Civil marriages

A civil marriage is a wedding that takes place without any religious affiliation. A government or civil official performs the ceremony and it has a legal status.

Before you marry you must first give notice of your intention to do so.

The civil marriage is completed once you and your partner have declared yourselves free to marry and have agreed to marry each other by exchanging some formal wording (vows) in the presence of the registration staff and at least two witnesses.

At the end of the ceremony, the registrar will make the entry in the marriage register for you and your witnesses to sign. You will then be presented with a certified copy of the entry in the register for your marriage.

Civil marriages can be held for opposite and same sex couples. There are two options for civil marriages, registration and ceremony.


A registration includes you and your partner, two witnesses, up to two guests and the registration officers conducting the legalities.

The registration will take place in a designated room at a registration or register office. Although there is no music or readings, it is still an occasion where you can make your legal commitment to each other.

Our register office is at:

Kingswood Civic Centre
High Street
BS15 9TR.


A ceremony allows you to make choices about the venue and words you wish to say to each other. It can also include readings and music. You may invite as many guests as the room is licensed to hold, but this number must include you, your partner and the two registration officers.

Civil partnerships

Couples of the same sex can form a legal partnership, known as a civil partnership. This provides same sex couples with similar rights and responsibilities to those given to married couples, but under different legislation.

You will need to give notice before holding a civil partnership.

The civil partnership is formed when both parties have signed the ‘Schedule’ in the presence of two witnesses and the registrar.

There is no legal requirement for you to have a ceremony when you form your civil partnership, but if you would like one, we have a range of options available which are outlined in our ceremonies guide.


The following are approved premises within South Gloucestershire where civil marriage or partnership ceremonies can be held.

The South Gloucestershire Register Office 

Kingswood Civic Centre
High Street
BS15 9TR

The ceremony room can accommodate the couple and up to four guests, two of whom would be your witnesses. The registrars cannot provide witnesses for your marriage or civil partnership, ensure you arrange this yourselves before arriving. 

Poole Court mansion

Poole Court in Yate is a delightful Victorian mansion set in attractive surroundings. The Ranger Room on the ground floor is used for ceremonies and can hold up to 45 guests with approximately 28 seated. After your ceremony you will be able to have photographs outside and on the lawn using the house as the backdrop. 

 Poole Court - an ideal ceremony venue

Poole Court, Yate – photograph by RichMcD photography


Poole Court ceremonies are available on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year and can be booked up to 12 months in advance.  

Our Poole Court marriage and civil partnership ceremonies includes choices of promises and additional vows on exchange of your rings. It is also possible to include one or two readings if you want to involve your guests in your ceremony. 

To book or for more details contact us on 01454 863140. 

Poole Court
Poole Court Drive
South Gloucestershire
BS37 5PP

There is plenty of free parking on site. Yate railway station and bus station are only a short walk away. 

Other approved premises 

Other approved premises in South Gloucestershire for civil marriages and civil partnerships: 

List of approved premises

  • Alveston House Hotel, Alveston, BS35 2LA
  • Aztec Hotel, Aztec West, Almondsbury, BS32 4TS
  • Berwick Lodge, Berwick Drive, Henbury, BS10 7TD
  • Bristol Golf Club, Almondsbury, BS10 7TP
  • Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, Chipping Sodbury, BS37 6AD
  • The Compass Inn, Tormarton, GL9 1JB
  • Eastwood Park, Falfield, GL12 8DA
  • The Gables Hotel, Falfield, GL12 8DL
  • Hamswell House, Hamswell, Bath BA1 9DG
  • Henfield Barn, The Hollows, Henfield BS36 2UU
  • Hilton Bristol, Woodlands Lane, Bradley Stoke BS32 4JF
  • Holiday Inn, Filton, BS16 1QX
  • The Kendleshire Golf Club, Henfield Road, Coalpit Heath, BS36 2TG
  • Memorial Woodlands, Earthcott Green, Alveston, BS35 3TA
  • Mercure Bristol North, The Grange, Winterbourne BS36 1RP
  • Old Down Manor, Foxholes Lane, Tockington BS32 4PG
  • The Park Hotel, Falfield GL12 8DR
  • Poole Court, Poole Court Drive, Yate BS37 5PP
  • The Ship Inn, Thornbury Avenue, Alveston, Bristol BS35 3LL
  • Thornbury Castle, Thornbury, BS35 1HH
  • Thornbury Golf Centre, Bristol Road, Thornbury BS35 3XL
  • Tortworth Court Four Pillars Hotel, Tortworth, GL12 8HH
  • Tracy Park, Wick, BS30 5RN

Our ceremonies brochure has more information on venues in South Gloucestershire. 

To arrange your ceremony you must first contact the venue to make the provisional arrangements and then contact us on 01454 863140 to ensure we are able to attend and conduct the ceremony.  In addition to our fees below there will be a charge for the venue hire which you are responsible for paying.

Changes to bookings

There is a £30 fee if you change a ceremony date or time after 24 hrs of making the booking.


Registration of civil marriage or civil partnership at register office

  • Monday to Friday £57

Registration and conduct of marriage or civil partnership ceremony at Poole Court

  • Friday and Saturday £216

Registration and conduct of marriage ceremony at approved premises

  • Monday to Thursday £515
  • Friday and Saturday £557
  • Sunday and bank holidays £656

Registration and conduct of civil partnership ceremony at approved premises

  • Monday to Thursday £479
  • Friday and Saturday £496
  • Sunday and bank holidays £567

Except for registration at the register office, there is a £50 non-refundable and non-transferable booking fee to be paid at the time of booking. The remaining balance is due eight weeks before the ceremony.

All fees include one certificate.

Photography and videos

Photography is not permitted during the ceremony, however time will be allowed at the end of the ceremony for photos.

Video cameras may be used provided that the Superintendent Registrar has agreed.

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