What is a Civil Wedding?


A Civil Ceremony

What is a civil wedding or ceremony? – It is where the marriage ceremony is conducted by a local council official called a registrar at an approved venue, rather than by a vicar or priest in a church. Both The West Barn and The Coach House at The Ashes are approved civil wedding locations, licensed for both civil weddings and civil partnerships.

The registrar has to receive an ‘authority’ for your marriage, which can only be obtained by giving a notice of marriage, which you must do at your local register office at least 15 days before the wedding. Just as with a church wedding you need to select two people to witness the marriage and sign the marriage register during the ceremony.

A civil marriage ceremony cannot have any religious content but you can arrange for individual touches such as non-religious music and readings to be added to the legal wording.

The Ashes Event Managers will be able to suggest a number of beautiful, romantic readings and our oak lectern provides subtle audio enhancement ensuring that your guests hear every word.


It is said that music is the gateway to the soul, by choosing a civil wedding you have the option to choose music that really speaks to you. The Bride’s entrance is a pivotal moment and you can select a suitably moving piece of music, likewise your first steps as man and wife present a great opportunity to add a little individuality to your ceremony with a stand out piece of music.

Providing it is has no religious content you can choose the music you like. Perhaps you’ll book a String Quartet to play in The Juliet Balcony above the ceremony, or make a playlist on your iPod which we can pipe through the wedding barn for you.

The options are there to really make your marriage ceremony meaningful to you as a couple. Once you’ve reserved a date at The Ashes, it is your responsibility to book the registrar.

For further information please visit Staffordshire County Council’s website at

Staffordshire County Council

You can contact the register office directly on

0300 111 8001

Email the Register


  • Stott
    What is No Corkage?
  • Wedding Terminology Explained
  • What is a Civil Ceremony?
  • Can I have a Church Wedding?
  • FAQ's When Considering The Ashes
  • The Dream Team
  • Meet The Team
  • Your Event Managers



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