How Much Does a Registry Office Wedding Cost? The 2024 Average Revealed

If you’re not interested in a large wedding or have a smaller budget, a registry office wedding is a great option for your big day. You may not want a lavish ceremony where you get married in front of a hundred people – you may prefer a more intimate wedding attended only by those closest to you. There is no right or wrong approach – only what’s right for you.

In the UK, the average cost of a wedding has risen to £20,775. For many couples, spending that amount on a wedding isn’t possible, and seeking affordable alternatives to expensive venues is just one way to cut this figure in two.

In this post, we’re going to explore everything to do with the cost of a registry office wedding, including the average amount couples pay, the factors that can affect that cost, and why couples choose to get married at a registry office.

What’s the average cost of a registry office wedding?

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According to our data, the average amount spent by couples getting married at a registry office is £1,342. It’s also important to remember that this figure is an average, and it can be cheaper still to get married in a registry office – much cheaper.

Many registry offices offer a basic ceremony rate, which includes hiring the room, for as low as £57. However, this basic figure can vary depending on where you’re based and the, as the cost is set by the local council. This also doesn’t include the cost of a ceremony room (which is different from a registry office) which can cost around £200.

It’s important to remember that this isn’t the only fee you’ll pay. As well as the cost of the room, you’ll also need to pay for each of you to give notice (from £35 per person) and any additional marriage certificates (around £10). There may also be administration and postage fees, starting from around £10.

Registry office wedding costs can therefore be broken down like this:

  • Overall average registry office wedding cost – £1,342
  • Basic UK registry office ceremony rate – as low as £57
  • Cost of ceremony room – £200
  • Cost to give notice – from £35 per person
  • Marriage certificates – around £10
  • Admin and postage fees – starting from around £10

See the infographic below for a full breakdown of registry office costs:

Registry Office Wedding Cost Breakdown Infographic
This infographic shows a breakdown of registry office wedding costs

What’s the average cost of registrar fees?

As revealed in our ultimate wedding budget breakdown, fees for a registrar to attend a civil marriage venue (for example, a town hall, or a hotel) cost an average of £300 in the UK. This cost can also vary depending on the day of the week. Expect to pay higher fees on weekends and bank holidays. By contrast, weekdays during office hours are generally the most affordable option.

  • Monday to Friday (office hours) – £300-400
  • Monday to Friday (outside of office hours) – £400-£450
  • Saturday – £500
  • Sunday – £550
  • Bank Holiday – £525 
  • Special Days (for example, Valentine’s Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year Day) – £600-£650

Is it cheaper to get married at a registry office?

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With the average cost being £1,342, a registry office wedding is by far the cheapest venue option for couples, coming in at 75% cheaper than getting married in a place of worship, 82% cheaper than a hotel and 89% cheaper than a castle. This figure does include the cost of the registrar, which as stated above, costs an average of £300. This is also the most important cost to be aware of, because without a registrar you can’t have a legally binding marriage!

As we’ve already highlighted, the average overall cost for a wedding is £19,184. With the average cost of a venue being a huge chunk of that cost (almost half in fact), getting married in a registry office can make a wedding far more possible for many couples. Plus, some couples simply don’t want a large wedding and are much happier to save some money by hosting an intimate ceremony with their closest family and friends.

What factors can affect the cost of a registry office wedding?

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While the cost of getting married in a registry office is, on average, the cheapest type of venue throughout the UK, there are factors that can affect the cost.

  • Location – Depending on where you’re getting married, some registry offices can be more expensive than others, as the cost is set by the local council.
  • Time and day – It can be more expensive to get married during more popular dates and times, such as on Saturday afternoons.
  • Season – During peak seasons, such as the spring and summer, the price may be higher.
  • Guests – A registry office will have a limited capacity and there may be an additional charge if you want a larger number of guests.
  • Additional services – Additional music and decorations (if allowed) may affect the cost.

There are also the costs associated with a wedding at any other venue, such as if you’re hiring a photographer or videographer.

Do you have to pay a deposit when booking a registry office wedding?

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Some registry offices will ask for a non-refundable deposit to secure the date and time of your wedding. This is usually around £50, but can vary.

Are there any fees if you need to cancel or reschedule?

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As well as losing your deposit, you may be charged a fee if you cancel your wedding (particularly if you cancel last minute) and there may be admin charges to rebook.

How long does it take to get married at a registry office?

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A registry office wedding is perfect for couples who don’t want a long ceremony or the attention that comes with getting married at larger venues. The ceremony itself will take around 20 – 30 minutes, and you’ll need to arrive around half an hour to an hour early, so you can be interviewed before the ceremony takes place. This means that several marriages can take place at the same registry office on any given day.

Why might you choose to get married at a registry office?

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Whether you’ve been married before, have a tighter budget, or simply don’t want the fuss that comes with a larger wedding, there can be many reasons why getting married at a registry office is the right choice for you.

As our data shows, a registry office wedding is a much more affordable option. Just because it’s cheaper it doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful – far from it. Even a more intimate wedding can still be beautiful and highly personal – it’s just far kinder on your budget.

Once your registry office wedding has finished and the two of you are married, it’s up to you what you do to celebrate. Depending on what you choose, costs will obviously vary greatly – an intimate meal with family and friends will be far more budget-friendly than hiring a venue and hosting a party.

For more information on keeping costs down, check out our post on how to save money on a wedding.

Start planning your wedding with Bridebook

At Bridebook, we can help you plan everything to do with your wedding, from the venue to the stationery. And if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for your post-registry office wedding celebrations, we’ve got plenty of brilliant restaurant wedding venues you can choose from. 

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Happy Planning!