Coronavirus Ceremony Advice - January 2021 - Somerset Registration Services

Ceremonies To Cease During Third Lockdown

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister that there will be a national lockdown for a third time, we are so sorry that we will not be able to provide ceremonies at our offices and approved venues across Somerset. For couples with future ceremonies, we have more detailed guidance on how social distancing restrictions may affect your ceremony in our More Information section, including downloadable forms to get back to us with your ceremony choices before your big day, though please be aware that the rules may differ slightly when we once again come out of lockdown. The only ceremonies that may go ahead are those with exceptional circumstances. This would typically be where one of the couple is seriously ill and unlikely to survive or is due to have life altering surgery, or where a visa is due to expire and would mean one of the couple having to leave the country.

Notice of Marriage/Civil Partnership Appointments

We are currently only offering Notice of Marriage/CP appointments for ceremonies to be held in the next 3 months, due to limited availability. In order to book an appointment, please email us with a telephone number and convenient time for us to call you back. Please be aware that we are not able to offer an appointment if you do not have a ceremony already booked. You need to give notice in the district where you live, so Somerset & North Somerset residents should email us at somersetregistrations@somerset.gov.uk, while couples who live elsewhere should get in touch with their local register office to book an appointment.

CEREMONY POSTPONEMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS

We are emailing all couples with ceremonies booked up until the end of February (and will email couples beyond that if lockdown continues) to ask them to submit a postponement request. Whether your ceremony falls in this period, or beyond, and you know you would like to postpone or even cancel completely, please use the booking form via this link: https://bit.ly/3r1pmyn and tick the relevant option.

NEW CEREMONY BOOKINGS

If you would like to register your interest with us for a brand new ceremony in 2021 or 2022 please complete this form https://bit.ly/3r1pmyn and we will call you back as soon as possible. We are not taking bookings via email or phone at this time, purely via the form requests. Please note that you will not receive a confirmation email after submitting a form. We respectfully ask that you don’t message to check if your form has been received, or to see how long it will be before we can call as this is impacting on the already very high staff workload. There’s also no need to submit extra forms if you have different dates or venues in mind. If you see the screen at the end of the form process thanking you for your submission, then it has been successful. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can, but may be a couple of weeks, especially if it is a 2022 request. We do still have plenty of space in our diaries, but have a huge volume of requests and new postponements to process, so thanks in advance for your patience.

REGISTRATION OFFICE AVAILABILITY

While we will continue to hold ceremonies at Approved Venues 7 days a week, we are only able to offer ceremonies at registration offices at weekends until the end of June (Taunton will also be available on selected Fridays). This is because we anticipate the need for social distancing to continue for some time, and allows us to safely manage the flow of people around the building. We will be using the offices for birth, death and notice of marriage appointments and admin during weekdays. Due to these measures, and the volume of ceremonies that have been displaced by the 3 lockdowns, there is very limited availability for more ceremonies at our register offices, Taunton in particular, during the spring and summer of 2021. Please bear this in mind when considering new dates for your ceremony.

CEREMONY PAYMENTS

Ceremony payments can be made by calling 01823 282251. Please be aware that this line is extremely busy, please be patient and be assured that your booking is safe.

We really do appreciate your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

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For general advice regarding coronavirus, visit the NHS website.