A commitment ceremony is an opportunity for a couple to celebrate their love and commitment to each other with a ceremony that has no legal status. A commemorative certificate will be presented to you at the end of the ceremony.

Why choose a commitment ceremony?

There are many reasons why couples may want to choose a commitment ceremony:

  • If you want to show your commitment to each other but don’t want to enter into a marriage or civil partnership
  • To celebrate your relationship if you are unable to legally marry
  • To celebrate your relationship with family and friends
  • Just because you want to!


How to book a commitment ceremony

We know there’s a lot to think about when planning a commitment ceremony, so we’ve outlined everything you need to do in five easy steps:

  1. Choose your venue

Choosing where to hold your commitment ceremony is one of the first (and most exciting) decisions that you’ll make about your day and will set the tone for the whole event. In Northumberland, we’re lucky to have over 70 licensed venues and Register Offices, so finding something to suit your style and budget is easy. All of our licensed locations can be found over on our Venues page.

Once you have chosen your venue, book your Registrar as soon as possible, even if it is a few years in advance of your ceremony.


  1. Book the Registrar

Call our Ceremony Co-ordination team on 01665 602870 to book your Registrar.

When you book the Registrar, you will need to pay a non-refundable booking fee. View the current financial year price list here

If you change the date, time or venue of your ceremony, you will need to pay an amendment fee, which will be charged at the current rate.


  1. Plan your day

There are lots of ways to personalise your day to make it extra special. Some couples like to have readings or words from guests, or from their children. We will send you a ceremony arrangement pack after you book in your registrar.

As part of the pack, we will also include a Ceremony Arrangement Form, which will need to be completed with your decisions at least six weeks before the ceremony.

Please remember that yours is a civil ceremony and there should be no religious content.


  1. Pay your fees and return your ceremony form

Once you have completed your Ceremony Arrangement Form, please return it to us at least six weeks before the service. Please include payment for any outstanding fees and anything that your conducting Registrar will need for the ceremony, such as readings.

Please return your completed Ceremony Arrangement Form

By email: alnwickreg@northumberland.gov.uk

Or by post
The Ceremony Co-ordination Team
The Register Office
27 Fenkle Street
NE66 1HW

Your fees can be paid over the phone by credit or debit card by calling us on 01665 602870.

If  you change the date, time or venue of your ceremony, you will need to pay an amendment fee, charged at the current rate.

  1. What happens on the day?

Once the day of your ceremony arrives, all of your fees will have been paid and your paperwork completed, which leaves you free to enjoy your day!

The Registrars will arrive approximately 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony. Once they arrive, they will check any last-minute arrangements and speak to anyone playing a part in the ceremony to ensure everything runs smoothly.

They will also speak to your photographer/videographer to confirm that they are happy for them to discreetly capture the entire ceremony.

Things to remember:

  • Your commitment ceremony should start promptly to ensure our Registrars can travel safely to their next appointment
  • We reserve the right to leave your ceremony if we feel the following ceremony will be compromised – this decision will not be taken lightly and we will always consult with you and the venue first
  • Bring any of your own promises and readings with you on the day
  • Any music should be given directly to the venue, who will be able to advise on the right format

After the ceremony, we will present a commemorative certificate signed by you both, two witnesses and the Registrar.

For more information on our commitment ceremonies, contact our Ceremony Co-ordination team.