Your day, your way - Marriages and civil partnerships in the county borough of Caerphilly

Champagne glasses

How to celebrate your marriage in the venue of your choice, with a ceremony designed to fit perfectly to you and your family and friends.

Couples who choose to marry or form a civil partnership want:

  • A legally valid marriage or civil partnership
  • An occasion to remember
  • To feel valued, important and special
  • The full attention of the person responsible for conducting that ceremony
  • A professional service 

These points are at the heart of everything we do as professional registration officers in the county borough of Caerphilly. Our registration officers appreciate that whilst they may be centre stage when conducting the ceremony, they are not the centre of attention. We reserve all that special attention for the couple and their guests.

Currently, the law in England and Wales only allows the legal marriage or civil partnership to take place in a venue (civil or religious) that is licensed for those legal events to take place. This may include the grounds of some licensed premises.

There are several licensed civil venues in the county borough of Caerphilly and numerous religious venues. The civil venues are:

  • Penallta House, Tredomen Park, Ystrad Mynach
  • Bryn Meadows Golf Hotel Spa, Maesycwmmer
  • Caerphilly Castle
  • Llancaiach Fawr, Nelson
  • Llechwen Hall Hotel, Llanfabon
  • Maes Manor Hotel, Blackwood
  • Newbridge Memorial Hall, Newbridge
  • Ridgeway Golf Club
  • Shappelles, Ystrad Mynach 
  • The Llanarth, Pontllanfraith
  • The White Rose Centre, New Tredegar

At these venues, couples can only be legally married or form their civil partnership in the presence of statutory registration officers.  Other venues can apply to be licensed for civil marriages and civil partnerships if they wish.

However, there will be other places in which couples would very much like to celebrate their marriage or civil partnership in the way that they wish to amongst family and friends. These places may include a marquee in the grounds of a venue or home, in their gardens, or another spot which is special to the couple, or the grounds of one of the licensed venues already listed but where those places are not or cannot be licensed for various reasons as they may not meet the criteria that allows licensing. 

In these cases, and to ensure couples have a legally valid marriage or civil partnership and are able to have a celebratory service designed to reflect their own wishes and delivered by professional, statutory registration officers, you may combine your legal ceremony in any one of our licensed venues followed by a celebratory ceremony in the place of your choice. This may be the same place or it could be a totally different place but always in the presence of professional registration officers who will help you design a bespoke ceremony, including all those personal touches that will make your day special.

About legal and celebratory ceremonies

A legal and celebratory ceremony is a legal and bespoke ceremonial marriage or civil partnership package in two parts.

The legal marriage or civil partnership takes place in a licensed venue followed by a celebratory ceremony, usually held in a location which would not be eligible to be licensed for marriages or civil partnerships. This could include the open air, a marquee or various other locations that may have special meaning.

Why couples choose them

Couples may choose a legal and celebratory ceremony because they wish to celebrate their marriage or civil partnership in a venue or place that is not licensed for ceremonies.

These legal and celebratory ceremonies are increasing in popularity as they give couples the best of both options: a legal marriage or civil partnership with the freedom to have a celebration of that marriage or civil partnership where they choose.

How to arrange it

To arrange a ceremony, please contact us to discuss your options.

Legal requirements

There are no legal requirements for the celebratory ceremony itself. However, once you have decided where you wish to hold your legal ceremony you need to give your notice of marriage or civil partnership.

A legal ceremony in the Register Office at Penallta House is a popular choice and we include this in our legal and celebratory ceremony ‘package’ which is detailed below. If you wish to hold your celebratory service in the grounds of our licensed venues, then the legal part of the ceremony can take place in a licensed room in that venue and everything else outside in the gardens

What the package includes and costs

We have ceremony packages which include both the legal and celebratory ceremony. Packages range in price from £130 to £400+. Please contact us and we will discuss your requirements and give you final fees for the legal and ceremonial elements of your day. 

The packages include:

  • a legal ceremony in the Register Office (Monday to Friday and Saturday or Sunday morning but only if combined with a ceremony provided by Caerphilly Registrars at some other place in the County Borough of Caerphilly) plus
  • a bespoke celebratory ceremony in a location which would not usually be eligible for licensing for marriages or civil partnerships (your garden, a special place).
  • a legal ceremony in a room licensed within one of our venues (available 7 days a week at various times to suit) plus
  • a bespoke celebratory ceremony in a location which would not usually be eligible for the legal marriage or civil partnership to take place
  • the complete proceedings in the gardens, a marquee or other place in the grounds if the licensed venue is happy to provide this and a contingency for inclement weather is available

The fees will also include:

  • inspection and assessment of the proposed location by a registration employee (if applicable).
  • planning meeting with registration officials.  

Marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales 

This table sets out the similarities and differences between civil partnership and marriage as it applies to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

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