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  • Marriage / Civil Partnership ceremonies

    Registration Services

    Your ceremony

    www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/registrars

  • The Ceremony for

    is to be held at

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    at

  • Marriage / Civil Partnership ceremonies

    Introduction Congratulations on deciding to celebrate this special occasion using our services. We aim to help you make your ceremony a special one to remember and cherish.

    In this booklet you will find details for the day, suggested readings and a checklist to help prepare for the ceremony. It outlines what to expect, explains the choices you need to make and is a reminder of what to do on the day.

    Planning your ceremony You need to think about your special day and how you wish to personalise it. Would you like to see each other before or at the point the ceremony starts? Who will give you away? Who will you entrust to look after your rings?

    You will have to make a choice of the legal vows but you can also write your own extra vows if you wish. You may like extra words to say to each other but do not want to write your own, if so, you can choose to have our Registration Service extra promises which are:

    I promise to love and care for you To comfort and protect you To listen and confide in you To be honest and faithful to you To respect your thoughts and your dreams And to trust and believe in you, above all others.

    You need to decide which guests to invite and most importantly the special guests who will act as your witnesses.

    You also have the option to choose readings. We have included a selection but you are free to select something more personal or write a poem if you wish. Please send a copy with your checklist.

    You will also need to choose the music you wish to have played at your ceremony (please be aware your readings and music must not have any religious content). Approx 20-30 minutes of music should be provided.

    How many guests Our venue can hold a total of 80 people; this includes children, your witnesses and guests. Our other approved venues do differ so you will need to confirm guest numbers with them directly but it would be helpful for us to know approximate numbers.

    Witnesses You will need to decide who will act as the 2 witnesses to your ceremony. These may be friends or relatives. Your witnesses will sit at the front to hear you say your vows and sign the register at the end of the ceremony; they should be over the age of 16 and must be able to understand English and the nature of the ceremony.

    You may choose other special guests to deliver a poem/reading.

    Photography and video You are welcome to take photographs (without flash) or video your ceremony; however, we ask that this is done discreetly. We do not want you or the Registration staff distracted during the proceedings as we want you to get the best out of your ceremony.

    If you would like someone to film your ceremony please let the Registrar know, so that the best position may be pointed out. For safety reasons, we cannot allow extra lighting and the recording equipment must run on batteries. If your ceremony is taking place elsewhere please check with your chosen venue.

    Parking and grounds We only have parking at our venue for the wedding car, so ask that you organise yourself and guests where possible to travel together.

    Your guests are welcome to throw biodegradable confetti as you enter the garden.

    We have a no smoking policy in our venues and gardens (this includes electronic devices).

    If you are using one of our approved venues please check arrangements with them.

  • On your big day... Arrival at the Register Office or approved venue

    It is important that you and your guests arrive at least 15 minutes before your ceremony; this gives everyone time to get settled and seated before we begin and ensures we start your ceremony on time.

    You will be greeted by the Registration Service ceremony staff for a brief meeting. This may be conducted separately if you do not wish to see each other before the ceremony starts. This is essential to ensure that all the correct information for the day will be recorded. You will be asked to confirm the information given on your notices, including your natural, step or adopted father’s full names and occupations. These details will be recorded in the register, certificates and schedules. We will be happy to answer any last minute questions at this time.

    Our ceremony staff will then conduct your ceremony by welcoming everyone who is sharing this celebration with you. They will guide you through the rest of your ceremony including the declarations, vows, ring exchange and readings, introducing people as necessary before you and your witnesses sign the register or schedule. You must sign in the name that you are using at the time of the ceremony.

    You and your witnesses will be asked to confirm what you actually sign as it is important that all signatures are recorded correctly to ensure future certificates contain the exact information in the register eg: someone called John Sam Smith may have a signature which says J Smith, J S Smith or John Smith.

    You may then have the photograph of “signing of the register” taken.

    After congratulations are made to you and the presentation of the certificate, you exit the ceremony room and are then free to continue your celebrations as planned.

    What you need to do now ... We now need you to sign and return your contract (at the back of this booklet) within 2 weeks. Then complete the checklist at the back of the booklet and return to us at least 2 weeks before your ceremony. If you have your own music and are having your ceremony in the Flowers Suite it needs to be sent to us on a CD at the same time. Our address is on the back of this booklet. If your ceremony is elsewhere the CD must be given to the staff at your chosen approved venue.

    We look forward to helping you celebrate your special day and thank you for choosing to use our services.

    Marriage / Civil Partnership ceremonies

  • Marriage / Civil Partnership ceremonies

    1 Marriage is..... Marriage is a dynamic process of discovery. Marriage is a journey, not an arrival. In marriage, being the right person is as important as finding the right person. Marriage is starting to love, over and over again. Marriage is a life’s work. Marriage is an art ... and like any creative process, it requires active thought and effort. We have to learn how to share on many different levels. We need to practise talking from the heart, and understanding attitudes as well as words. Giving generously and receiving graciously are talents that are available to anyone. But all these skills need to be developed, if the marriage picture that we paint is to be anything approaching the masterpiece intended.

    Anon.

    2 A Walled Garden ‘Your marriage,’ he said, ‘should have within it, a secret and protected place, open to you alone. Imagine it to be a walled garden, entered by a door to which you only hold the key. Within this garden you will cease to be a mother, father, employee, homemakeror any other of the roles which you fulfil in daily life. Here you are yourselves two people who love each other. Here you can concentrate on one another’s needs.’ So take my hand and let us go back to our garden. The time we spend together is not wasted but invested. Invested in our future and the nurture of our love.

    Anon.

    3 Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d, And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see. So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

    William Shakespeare

    The following is a sample of possible poetry and prose readings that you may wish to use during your marriage ceremony; or you may have a favourite reading which you would prefer to use. Due to legal constraints no religious material may be used and the Superintendent Registrar must approve any readings beforehand.

    Readings

  • Marriage / Civil Partnership ceremonies

    4 The Art of a Good Marriage Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In marriage the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted, The courtship should not end with the honeymoon, It should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, But in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal. Dependence is mutual an

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