Wedding Venue’ 2011 01787 472914 Gosfield, Halstead CO9 1SF

Hedingham Castle is one of the most romantic settings in England.


With a history of over 900 years, the fairytale architecture of the Norman keep and Georgian country house, lavish interiors and breathtaking grounds, it is hard to imagine a more perfect wedding combination. The stunning candle-lit castle ceremony followed by drinks on the terrace, overlooking the lake, and a reception in the mansion house and marquee is unique and sensational. 01787 460261 Bayley Street, Castle Hedingham CO9 3DJ


The Coach House, with unique features and picture perfect setting is a beautiful place for your special day. Make your vows underneath the attractive gazebo in our flower garden, the perfect start to married life. The Coach House is full of charm, ambience and character and an idyllic place to hold your reception.

01376 565420 The Coach House, Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall CO6 1TG

Tony Sale Photography

Braintree | Brentwood


Our beautiful, water-fronted, privately owned 16th Century barn, set within a property listed in the Domesday Book, is ideal for civil ceremonies, wedding receptions, parties and dances. Seating for up to 150 guests Fully fitted caterers kitchen Ample car parking Dance floor & full PA system Full bar services - No corkage Landscaped courtyard with marquee 01787 374544 Smeetham Hall Lane, Bulmer, Sudbury CO10 7EU


The Rivenhall Hotel offers an impressive yet affordable venue and a level of service that will guarantee the smooth running of your special day, making it a most memorable occasion. With our function room capacity for up to 150 people, our ideal location just on the side of the A12 and our dedicated function staff team, we can accommodate your requirements and preferences to make your day a perfect one. 01376 516969 Rivenhall End, Witham CM8 3HB


The perfect day and the perfect venue. Set in 10 acres of elegant landscaped gardens, a former Manor House now transformed into the leading wedding venue in Essex, with a professional function & events team ready to help. Our service and food are second to none from our award winning Head Chef - and we are licensed for civil ceremonies, wedding breakfasts, with accommodation including luxury bridal suites. 01277 226418 Great Warley Street, Warley, Brentwood CM13 3JP


Your Perfect Wedding starts with the choice of a Perfect Venue. The Marygreen Manor is a Tudor Manor House dating from the 16th Century and comes complete with Period Function Rooms, Secluded Courtyard Garden, Delicious Food, Exceptional Service and a range of Stunning Guest Accommodation. Your search for the perfect venue ends here! 01277 225252 London Road, Brentwood CM14 4NS

Brentwood | Castle Point & Rochford | Chelmsford


A beautiful and uniquely different venue for your Wedding or Civil Partnership. The stunning backdrop of Heritage cottages and picturesque green adds an extra touch of romance to your special day. An 18th Century Barn and contemporary suites are perfect for the ceremony and reception. Excellent in-house catering. 01268 550088 or 465388 Pitsea Hall Lane, Pitsea, Basildon SS16 4UH


Delightful Georgian house in glorious rural setting with landscaped garden, perfect for your pictures. Four function rooms and galleried hall for Civil Ceremonies and Parties. Spacious air-conditioned Orangery. Gourmet catering. Two Bars (Inside and Terrace). Two Bride’s rooms. 4-star accommodation nearby. Exclusively yours for the day. Truly a worry-free Wedding. 01702 203701 or 203669 Hall Road, Rochford SS4 1PL

Set majestically in 500 acres of parkland, Braxted Park is the most romantic and photogenic backdrop you could ever wish for.


Exclusively yours for the day, we can cater from 50 to 300 guests. We are licensed for civil marriages and are able to offer a variety of different rooms within the main house and renovated walled garden. There is a 12th Century parish church located in the grounds. 01621 892305 Braxted Park Road, Witham CM8 3EN


The Cliffords Estate is a stunning setting, host to Channels and Little Channels and is situated just to the North of Chelmsford. It covers over 300 acres of undulating parkland with beautiful views of the Essex countryside. It boasts 27 excellent golf holes, a floodlit 22 bay driving range, has two superb restaurants, a luxurious 17 bedroom en-suite Lodge and is the ideal location for all events. 01245 440005 Belsteads Farm Lane, Little Waltham, Chelmsford CM3 3PT

Idyllic Wedding Venue…



Essex Record Office is an attractive, modern wedding venue in central Chelmsford, offering the 140 seat, Spalding Room for larger ceremonies or the Walker Room seating 24, Norden Room seating 32 guests or the Morant Room seating 26 for more intimate ceremonies. Buffet and bar areas adjacent with alcoholic beverages and food supplied by caterers of your choice or ours. Attractive riverside setting with an area for marquees and ample parking. 01245 244644 Wharf Road, Chelmsford CM2 6YT


A beautiful setting, a warm welcome and exceptional service are just some of the things we pride ourselves on at Forrester Park. All our wedding couples comment on the friendliness of our staff and the relaxed atmosphere of our rural venue, which was originally a family home. With several different function areas which can be used individually or together, as well as attractive gardens and grounds, we will help to achieve your vision of the perfect wedding day. 01621 891406 Beckingham Road, Great Totham, Nr Maldon CM9 8EA


Tudor manor house Exclusive use Licensed for Civil Ceremonies Exquisite food Seating for 110 guests 40 acres of parkland 15 gorgeous bedrooms & a beautiful cottage in the grounds 15 minutes from Chelmsford and the M11 01245 362555 Hartford End, Great Leighs, Chelmsford CM3 1JP


Attention to detail, AA Rosette awarded food and the friendliest team on hand to make sure that your special day is memorable for all the right reasons. The freedom to work within your budget without compromising quality. Packages or individually priced meals and buffets. Catering for 20-130.

01245 455700 CHELMSFORD

Rainsford Road, Chelmsford CM1 2PZ

Licence applied for

Chelmsford | Colchester

A Perfect Venue For Your Perfect Day.


Celebrate in style. Whether your event is for 20 or 120, we will deliver a day to remember at The Warren Golf & Country Club. Our team know that every bride is unique, and we always tailor our wedding services to suit your exact requirements. Great Offers Available for 2014 Weddings. 01245 221792 or 223258 Woodham Walter, Nr Maldon CM9 6RW


A wedding, an anniversary party, a naming ceremony, a ‘big’ birthday - the landmarks in our lives. Each of these should be filled with magic and delight, leaving a happy memory to look back on and treasure… • Beautiful grade I Edwardian building • Rooms seating 20 to 250 guests • Fantastic photo opportunities • Versatile catering options • Free car park, disabled access and hearing loops

Where memories are made...

01206 506905 High Street, Colchester CO1 1PJ TOWN HALL


East Mersea Hall is a stunning Elizabethan family manor house, whose historic setting makes the perfect venue. We are fully licensed for Civil Ceremonies in either The Old Dining Room or The Terrace Room. In summer, receptions can take place in the glass fronted Pavilion overlooking the lake which is part of the original medieval moat. In winter, The Terrace Room is transformed by our grand open fireplace, which creates a truly magical atmosphere. 01206 383499

East MErsEa Hall

Church Lane, East Mersea, Colchester CO5 8TJ

For more infomation call 01206 506905

TOWN HALL Splendid rooms for weddings small or large, combined with excellent customer service. For more infomation call 01206 506905

01206 383499 (07842) 195221


Where memories are made...

Splendid rooms for weddings small or large, combined with excellent customer service.

Jaywick Martello Tower’s unique Napoleonic architecture makes it an ideal backdrop for your special day. Choose from the intimate sun room with stunning panoramic views to the garrison room holding up to 60 guests. The historic building and stunning coastline make it perfect for those lasting memories. 01255 822783 Tower C, The Promenade, Belsize Avenue, Jaywick CO15 2LF



Visit our dedicated wedding website for stunning locations, inspirational food, finest accommodation to exceptional service it’s all here – including a unique price planner allowing you to see how much your wedding breakfast will cost! Our dedicated event team based at Le Talbooth will help you plan your day from start to finish with great attention to detail. They will ensure that each wedding runs smoothly and is truly a day to remember. 01206 323150 Le Talbooth Restaurant, Gun Hill, Dedham, Colchester CO7 6HP

The Rose and Crown Hotel is a historic romantic place in which to celebrate your most special and momentous event.


Our weddings are a combination of quality, thought and care with tailor made menus, wine list chosen to suit every taste, fresh flowers and attention to the smallest detail. Licensed for Civil weddings and partnerships.

01206 866677 East Street, Colchester CO1 2TZ


A venue with a difference … a unique atmosphere awaits you in this 1911 picture house which has Grade II* listing. It is one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas to survive complete with its silent screen, pay box, lobby, original projection room and ornamental frontage still intact. In a cherished cinema, enjoy the ultimate in happy beginnings; from a simple service to a more adventurous ceremony incorporating film and music. Email or write for more information. King’s Quay Street, Harwich CO12 3ER


Completely refurbished hotel on the Essex sunshine coast offering; · A choice of licensed function rooms with sea views · Licensed for Civil Ceremonies and Civil Partnerships · Beautiful garden with gazebo · 30 new luxurious guest bedrooms, including stunning bridal suite with sea view and four poster bed · Experienced wedding team 08444 119 492 55 Kings Parade, Holland-on-Sea CO15 5JB

Colchester | Epping Forest | Harlow

Wivenhoe House, a four star country house hotel, is the ideal venue for 50 to 120 guests at your civil ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception.


In this romantic parkland setting, the views are a photographer’s dream and our experienced wedding team will make your special day absolutely perfect.

01206 863666 Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ


The perfect venue for your wedding Licensed for civil ceremonies Banqueting for up to 160 seated/200 buffet Set in 240 acres of breathtaking parkland with stunning views of the Essex countryside Fantastic photo opportunities Ample car parking and only 10 minutes from the M25 and M11 01708 688396 Epping Lane, Stapleford Tawney RM4 1ST

Your exclusive use of our magnificent 17th Century barn and surrounding gardens


Licensed for civil ceremonies indoors and outdoors, under the Old Saddlery. Accommodates 150 seated A beautiful three bedroom cottage with stunning dressing room and separate honeymoon cottage are available to hire over your wedding 01277 366687 Bobbingworth, Ongar CM5 0DG


Canons Tithe Barn - a Grade II listed building offers a charming venue with its own private garden area backing on to the brook which runs through the golf course. We can cater for 50 to 120 guests, with all inclusive packages to suit all budgets.

01279 421482 Elizabeth Way, Harlow CM19 5BE

Licence applied for



The unforgettable ambience of the beautifully restored 16th Century Maltings - with seating for up to 60 guests, a reception room and a walled garden makes it a truly special venue for your special occasion. Our dedicated wedding co-ordinator will help you plan and ensure that you have a memorable day.

07845 136651 or 01371 873381 Mill Lane, Great Dunmow CM6 1BG

Great Hallingbury Manor is a stunning Tudor-style Manor with a contemporary interior.


It offers licensed function rooms as well as 45 luxurious bedrooms and the most dazzling bridal suite in the area. The delicious menus created by our head chef will impress your guests, whilst the lush gardens and beautiful lake with its private island - now licensed for ceremonies form the perfect backdrop for your photos. 08444 119 068 Great Hallingbury, Bishop’s Stortford CM22 7TJ

‘Family Run, You’ll Love The Difference’


With over 300 Weddings in the past 20 years, you can trust the Hunters Meet for your perfect day, whether you choose our stunning gardens or indoors. Contact Brendan Carrig on 01279 730549.

01279 730549 Chelmsford Road, Hatfield Heath CM22 7BQ


Your Unique Country Wedding Venue… • Licensed for all civil ceremonies including The Meadow Pavilion for an open air country wedding ceremony • Exclusively yours for the day • Provide your own drinks with no service or corkage charges • Choose your own caterer • On-site accommodation in our beautiful 15th Century moated farmhouse 01245 231800 Marks Hall Lane, Margaret Roding, Nr Chelmsford CM6 1QT

…upmarket hen parties in our spa

Reception venues • 17th Century Grade II listed building • Receptions for up to 150 guests • 35 en-suite bedrooms Set in 108 acres close to Epping Forest and on the London/Essex border, Gilwell Park combines a historic location with amazing facilities and service.


Wedding guests are guaranteed exclusive use of our venue. This includes use of our lounge bar, outdoor areas for reception drinks or an evening barbecue, the grounds for photographs and our large main hall for your wedding breakfast with space for up to 150 people. Whether you are looking for a cosy winter wedding reception in February or a sizzling summer event in June, Gilwell Park can host wedding receptions seven days a week, subject to availability.

0208 498 5300 Chingford, London E4 7QW

The perfect wedding venue for couples in North Essex. Bespoke wedding venue to hire, for the celebration of all kinds of weddings and civil partnerships (civil ceremonies licence applied for).


Incorporating the new town and country club that is perfectly situated in the centre of town, just a short stroll from the Colchester Registration Office, through the historic Abbey Gate. A choice of stylish and well-proportioned wedding function suites available, with catering and bar, plus ample on-site parking for guests. This is a superb all-round venue, refined and accentuated in the charm and warmth of the stylish new main building.

01206 545444 St John’s Green, Colchester CO2 7EZ


Reception venues


Fabulous Weddings at CEME… CEME is a stunning wedding venue with lakeside gardens, open spaces, rooms and reception areas that are truly amazing. CEME has a number of areas that are conducive to holding receptions and wedding breakfasts. Our large rooms can hold from 30-250, and our circulation area in the main venue can seat up to 300, or cater for stand-up receptions for up to 600. 0208 596 5151 Marsh Way, Rainham RM13 8EU

The Fletcher’s Suite Wedding Receptions


Business Lunches, Conferences & Seminars Parties & Special Occasions Catering & Bar Facilities for up to 100 guests all in air conditioned comfort

01268 544567 Lower Dunton Road, Dunton, Nr Brentwood CM13 3SX


At Mason’s we make your wedding perfect. With the same attention to detail as The White Hart in Great Yeldham (which holds a civil ceremonies licence), Mason’s ambience is soft, romantic and a perfect venue to hold your wedding reception. At Mason’s we aim to provide you with something special and with a long standing reputation for excellence, an experience that you and your guests will remember. 01277 261331 155-157 Ingrave Road, Brentwood CM13 2AA


You’ve popped the question… Now you need the answers. Places to Marry is the perfect place to find the perfect venue. Check our website for more details of any venue in Essex.

Civil Weddings NOTICE


The choice of venues in Essex is ever increasing‌ Since April 1995 it has been possible for civil marriages to take place regularly in hotels, stately homes, civic halls and similar premises. Contact any Registration Office in Essex or visit our website for an up-to-date list of venues. Marriages are not currently allowed to take place outdoors, in marquees

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or other temporary or moveable structures. The secular nature of civil marriage precludes the use of any building with a recent or continuing religious connection. To arrange a wedding in an Approved Venue, you must first contact the venue to make provisional arrangements.

You must then contact the local Registration Office for the area in which the premises are located to ensure the Registration Officers can attend your wedding on the date and time of your choice. Details of giving formal notice of marriage can be given to you at that time. There is an additional fee for getting married at an Approved Venue. ings.c wedd www.1

Giving notice Before you can marry in a Registration Office, Approved Venue, church or chapel in England and Wales (other than a Church of England where you may have banns called), you must give notice of your intention to marry. Each person wanting to marry has to give their own notice of intention to marry to the Superintendent Registrar or nominated deputy in the area in which they reside. In Essex, this can be any office (except Southend and Thurrock). Both parties must have resided in a district of England or Wales for at least 7 whole days immediately prior to giving a Notice of Marriage. This notice will then be displayed on the public notice board for 15 days, after which, provided all documentation has been received and cleared, a certificate for marriage to proceed may be issued.

If you live in a different area to where the marriage will take place, you will need to apply for and obtain the authority for your marriage to take place. This authority must be delivered to the Minister of the church, Superintendent Registrar or their deputy of the area where you are to marry. You will still be able to marry in any Registration Office or Approved Venue in England or Wales irrespective of where you live, and your notice can still be taken up to one year in advance of the date of your wedding. A fee is currently charged for each notice given.


If either yourself or your partner are subject to immigration control, new rules introduced on 1st February 2005, require each of you to give Notice of Marriage at a designated Registration Office. For more information, contact the Essex Register Office Brentwood, Castle Point & Rochford, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest or Harlow (contact details on pages 7 & 8 ).

Documents When giving notice of marriage, each party will need to produce proof of identity (name, age, marital status and nationality), together with evidence of place of residence. Verifying documents include full birth certificate, passports, driving licences, change of name statements and divorce documents. Our staff will be happy to advise further. If either of you has been married before, either in this country or abroad, you will need to show proof of your divorce. If either of you was divorced in England or Wales, we will need to see a court-stamped copy of the decree absolute (the final divorce paper). If the divorce took place in a foreign country, we will need to see the original document issued by that country and an English translation, if the document is in a foreign language. If no documents were issued in the foreign country, we will tell you what we can accept as proof of the divorce.

If either of you is a widow or widower we will need to see a certified copy of your former partner’s death certificate from the registration authority of the country where your former partner died. Also the widow needs to show a copy of the marriage certificate.

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If you married each other in a foreign country, you only need to get married here if you think that marriage was not legal. If you decide to get married here we will need to see any documents issued by that country when you give us notice of your marriage. If either of you is under 18, we will need to see proof that your parents or guardian agree to the marriage. If your parents are divorced we may also need to see the court order that gives custody to one of them. The Registration staff will give you advice on this matter. phy.c togra o h p le onysa www.t

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There are several ways in which you can personalise your big day‌

Make it

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You can choose to be interviewed separately allowing the bride to enter the room escorted by a friend or relative. You may provide your own choice of music. It can be played as background music while your guests assemble and again at the conclusion of the ceremony. The Registration staff will need to have your requirements at least six to eight weeks before your wedding. Another way to personalise the ceremony is to incorporate a reading of verse or a suitable piece of prose. Our offices have a selection of popular readings, which may be read by you or by one of your guests. You may wish to provide a piece of verse or prose which you prefer. However, due to legal constraints, no religious material may be used and the Superintendent Registrar or their nominated deputy must therefore approve the intended reading beforehand.

At Approved Venues Weddings in these venues are more popular than ever, as couples discover that they offer any number of options and ideas including, the convenience of the ceremony, reception and entertainment all in one location. The ceremony provided by the Essex Registration Service is a civil ceremony, with no religious elements. It should also be noted that marriages are not allowed to take place outdoors, or in temporary or moveable structures. However, an increasing number of the venues now have gazebos and other facilities that enable couples to have a unique and memorable ceremony experience.

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It is not unusual for the bride or groom to be nervous on the day of the wedding, so hopefully the following will ease your mind‌

Civil Weddings

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Arrival It is very important for you and your guests to arrive at least 10 minutes earlier than the time of your marriage. This will allow you to be interviewed before the ceremony and for your guests to be seated. You will be greeted by the Registrar who will see the bride and groom privately to check details and take fees (where applicable) for the marriage ceremony and certificate.

Flowers All Ceremony Rooms are tastefully decorated. You may, however, wish to make your own floral arrangements. Please discuss this with the Registration staff or the venue.

Music Music systems with CD players are provided in all our Registration Offices with a selection of suitable music. If, however, you have a favourite or meaningful piece you wish to have played, discuss it well before the day with the Registration staff who will be happy to advise you. In an Approved Venue, you have other options, including live music.

Witnesses The law requires that you are accompanied by at least two credible witnesses at your wedding. They may be relatives, friends or colleagues who must be able to speak and understand English.

Recording the event A wedding album is a very special memento – we are happy to allow photography in the Ceremony Room at specified times. A single video recording is also permitted, but please inform the Registration staff beforehand. ountryphotogr www.townandc

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The amount of parking varies at each Registration Office. For further information, please contact the Registration Office where your wedding will be taking place. Most Approved Venues have ample parking available.

Confetti is a familiar part of any wedding, but please ask your guests not to throw confetti inside the building! If your ceremony is at an Approved Venue, they will be happy to advise you regarding these details.

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Civil Weddings or Partnerships READINGS

You can personalise your enhanced ceremony with a piece of verse or prose This may be read by you or one of your guests. Should you wish to choose one of your own, please note for legal reasons, no religious material may be used.

We do need to review your choices in advance of the ceremony and you can let us know your choices by including them in the on-line ceremony planning form.

Here is a selection of verses that may be ideal for your day…

VE ❋ ▼ MY TRUE LO ey Sir Philip Sidn

▼ HIS DAY ❋ LOOK TO T Unknown

ry life of life. it is life the ve r fo y da is th ths Look to alities and tru se lie all the re ur r of co f ou ie nd br le its sp In , the e joy of growth of existence; th y of power. action, the glor y. is but a memor For yesterday . is only a vision a And tomorrow ery yesterday ev es l lived mak vision a w ro or m But today wel to and every s es in pp ha of memory of hope. y. efore, to this da Look well, ther

d I have his. th my heart, an My true love ha r given. he ot ge one for an ot miss: By just exchan nn ca he , and mine ar de s hi ld ho I rgain driven. as a better ba There never w d I have his. th my heart an My true love ha me in one, an keeps him d e, m in t ar es guides: he His ghts and sens ou th s hi , m hi My heart in was his own: art, for once it He loves my he bides. cause in me it I cherish his, be I have his. d an th my heart ha ve lo e tru My

VE ❋ MISE OF LO O R P A IS E MARRIAG ll Edmund O’Nei nysale photog raphy.c

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out in find and bring o people can tw at th st be e – to the mmitment to lif Marriage is a co n equal, a relationship ca an m r. hu r he ot he ot ch ea no ing and growth e. nities for shar ed for a lifetim is om nships. pr is at It offers opportu th g in in portant relatio jo l im t na io os m ot em e’s d lif an es all of physical r and critic. ge encompass teacher, listene its love, marria r, of ve le lo rc , ci nt e da th confi Within r’s best friend, of each other d are each othe g, and the love an lin sb ai hu or d n an ke ro A wife heartb one partner is e times when m co for a child. nt ay sher; m re e pa er a Th emories are fre er caring of nd te e th e ess is fuller; m bl in y. pp kl Ha ic e. qu lif may resem e away mor y facet of ly and passes d enriches ever ng an ro s st en e ep or m de lt Marriage anger is fe d. stronger; even unable to avoi commitment is mistakes life is e th sing love es iv rg fo ways of expres tands and w rs ne de d un an , ge es ria nc Mar perie w life, new ex and nurtures ne spirit It encourages they create a asons of life. r in Marriage, he ot ch . ea through the se ds r or fo ritten w ve and care y spoken or w le pledge to lo closer than an em th s When two peop , which takes nd bi ople who love lves, which pe se o em tw th of to ts ue ar uniq the he ntial, made in omise, a pote pr a is ge ria ar M lfil. a lifetime to fu graphic tryphoto n u o c d wnan

❋▼ I PROMISE an Dorothy R Colg

u no more d to ask of yo an f el ys m of st ve you the be I promise to gi . alise that your ve gi rson and to re pe than you can n ow ur yo than my own. spect you as less important I promise to re no y, e ar s ed and to bring jo res and ne d my attention interests, desi an e tim y m u are with yo I promise to sh r relationship. window agination to ou e through the im d strength an u, to let you se yo ms. ea to dr en d op an f ep mysel gs, secrets in el fe d an s ar I promise to ke t fe ges in order to to my innermos g to face chan in ill w of my world in be to you, ow along with I promise to gr d exciting. an e iv al p nshi with all I keep our relatio es and in bad tim od w. go in u ve yo way I know ho I promise to lo de in the only si in el fe I l al d have to give an forever. d an y el et Compl

E❋▼ ERE IS LOV H T E R E H W Rice Helen Steiner


you, my dear, Yes, I’ll marry reason why; And here’s the you out of bed So I can push starts to cry, When the baby a knocking And if we hear and it’s late, And it’s creepy torch you see, I hand you the ate. ig And you invest you, my dear, Yes, I’ll marry prehend it, You may not ap mble-drier goes tu But when the s to mend it, It’s you that ha r ce the neighbou You have to fa m, hi ck ta at or ad Should our labr rd fondles me ka un dr a if d An . s to whack him It’s you that ha

is light, love the heart Where there is bright, is y love the da Where there is ng, so a is e love ther Where there is rong w g in go e ar things To help when ile sm love there is a thwhile, Where there is or w e or ings seem m th l al e ak m To iet peace, love there’s qu Where there is l’s cease e where turmoi A tranquil plac ht lig darkness into Love changes gless flight”. in “w e heart take th es ak m d An

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you, Yes, I’ll marry d you’re lean, an You’re virile e a pigsty My house is lik keep it clean. You can help to nner di That sexy little , by candlelight ed rv Which you se atas, As I do chipol it every night! ok co n You ca drill s to work the It’s you who ha , ck rtain tra And put up cu u who got PMT it’s yo e I’v n he w And , Gets the flack advantages, t ea I do see gr em for you, But none of th , u see the light As so before yo ! I do, I do, I do

❋ Suitable for Marriage Ceremonies ▼ Suitable for Partnership Ceremonies

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TRADITIONS The origins and meaning behind some of our most cherished wedding traditions may surprise you

Many of the traditions associated with modern day weddings can be found to have their roots in the customs and rituals of our ancestors. WHY DOES THE BRIDE STAND ON THE LEFT AND GROOM ON THE RIGHT? It is believed the practice goes back to times when the groom would ‘capture’ his bride by kidnapping her. Should the groom have to fight off other men who also wanted her as their bride, he would hold her with his left hand whilst leaving his right hand free to use his sword.

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There are records of wedding cakes being made in Roman times, although they were more like unsweetened loaves of bread. Over the centuries these developed into stacked towers of small cakes. It was said that if a couple could kiss over the top of the cake they would have prosperity in their future life. The tradition of a couple cutting the cake together and then feeding one another from the first slice symbolises their commitment to one another.

In days gone by, women would try to rip pieces of the bride’s dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To get away from the crowd the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. Nowadays the bouquet is tossed to single women with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to marry.



Engagement and wedding rings are traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand. The Romans believed that the vein in that finger runs directly to the heart. The wedding ring represents a neverending circle, symbolising everlasting love.

Flowers have always been used for wedding celebrations and were often full of symbolism and meaning. The tradition continues with some of the superstitions still persisting, such as red and white flowers being considered unlucky because of their association with blood and bandages.

Lilies are also considered unlucky by some but adored by others, and buttonholes are a reminder of a time when a Knight wore his Lady’s (or Lord’s) colours to show his love! ings.c wedd .1 w w w

THROWING CONFETTI Originates from the ancient Pagan rite of showering the happy couple with grain to wish them a fruitful union. BEST MAN/WOMAN Having someone with you to steady your nerves and make sure that you’re in the right place at the right time is always good. Traditionally a couple would be surrounded by men and women of a similar age and wearing similar clothes to protect them from the unwanted attentions of evil spirits. This tradition continues in an updated form, with closest friends or family taking an honoured and supportive role at the ceremony, but doesn’t have to conform to any Best Man or Maid of Honour stereotypes at all.

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE, AND A SILVER SIXPENCE IN YOUR SHOE ‘’Something Old’’ signifies the bride’s link to her family and the past. The bride might, for example wear a piece of family jewellery or her mother’s/grandmother’s wedding dress. ‘’Something New” reflects hope for good fortune and success in the future. The bride often chooses the wedding gown as the ‘new’ item.

‘’Something Blue’’ dates back to biblical times when the colour blue was considered to represent purity and fidelity. Over time this has evolved from wearing blue clothing to wearing a blue band around the bottom of the bride’s dress and more modern times where the bride wears a blue coloured garter. ‘’And a Silver Sixpence in your shoe’’ - the placing of a silver sixpence in the bride’s left shoe is a symbol of wealth. Not simply to bring the bride financial wealth but also a wealth of happiness and joy throughout her marriage.

‘’Something Borrowed’’ is often an item already worn by a happy bride at her wedding, such as a handkerchief or item of jewellery.

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Register Office

CIVIL PARTNERSHIP You may wish to choose to form a civil partnership in the area where you and your partner live, but you don’t have to. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 allows same-sex couples to make a formal, legal commitment to each other by forming a Civil Partnership. Prior to the Act coming into force, same-sex couples had no way to gain formal legal recognition of their relationship and, as a consequence, encountered a range of problems in their day to day lives. You can choose any Registration Office in England or Wales, as well as in Approved Venues. With so much choice, where do you begin?

www.1 wedd ings.c

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The staff of the Essex Registration Service pride themselves on making each Civil Partnership ceremony a unique experience to treasure. Telephone any of our offices and talk about the ceremony, or simply go and see for yourself. You’ll find the staff friendly and approachable and they’ll do their best to make your day relaxed and enjoyable for everyone. For your own peace of mind, please contact us as soon as possible. That way, you’re more likely to get the location you really want.

Important rights and responsibilities of a civil partnership Who is eligible to register a civil partnership?


Two people who are:

When you’re planning your special day, you can now choose from a variety of options for your ceremony.

• Of the same sex; • Over 18 (or able to provide evidence of consent if 16 or 17); • Not in an existing marriage or existing civil partnership; • Not related to each other within the prohibited degrees of relationship.

The Essex Register Office is located in Brentwood in a converted cottage on the edge of Shenfield Common. The ceremony room is tastefully decorated and can accommodate 30 guests. raphy.c photog rm to www.s

PRELIMINARIES TO REGISTRATION Each party must give notice of proposed Civil Partnership to the registration authority in which they have had their usual place of residence for the preceding seven days. FORMER REGISTER OFFICE CEREMONY ROOMS

All our offices give you the opportunity to make a provisional booking for your ceremony, up to 24 months in advance. The earliest you can legally enter your official notice is 12 months in advance of the ceremony. A provisional booking can be made simply by telephoning or calling at the office of your choice, or by written application. Each office runs an individual programme of times for ceremonies and you are advised to contact your local Registration Office to ascertain availability. They will tell you the requirements for giving a notice of intention to register a civil partnership and the documents needed.

Seven former Register Office ceremony rooms are now available to couples for partnership ceremonies. These can be found in Braintree (John Ray House), Benfleet (The Registration Suite), Chelmsford (The Chelmer Rooms), Colchester (The Roman Rooms), Epping (The Victoria Suite), Harlow (The Watergarden Suite) and Saffron Walden (The Civic Suite). Each venue has a character of its own, but they all share the same commitment - to make your ceremony an occasion to remember.

.uk www.1we

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Civil Partnership

FORMALITIES The range of places where a Civil Partnership may be registered is broadly the same as for civil marriage. What documents will I need to bring when I give notice? When giving a notice of intention to form a Civil Partnership, each party will need to produce evidence of identification, marital status, nationality and address. Verifying documents will include passport, UK driving licence, birth certificate, bank statement and change of name documents. If either party has been through a marriage or Civil Partnership before, the Superintendent Registrar or nominated deputy will also need to see evidence of how that marriage or Civil Partnership ended. This could be either a death certificate for the late husband/wife/partner, or a decree absolute for a previous marriage, or document proving the dissolution of a previous partnership. If the previous marriage or partnership was dissolved abroad, the original document will need to be produced together with a translation. If the death occurred abroad a translation will be needed. A widow, widower or surviving civil partner may also need to show their marriage/civil partnership certificate.

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If either proposed partner is under 18, proof that the parents or guardian consents to the Civil Partnership will be requested. If your parents are divorced we may also need to see the court order that gives custody to one of them. The Registration Office will be able to give further advice should you require it. Where can I register my Civil Partnership? Registration can take place at any of the offices mentioned in the brochure. Outside Essex, each local authority is required to provide a registration facility but enquiries should be made with them to ascertain what is available. In addition to Registration Offices, Civil Partnerships can be registered at other venues, for example, hotels, approved for such purposes. Premises that are approved for civil marriage are also approved for Civil Partnership registrations. It should be noted that whilst venues may be approved for both the solemnization of marriage and formation of civil partnerships it is for the venue to decide which services they wish to offer.

There are some superb venues in Essex to consider as the location for your Civil Partnership Registration/ Ceremony and a full list of Approved Venues is shown in the brochure. What happens during the waiting period for Civil Partnership? Once both parties have given notice of intention to register, there is a 15-day waiting period before the Civil Partnership can be registered. There are procedures in place to reduce the 15-day waiting period in exceptional circumstances where there are compelling reasons to do so. When notice of intention to register a Civil Partnership is given, details from the notice will be made available on a notice board in the Registration Office for public inspection (as for marriage) but the details will not include either partner’s address. The notice will be displayed at the Head Office in Brentwood. Details are publicly displayed for 15 days to allow for objections to be made. This is a similar process as for marriage. Grounds for objection are the same e.g. someone could object if they think one of the parties is not eligible to register a Civil Partnership.

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Civil Partnership

R E G I S T R AT ION Legally, registrations can only take place at a Registration Office, Approved Venue or religious premises licensed for civil partnership registration The registration will take place in the presence of a Civil Partnership Registrar and two witnesses. Civil Partnership is a legal relationship, exclusively for same-sex couples and distinct from marriage. There are small differences between Civil Partnership and marriage. A Civil Partnership is formed when the couple sign the schedule. A Civil Marriage is formed when the couple exchange spoken words. Oppositesex couples can opt for a religious or civil marriage ceremony as they choose, whereas formation of a Civil Partnership will be an exclusively civil procedure. CONFIDENTIALITY Please be assured all ceremony details given to celebrants and information supplied to Essex County Council in respect of the delivery of ceremonies, will be treated in the strictest confidence. CELEBRANTS An experienced celebrant will be appointed to conduct your ceremony. All our celebrants are trained professionals to ensure your day is a memorable occasion and special for everyone attending.

What are the statutory fees associated with partnership registration?

Can my partner and I register as civil partners even if he or she isn’t a UK or EEA citizen?

Each party will need to give a notice of intention to register and a fee of £35 per notice is payable. A fee of £45 is payable for the attendance of a Registrar at the registration, in the Essex Register Office, Brentwood. A separate scale of charges applies for partnership registration at an Approved Venue, including other Registration Offices.

There are restrictions where either of the proposed civil partners is subject to immigration control. A person will be subject to immigration control if they are not an EEA national and they require permission to enter or remain in the UK. The Civil Partnership provisions for persons subject to immigration control are exactly the same as those already in place for marriage. People subject to immigration control wishing to give notice of a Civil Partnership will need to do so at a designated Registration Office.

Where can Civil Partnership Ceremonies be held? In most cases Civil Partnership Ceremonies will be held in conjunction with or will immediately follow the legal registration of a partnership. However, it is possible for couples to hold a ceremony at a later date should they require it. The Approved Venues listed in this publication, which includes hotels, golf and country clubs, historic buildings etc. are rigorously inspected and can offer you some of the best facilities available. Before making a booking, you will need to confirm with the venue that it is available for a Civil Partnership formation/ceremony. Essex Registration Offices are an attractive alternative to Approved Venues. Decorated to high standards and in convenient locations, many offices benefit from air-conditioning.

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For more information, contact the Essex Register Office Brentwood, Castle Point & Rochford, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest or Harlow (contact details on pages 7 & 8). When giving a notice at a designated Registration Office, a person subject to immigration control will also be required to produce one of the following; •E  ntry clearance granted to form a civil partnership; • A Home Office certificate of approval; • Indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Should you have a query about immigration matters, please contact the Immigration and Nationality Bureau on 0870 606 7766 or visit the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND):

What happens at a Civil Partnership Registration? Following arrival at the registration venue, the Civil Partnership Registrar will interview the couple. The purpose of the short interview is to verify the information that will be recorded in the Civil Partnership schedule. As mentioned previously, both parties will then sign the schedule, as will the Civil Partnership Registrar and the two witnesses. The partnership is then formed when the second civil partner signs the schedule. Is it possible to have a ceremony with a Civil Partnership Registration?

What options do I have? Firstly, you have the option of simply signing the schedule either with or without making a declaration.

Is it also possible for a Civil Partnership Ceremony to be held at a later date, for example, some months after the Civil Partnership registration has taken place?

Alternatively, you can have a ceremony that is held at the same time as the signing of the schedule. A further option you may wish to consider is to have a ceremony that concludes with the signing of the Civil Partnership schedule. A Civil Partnership registration/ceremony could contain the following elements:

Some couples may wish to undertake the formalities of the Civil Partnership registration but defer having a Civil Partnership ceremony until a later date. It is possible to do this although it should be noted that a separate ceremony is purely a celebratory event. As such, the ceremony has no legal status.

• Introduction and Welcome

Charges for a separate Civil Partnership or Commitment Ceremony are the same as for the other celebratory services and are inclusive of VAT.

• First Reading (Optional) •D  eclaration of freedom to commit to each other • Contract of Commitment

We appreciate that many couples will wish to celebrate their special day by incorporating a dignified ceremony with the Civil Partnership registration. The Essex Registration Service has created a flexible ceremony that allows couples the opportunity to create a unique and memorable occasion. Does the Civil Partnership Registration allow for any declarations to be made by either party? Although it is not a legal requirement to do so, both parties can make the following declaration to each other prior to the signing of the Civil Partnership schedule: “I declare that I know of no legal reason why we may not register as each other’s civil partner. I understand that on signing this document we will be forming a Civil Partnership with each other.” What do we do if we want to form a Civil Partnership abroad? If you have any general enquiries about forming a Civil Partnership abroad, you should contact the Embassy or High Commission of the country concerned. It is possible you will be asked to obtain a certificate of no impediment. This is a document required by some foreign authorities to enable a British national to form a civil partnership in their country and, under certain circumstances, it can be provided by the Registration Service. If you are asked to provide one, you should contact your local Registration Office.

• Second Reading (Optional) • Third Reading (Optional) • Closing words • Exchange of rings or giving of gifts •S  igning of the Civil Partnership Schedule and presentation of Commemorative Certificates. It should be noted that the Civil Partnership registration/ceremony must have no religious content. Music and readings associated with the event must also be secular in nature. Is the Civil Partnership Certificate issued at the time of registration? In general, the certificate will not normally be issued until the next working day. The details that appear on the schedule can only be entered onto the national database after the registration has taken place. However, it is possible to obtain a commemorative certificate that can be signed following the completion of the Civil Partnership schedule.

Changing names After registering a Civil Partnership, one partner might want to change their surname to that of their partner. Alternatively, a couple may choose to hyphenate their surnames. Government departments and agencies such as the Passport Agency and the DVLA will accept Civil Partnership certificates in the same way that they accept marriage certificates as evidence for changing surnames. Private companies such as banks or insurance companies may require a different standard of proof. It is up to the individuals to contact organisations which hold personal data on them, if they wish to change their surname. How much does a ceremony cost? For information on ceremony fees please contact your local Registration Office. Registration Office contact details appear on pages 7 & 8 in this publication.

A small additional charge may be made for the commemorative certificate where the statutory fee of £45 applies. The commemorative certificate has no legal status and can only be used as a memento of the occasion.

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Same Sex Couples Act Q&A

In December 2013, the Equalities Minister announced that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 would be implemented within March 2014. 1. To summarse, the main provisions of the Act • allow same sex couples to marry in a civil ceremony; • allow same sex couples to marry in a religious ceremony where the religious organisation has ‘opted in’ to conduct such ceremonies and the minister of religion agrees; • enable civil partners to convert their partnership into a marriage, if they wish; • enable married individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage. 2. When will a same sex couple be able to marry? Those couples not in an existing legal relationship will be able to give notice of marriage from Thursday 13 March 2014. The first marriage for same sex couples will therefore be able to take place (after the usual waiting period) on Saturday 29 March 2014.

3. Will approved premises be able to host marriages of same sex couples or will they have to re-apply for approval? Existing approved premises will not need to reapply – they will be automatically approved. 4. Can a same sex couple make a booking for a marriage ceremony even though they cannot give notice prior to 13th March 2014? Yes, but of course it will be on the basis that they will need to accept the risk that the ceremony cannot proceed if all due procedures have not been completed in time, and it would be subject to the local register office having staff available to attend the venue at the requested time, if a registrar is required to attend.

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Yes, if they specifically opt in to do so, with written authorisation from their governing authority to allow for a place of worship to be registered for same sex weddings. It is a matter for the individual religious organisations whether they wish to do so. 7. Will these changes make any difference to where a civil marriage ceremony or civil partnership can take place? No. 8. Will these changes make any difference to civil partnerships on religious premises? No.

5. Will the cost of the marriage be the same as now? Yes.

This does not apply to a couple who are currently in a civil partnership: the arrangements for allowing the conversion of civil partnerships into marriages, and allowing people who change their legal gender to remain in their marriages will follow later.

6. Can religious organisations also hold marriage ceremonies for same sex couples?

9. At the moment, Registration Officers explain at the outset to a civil marriage ceremony that “marriage, according to the law of this country, is the union of one man with one woman….”. Will this now change? Guidance will be issued as part of the work of implementing the provisions of the Act.

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CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS 10. Will these changes affect those who have entered a civil partnership? No (other than giving them the option to convert their partnership into a marriage at a later stage, if they wish). 11. Will civil partnerships still be available?


17. Does it apply across the UK? 13. Why is this provision being offered? Some of the couples who have formed civil partnerships may have chosen marriage had that option been available. This provision ensures that they will now have that option, although there will be no obligation to do so.

Yes, for same sex couples as now. 12. Why won’t civil partnerships now be available to opposite sex couples? The Act was about removing the unfairness to same sex couples who could not marry rather than looking at civil partnership provision. However, as part of the provisions of the Act, the government recently announced that it will review the operation and future of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 in England and Wales in a consultation. The terms of reference for the review have been published on the GOV.UK website: publications/civil-partnerships-reviewtermsof-reference-and-timetable


14. What about couples who enter a civil partnership from now on. Will they also have the chance to convert their relationship into a marriage at a later date if they want to? Yes. 15. Will a civil partnership need to be dissolved before the conversion? No. 16. Will the couple need to go through a marriage ceremony? The conversion process will not be a marriage ceremony. The details of the conversion process are being worked through and will be discussed with relevant stakeholders in advance of the process being introduced.

These changes apply to England and Wales. The legislative position is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and it will be for their respective governments to decide how to proceed in this area. 18. What does marriage for same sex couples actually confer as an added benefit to such couples, compared to civil partnerships? Civil partnership and marriage are two entirely separate legal regimes, and some of the differences between them include the method by which they are formed, the method by which they can be ended and terminology used. Despite the small practical differences between marriage and civil partnership, marriage has a particular significance and importance to many people, whatever their sexual orientation, and to our society. That is why the Government believes the unfair barrier preventing same-sex couples being able to marry should be removed. The Act has extended marriage to same sex couples. This change will strengthen the vital institution of marriage, and help ensure it remains a building block of society.

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NAMING Ceremonies We are delighted to offer nonstatutory Civil Naming Ceremonies.

The child or children if you prefer, can be of any age.

These may be held at any of our Registration Offices or any one of numerous venues throughout the county and could be combined with a Marriage Ceremony. Ceremonies are also available in private homes and the outdoors, subject to prior inspection for suitability of the location.

Parents can declare, before family and friends their intention to support their children. A Naming Ceremony is a formal and dignified non-religious ceremony. Adult friends and relatives can make a pledge of support and confirm their special relationship with the child.

There may be a variety of reasons why you would want to choose such a ceremony - welcoming a new born child into an extended family; choosing one or two supporting adults to have the opportunity to enhance the life of your child and take a special interest in that child throughout its life; announcing the news that a child has been adopted into a family; or simply making this an occasion to announce the names that have been given to your child and perhaps to give the reasons behind the choice. Whatever your reasons, Essex Celebrants will offer a quality service. Their aim will be to make the occasion truly memorable and meaningful, ensuring a perfect occasion. You may choose readings, either poetry or prose, or ask your guests to select something especially relevant to express their wishes for the child or children. Your Celebrant will help you plan the ceremony to include friends, grandparents, supporting adults and absent guests. There will be opportunities for music and reflection. At the close you will be presented with a commemorative record of the ceremony. You will then be free to proceed to your own celebrations. The Registration Office will be able to give further advice should you require it.

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Essex has so much to offer and we are delighted to be able to showcase the wealth of venues on offer for your very special occasion. Naming ceremonies are permitted at ‘Approved Venues’ and Essex can boast something for everyone from historic towns to coastal charm and beautiful countryside settings. The Essex Registration Service is proud of its customer service and the quality and range of venues on offer. We always ensure that every ceremony is an enjoyable and memorable occasion, whether it takes place in one of our Registration Offices or any of the Approved Venues. If you would like more information or a list of venues licensed for civil ceremonies in Essex please contact us: or telephone: 0845 603 7632.

ing Ceremony? What happens at a Nam has six Each Naming Ceremony ns: tio sec essential me • Introduction and Welco • Readings hildren • Naming of the Child/C es mis Pro s’ ent • Par g Adults • Promises by Supportin • Closing Words

y? ce of ceremon Is there a choi t ceremony is pu Certainly. Each a m fro s nt re pa e together by th r. choices on offe of e ng ra e id w an ith closely w Parents work brant to select le ce d te appoin d to ns available an from the optio eir th ts mony mee ensure the cere ies on m re ce No two requirements. u yo so d an e sam are exactly the at th t unique even are creating a ber ed will remem lv vo everyone in e. m s to co for many year

How long does the ceremony


It depends on the options you choose and the number of readings you want to incorpo rate into the ceremony. A basic ceremony probably takes aro und 15 minutes but usually last for about 30 minutes.

Is there a Certificate? Yes. A souvenir record of a Naming Ceremony is signed during the ceremony by parents, supporting adults and the celebrant.

add any of You have the option to elements: nal the following additio • Reasons for the names • Hopes for the future other • Parents’ vows to each es mis pro s’ • Grandparent • Absent guests to the child • Presentation of a gift plenty of As you can see, there is sonal per y ver a ate cre choice to and special event.

We offer families the opportunity to celebrate the birth of a child or welcome an adoptive child or step children into the family.

How much does a ceremony cost? For information on ceremony fees please contact your local Registration Office. Registration Office contact details appear on pages 7 & 8.

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Is it possible to combine a Naming Ceremony with a wedding?


A wedding is a separate legally recognised event so it is not possible to actually combine it with a Naming Ceremony. However, it may be possible to have a Naming Ceremony immediately prior to, or following a wedding ceremony. Please ask the Registrar when you are arranging your ceremony for more information on how to arrange this celebratory event.

An experienced celebrant will be appointed to conduct your ceremony but it should be noted that they would not be acting in an official capacity, even though they may be a Registrar. All our celebrants are trained to conduct different ceremonies in a professional manner. This ensures your ceremony is both an enjoyable and memorable occasion for everyone attending the event.

Who can arrange a Naming Ceremony?


Any parent can make the arrangements to hold a Naming Ceremony. Likewise, anyone who has parental responsibility or legal guardianship of the child/children can arrange a ceremony. Parents do not have to be married to arrange a ceremony.

As a service, we welcome your views on a range of ceremony related matters to help us improve our service.

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Where can Naming Ceremonies be held? The Essex Registration Service is offering ceremonies in Registration Offices across the county on weekdays and also at weekends, subject to availability. Many hotels, golf and country clubs and other venues licensed by Essex County Council for civil wedding ceremonies are also widely used for such ceremonies. This service is offered on a seven days a week basis but you will need to check with the specific venue regarding availability. Other locations, like village halls, will be considered but will be subject to prior inspection to determine suitability. A small fee is payable for this service. phy.c togra o h p lip avid-is www.d

What Naming Ceremonies are not Naming Ceremonies are purely celebratory events. They have no legal basis and are not legally binding on those who participate. The ceremonies must have no religious content. Music and readings must be secular in nature.

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RENE WAL Ceremonies However long you have been married and for whatever reason, to renew your vows is a touching and meaningful ceremony. If you are searching for inspiration, as to where you can say “I do” again, we can help. Essex has so much to offer and we are delighted to be able to showcase the wealth of venues on offer for your very special occasion. The Essex Registration Service is delighted that married couples can renew their marriage vows in a unique and personal ceremony. ke ony ta cerem a ld shou When ? e plac s are monie l wedding e r e c ecia these Often ed with a sp e tenth, t th ia s c the ch a asso tc, but ary su e s r , e h t iv ann riate fortie pprop -fifth, a y t s n a e t tw jus f tage o ony is cerem les at any s ies are on up for co . The cerem o couples ge et ia iv r t r c a a m abroad attr ly r arried la u m ave partic e recently e to h av hen lik ing t who h ld u ho wo ony involv and w m re er cere ily who we g. h m a furt in a f d d d e n w a friends o attend the t unable

What Rene wal of Marr iage Vows Ceremonie s are not Renewal o f Marriage Vows Ceremonie s are pure ly celebrato events. Th ry ey have no legal basis and are no t legally b inding on those w ho particip ate. The ceremonie s must ha ve no relig content. M ious usic and re adings mu be secular st in nature.


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As a service, we welcome your views on a range of ceremony related matters to help us improve our service.

Is there a ch oice of cere mony? Certainly. T he ceremon y is put together by you from a wide range of ch oices on off er. This ensures that no two cere m are exactly the same an onies d you are creating a unique even t that you and your g uests will re member. Special peo ple in your lives can take part in your cerem ony, your children, gu ests who w ere at the wedding an d any frien ds and relatives. Yo u will also need to as two people k to witness the signing of the certifi cate of the event.

Vows wal of Marriage Where can Rene ld? ceremonies be he d in e being offere Ceremonies ar ays kd ee w ffices on Registration O t ec bj su s, and at weekend They are also y. lit bi la ai av to tels, ildings, like ho available in bu e th by d se licen that have been civil r fo es nu ve l as County Counci es t of the venu marriage. Mos let re in this book he listed elsew but it s ie on m r cere are available fo eck d that you ch is recommende are s ie lity. Ceremon venue availabi es m ho e in privat also available prior rs, subject to oo td ou and the e suitability of th inspection for location.

Who can arrange a Renewal of Marriage Vows Ceremony? Any married couple, of any age and married for any length of time, can arrange a Renewal of Marriage Vows Ceremony. You do not have to live in the Essex area in order to hold a ceremony in the county.

How long does the cer emony last? It depends on the op tions you choose and the numb er of readings you want to incorporate into the ceremony. A basic ceremony probably takes around 15 minutes but usua lly last for about 30 minutes.

Is there a Certificate? Yes, a souvenir certificate is signed during the ceremony by the couple and two witnesses.

What happen s at a Renew al of Marriage Vows Cerem ony? Each Renew al of Marriag e Vows Ceremony ha s the follow ing elements : • Introductio n and Welco me • Acknowled gement of an y children o the marriage f • Reading R enewal of Vo ws • Re-dedicat ion of ring(s ) • Giving and receiving of new rings o gifts r • Words fro m previous wedding gu (often Best est Man, Brides maid or Bride’s father )

• Further re ading • Signing of Certificate • Witnesses • Closing W ords Special peo ple in your lives are encouraged to take part in your ceremony, yo ur children, guests who were at your wedding an d any friend and relative s s. As you ca n see, there is plenty of choice to cr eate a very personal an d special ev ent.

We offer couples the opportunity to recreate the magic of their wedding day

Celebrants celebrant will An experienced ur to conduct yo be appointed ted no be ld it shou ceremony but g tin ac be t ld no that they wou pacity, even ca l ia fic of an in be a Registrar. ay m though they to ts are trained All our celebran in a s ie on m re ce nt conduct differe res su en anner. This professional m e bl ya jo en is both your ceremony r fo on si le occa and memorab ing the event. nd te at ne yo ever

How much does a ceremony cost? For information on ceremony fees please contact your local Registration Office. Registration Office contact details appear on pages 7 & 8.

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Wedding Lyrical is here to help. We have a host of affordable packages that will make your speech the highlight of the day.

07919 871563


At Cinnamon Pink we offer a wide range of services from simple chair cover designs with organza accessories to bespoke creations. Cinnamon Pink can assist with every detail. Our experienced team will ensure that every detail of your event is perfect! You want the best for your event – we’re here to listen and turn your dreams into reality. 0208 252 2093 or 07931 197095

Beautiful hire items and personalised handmade accessories for your special day.


From Easels to Prop Boxes, Vintage Crockery to Seating Plans, Post Boxes to Favours, Candelabras to Chair decor.....take a peek, we are sure to have all your finishing details!

07970 214510


Paul Hubbard Video offer documentary style wedding videography, Paul Hubbard Cinematic offer cinematic & movie style wedding videography. We also offer wedding photography & photojournalist packages & the option to combine photo & video together. With many years experience, being qualified with the WPJA, MPA, BIPP, RPS & SWPP, Paul & his team are the perfect choice. 01787 461336 48 Brook Meadow, Sible Hedingham, Halstead CO9 3PJ

COUNTDOWN to the big day‌

63 q

















•M  ake an advanced provisional booking with the venue and the Registration Service to guarantee the date you want • Book Reception

•C  ontact The Registration Service to arrange to give Notice • Set Budget

•B  ook photographer/video, caterers, music, decoration of room/tables • Book your honeymoon • Decide on best man, bridesmaids, page boys, ushers and start making guest list • Plan your dress and your bridesmaids’ dresses • Think about menswear/hiring • Check on insurance

• Arrange transport • Begin thinking about your gift list • Choose your florist and place order

• Order your stationery • Buy ring(s) • Choose reception menu and order cake

•G  o over final honeymoon arrangements and check your passport is up to date • Book overnight hotel if necessary • Send out invitations • Send lists of local accommodation to guests who may need it • Buy attendants’ presents • Buy your going away outfit

•R  eturn Ceremony Plan to the Registration Service and pay the ceremony fees (licensed venue) • Chase up guests who have not replied • Order travellers cheques/currency • Give final guest list to caterers • Arrange hen/stag night • Book your hair appointment • Ensure that any music is in a format compatible with the equipment in the Registration Office

• Time  the journey to make sure there are no unexpected delays • Final fitting of the bridal gown and bridemaids’ dresses • Ensure all hired clothes are collected in time • Pack for your honeymoon

64 q

BRAINTREE AREA 1 Braintree Town Hall 01376 557776 2 Coggeshall Grange Barn 01376 562226 3 Coggeshall Village Hall 01376 562346 4 Colne Valley Golf Club 01787 224343 5 Crabbs Barn 01376 572643 6 Cressing Temple 01376 584903 7 Days Inn Haverhill 01440 716950 8 Fennes 01376 324555 9 Gosfield Hall 01787 472914 10 Greenstead Hall Barn 01842 878351 11 Hedingham Castle 01787 460261 12 John Ray House 01376 323463 13 Marks Hall Estate 01376 563796 14 Prested Hall 01376 573300 15 Smeetham Hall Barn 01787 374544 16 Spains Hall 01371 811596 17 Sturmer Hall 01440 705368 18 The Bull Hotel 01787 472144 19 The Essex Golf and Country Club 01787 224466 20 The Rivenhall Hotel 01376 516969 21 The White Hart 01787 237250 22 The White Hart Hotel 01376 321401 23 The White Hart Hotel 01376 561654 24 Witham Community Centre 01376 511042


1 Ashwells Sports & Country Club 01277 373828 2 Cromwell Manor 01268 559772 3 De Rougemont Manor 01277 226418 4 Friern Manor Country House Hotel 01268 494200 5 Holiday Inn Basildon 0871 942 9003 6 Holiday Inn Brentwood 0871 942 9012 7 Hutton Poplars Hall 01277 211827 8 Ingatestone Hall 01277 353010 9 Ivory Rooms 01277 632378 10 Marygreen Manor Hotel 01277 225252 11 Mount Avenue Banqueting Suite 01277 211549 12 Stock Brook Manor 01277 844200 13 The Belvedere 01268 522828 14 The Halfway House 01277 811235 15 The Old Rectory 01268 544417 16 Warley Park Golf Club 01277 244891 17 Wat Tyler Country Park 01268 550088

CASTLE POINT & ROCHFORD AREA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Brandy Hole Yacht Club Oysterfleet Rayleigh Windmill Runnymede Hall Saxon Hall Skylark Hotel Sutton Hall The Chichester The Hollywood The Lawn The Paddocks The Rayleigh Club The Registration Suite The Rochford Hotel 01702 230320 01268 510111 01702 318120 01268 882479 01702 545554 01702 279955 01702 546395 01268 561234 01702 559980 01702 203701 01268 882200 01702 232377 01268 361352 01702 544393

Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this publication, Essex County Council and the Registration Service cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies, nor guarantee or endorse any of the products or services advertised.

65 q

CHELMSFORD AREA 1 Baddow Park 01245 473969 2 Boreham House 01245 200777 3 Braxted Park Estate 01621 892305 4 Channels Golf Club 01245 440005 5 Creeksea Place 01621 784535 6 Crondon Park Golf Club 01277 841115 7 Crowne Plaza Colchester Five Lakes 01621 862330 8 Forrester Park 01621 891406 9 Furze Hill Banqueting Suite 01277 355111 10 Great Baddow Barn 01245 478033 11 Greenwoods Hotel 01277 829990 12 Hylands House 01245 605500 13 Ivy Hill Hotel 01277 353040 14 Leez Priory 01245 362555 15 Little Channels 01245 362210 16 Mangapp Manor 07769 676735 17 Moot Hall 07938 999068 18 Newland Hall 01245 231010 19 Osea Island Resort 07972 154836 20 Pontlands Park Hotel 01245 476444 21 Royal Burnham Yacht Club 01621 782044 22 Royal Corinthian Yacht Club 01621 782105 23 South Lodge Hotel 01245 264564 24 The Chelmer Rooms 01245 430700 25 The County Hotel 01245 455700 26 The Lodge Country Inn (please contact the Castle Point & Rochford Office) 01245 320060 27 The Warren Golf Club 01245 223258 28 Three Rivers Golf & Country Club 01621 827811 29 Vaulty Manor 01621 855628

COLCHESTER AREA 1 Clarice House Colchester 01206 734301 2 Colchester Arts Centre 01206 500900 3 Colchester United Football Club 01206 752443 4 Comfort Hotel 01255 422716 5 East Mersea Hall 01206 383499 6 Esplanade Hotel 01255 220450 7 Firstsite 01206 577067 8 Frinton Lawn Tennis Club 01255 674055 9 Harbour Lights 01255 851887 10 Holiday Inn Colchester 0871 942 9020 11 Jaywick Martello Tower 01255 822783 12 Layer Marney Tower 01206 330784 13 Maison Talbooth Hotel 01206 322367 14 Marks Tey Hotel 01206 21000115 15 Quality Hotel Colchester 01206 230900 16 Rose & Crown Hotel 01206 866677 17 St Osyth Priory 01279 817882 18 The Barn Brasserie 01206 212345 19 The Cliff Hotel 01255 503345 20 The Electric Palace 07786 744789 21 The Kingscliff Hotel 08444 119 492 22 The Minories Gallery 01206 712437 23 The Pier at Harwich 01255 241212 24 The Roman Rooms 0845 603 7632 25 The Tower Hotel 01255 504952 26 The Town Hall, Colchester 01206 506905 27 Westwood Park 01206 272300 28 Wick Lodge 01255 421992 29 Wivenhoe House 01206 863666

EPPING FOREST AREA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Abridge Golf & Country Club 01708 688396 Blakes Golf Club 01992 525151 Blake Hall 01277 366687 Chigwell Hall 0208 500 2735 Gaynes Park Barns 01992 660329 Kings Oak Hotel 0208 508 5000 Mulberry House 01277 365398 North Weald Golf Club 01992 522118 The Bell Hotel Epping 01992 573138 The Room in the Rodings 0800 917 4156 The Victoria Suite 01992 572789 Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel 01992 717170 Woolston Manor 0208 500 2549

HARLOW AREA 1 Moot House 01279 424074 2 Park Inn, Harlow 01279 829988 3 Swallow Churchgate Hotel 01279 420246 4 The Watergarden Suite 0845 603 7632


UTTLESFORD AREA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15



Bury Lodge 01279 816737 Down Hall Country House Hotel 01279 732153 Great Dunmow Maltings 01371 873381 Great Hallingbury Manor 08444 119 068 Hunters Meet 01279 730549 Little Easton Manor 01371 872857 Little Hallingbury Mill 01279 726554 Maidens Barn 01245 231363 Parklands 01799 543800 Pledgdon Barn 01279 876661 The Council Offices, Saffron Walden 01799 510319 The Crown House 01799 530515 The Reid Rooms 0800 917 4156 The Saffron Hotel 01799 522676 The Saracens Head Hotel 01371 873901

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7 17 15 12



21 11

11 14 Saffron Walden 16



Braintree 18 9






3 15


1 22






5 20

12 5 3


28 4 6




11 7



7 3

11 9 5 1







15 16










Epping Forest


7 26 22 24








4 2

23 20 25 19



19 13





Braintree 1




8 1 Brentwood 7 6 10 11 16

15 17 4 Maldon 2 25 Chelmsford 24 27 23 20 1 12 10 9 Chelmsford 13 28


12 Billericay 9


4 3


1 8



Brentwood 2


17 5


5 16 21 22





13 4 9 11 2

Castle Point & Rochford 10 14 5 SOUTHEND 67

66 q


Celebrate in Essex Ceremony Guide  

Essex County Council Civil Ceremony guide