17th June Update

Firstly, hello and thank you for your patience and understanding, what a weird old world it's been these last few months and still is. Whatever the new normal is going to be, it's going to be a lot different from the old world we knew and loved. We know it's been really hard and some really difficult decisions have had to be made - our ceremonies team are still all working from home at the moment, if you need them please drop them an email to ceremonysupport@cheshireeast.gov.uk and they will get back to you asap.
There is unfortunately still no news on when we can resume marriages and civil partnerships. This isn't that we know and we aren’t just telling you, it really is that we get to know just about the same time as you do! Until the UK government tells us all anything different, there are unfortunately no marriages or civil partnerships – even for ‘small’ numbers.
We can't wait to be back out there doing what we love and celebrating your Big Day with you. As soon as we know, we’ll let you know, we promise. If you have got a booking with us for the next few weeks we will be in touch with you to chat through the different options available to you.
You may have seen our post of Tuesday night that notices of marriage and civil partnership and birth registrations can now take place. We finally had some good news to share – it felt so good to have positive news to pass on.
Along with the rest of the country, the fun now begins on how to make sure we can open up safely for our team and our customers, and that’s what we’ve been busy working through behind the scenes. We’ve been investing in screens for our reception and offices, looking at how we work and how we can make it better and COVID compliant – if COVID has given us all any positives it's that we’ve been forced to look at how we work and what changes can be made to make it better.
So after all this work and making sure we can be as safe as safe can be, we are absolutely delighted to confirm that we are back open for Notices of marriage and civil partnerships as of Saturday 20th June.
Please don’t all rush to the phone to make an appointment with us just yet though. As you know from the date of notice there is a 29 day waiting period, and so we need to prioritise those couples who are hoping to tie the knot closest to the 19th July 2020 (if government restrictions allow). We will contact you; you don’t need to contact us. Once we’ve arranged appointments for those in the immediate first few weeks (19 July – 31 August 2020) we will then open up our diaries to those who have ceremonies booked for September and October 2020 and a rolling program after that – again we will contact you.
If you had your appointment booked with us for during the lockdown period, again, we will contact you to rearrange.
If you’ve had to change your date due to COVID-19 and this means you need to give fresh notice, we will contact you. You may remember there is a statutory fee of £35.00 per person to give Notice of marriage or civil partnership. Statutory fees are set by the government and are usually non negotiable. However the Registrar General has indicated that it is up to each local authority as to whether they waive this fee in this instance.
We are pleased to be able to tell our couples who are resident in Cheshire East and who need to give fresh notices due to COVID-19 and re-arrangement of ceremony date, that Cheshire East Council have decided to waive this fee. All local authorities are separate to each other, if you live outside of Cheshire East, please check with your local authority where you gave notice.
Our team are always here to help you and we can't wait to see you, but we do ask that when we do open for appointments please do still keep visits to the Register Office to a minimum. When you come to give notice of marriage or civil partnership please arrive for your appointment time and not before, if there are too many people in our office we may need to ask you to wait outside of the building.
The message from all this I guess, is that if you have a ceremony booked with us and you need to give notice of marriage or civil partnership; we will contact you. You don’t need to do anything!
Fingers crossed this first easing for the registration service is the first step towards ceremonies happening – we really do share with you the hope for this
Your Ceremony x

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