Commitment ceremony

Baby feet

What is a commitment ceremony?

A Commitment Ceremony is designed for couples who wish to celebrate their relationship and commitment to each other, without entering into a legal marriage or civil partnership.

The ceremony gives you the opportunity to exchange rings and make promises to each other. A commemorative certificate will be presented to you at the end of the ceremony.

A Commitment Ceremony has no legal status.

You can choose to have your ceremony at any of our licensed venues, or even an un-licensed venue of your choice within the City of Southampton. Alternatively, you may like to hold your ceremony in your own home to create that really personal feeling.

What does the ceremony involve?

The ceremony is conducted by a civil celebrant from the Southampton Registration Service team.

There is no legal status to a renewal of vows ceremony and, as they are conducted by a civil celebrant, there can be no religious content.

The civil celebrant will conduct a non-religious ceremony that is personalised by your choice of promises, readings and music. Readings can be given by anybody present at the ceremony, or if your prefer they can be read by the celebrant taking the ceremony.

How can I make my ceremony special?

As a renewal of vows ceremony has no legal status it is very flexible.

Although the ceremony cannot contain any religious content, you have choices to make for your ceremony and readings for your guests to be involved in, if you want them to be.

Where can I have a renewal of vows ceremony?

A renewal of vows ceremony can take place in our beautiful Golden Jubilee Room or any of our Approved Premises throughout the City.

When can I have the ceremony?

Ceremonies at our Golden Jubilee Room can take place Monday to Saturday, subject to availability.

At approved premises, ceremonies can take place Monday to Sunday, including Bank Holidays (with the exception of Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Years' Day), subject to availability.

How do I book a ceremony?

To book a ceremony you will need to contact the Register Office and make a provisional booking. A non-refundable booking fee is required to be paid at the time of booking.

Once you have booked your ceremony you will be sent an information pack that will include a choice of readings and promises that you can use to complete your 'Notes for Ceremony' form which will help create your ceremony.

You will need to complete the 'Notes for Ceremony' form online, or on paper, four weeks prior to your ceremony as this will help us to construct your ceremony around the choices you have made. If you have completed a paper form you will need to return the form to the Register Office by post, or in person.

You will also need to provide us with a copy of your marriage certificate.

How much does a ceremony cost?

Full details on all our fees and booking terms are detailed on our ceremony fees page.