3 Easy Steps on How to Book my Lake District Wedding

Caroline Langham


3 Easy Steps on How to Book my Lake District Wedding

Today I’m talking about a question I get asked lot here that Cote How… “What do I do next?” or “How do I go about actually booking my Lake District wedding?” 
You see it isn’t just a case of booking a venue – There is a lot of ‘other stuff’ that also needs arranging. The venue is just the place. You now need to book the registrar and other crucial suppliers. So in this blog, I will go through those critical steps and hopefully offer some sound advice in answer to that burning question…How to Book My Lake District Wedding.

The Registrar chatting to the Groom before chatting to the Bride upstairs

1 Book the Wedding Venue

What people are asking here isn’t just about how to book their Lake District wedding venue, of course, that needs to come first! 

I have that covered in a previous blog I’ve written called “How to Find the Perfect Small Wedding Venue“, so go back, click on the link and check it out after you have finished here!

Micro Wedding Venue
A beautiful wedding ceremony set up for a Winter Micro Wedding Venue
Talking to The Registrar before the Wedding Ceremony
Talking to The Registrar before the Wedding Ceremony

2 Book the Registrars

Once you’ve selected the Lake District wedding venue of your dreams, the next step is to secure your registrars. They are two lovely professionals, employed by the local Cumbria County Council who basically travel the county visiting various venues and marrying people all day! What a lovely job!

Marryying in a Private Wedding Venue

The Kendal based registrars will come here, or to your chosen venue, and officiate your wedding ceremony. I understand that some people prefer to have an independent celebrant, and this is still an option; however, most couples wish to be married legally at their chosen Lake District wedding venue. 

The lovely Registrars helping the bride and her father relax pre-ceremony

Once your wedding venue is booked, make contact with the registration service in the county where your wedding venue is; for example here at Cote How it is Kendal Registration Services that comes out to the venue to officiate your legal ceremony. To book them, simply get in touch with Westmorland and Furness County Council’s registration services department. The Kendal-based registrars will come out on the day and arrive about an hour before your ceremony starts.  For all the contact details and simple steps, we have a handy crib sheet we send out on booking. So if you have missed yours, please ask me for a copy.
you can contact Kendal Registrar’s by calling 0300 373 3300.
The fees for booking the registrar can be found here: REGISTRAR FEES 

Kendal Registrars arriving to perform a legal wedding ceremony
Kendal Registrars arriving to perform a legal wedding ceremony

Your wedding venue should be able to point you in the right direction of which registration services they use in their particular area.
Once the registrar is booked, send a copy of your provisional confirmation email to your venue. This is vital to ensure that you are all checking that the date and ceremony time scheduled is correct.

Saying your marriage vows - The Registrars are wonderful at setting your mind and ease and gently prompting you

3 Giving Notice of Intent - The Legal Bit

Sometimes referred to as “Giving your Notice to Marry”, this is very time-sensitive and needs to be done in person. The Notice lasts for 12 months only and must be given at least 29 days before your intended wedding date.
For example, if your wedding date is October 12th, then you must give Notice after October 12th the year before but before September 12th of the same year.

You must also be free to marry and be able to provide full documentation at that meeting in your relevant district.

For more information see the Cumbria Documentation Requirements as a guide


The Covid Effect

This has become an issue recently with Covid, as couples were postponing, and their Notice had expired before their new wedding date. Their Notice then needed renewing, and it had to be done in person. In some cases, couples managed to give shorter than 28 days with the help of a special waiver due to Covid. So if this is you, then talk to your local registrars again to explain your situation.

A bride holds her bouquet in the air in celebration at an outdoor barn ceremony
A ‘just married’ couple at their outdoor barn ceremony.

Your Notice is carried out at your own local registration services in the place where you both reside. To make this part easier, we have included a handy postcode checker here. FIND YOUR LOCAL REGISTER OFFICE

You may already know your local council offices or the place where you would go to register any births or deaths as well as marriages. Perhaps it is your local town hall, for example. You’ll need to telephone your local Registration Service and book an appointment in person. They will advise you on what relevant documentation you will need. So if you are divorced, now is the time to dig out that “Decree Absolute”!

Real Wedidng Review - Bride and Groom with their registrar eloping at Cote how Lake District weddings
Bride and Groom with their registrar eloping at Cote how Lake District weddings

This appointment is to establish that you are legally free to marry each other and that you intend to marry each other on a given date and time at a particular venue. It is essential, therefore, that you have secured steps 1 and 2 above first!
Your local Registration Service will now perform all of the legal checks necessary and will then communicate them to Kendal registration services. Then on the day of your wedding, you don’t need to bring any paperwork with you as the registrars who attend here at Cote How will already have that information and will go through a few professional checks just before your wedding begins.

Cumbria County Council has an excellent section on their website for Planning Your Wedding.

All Done - Signed, Sealed Delivered - The Registrar presenting their marriage certificate!

So it's as easy as 1 - 2 - 3!

The problems that sometimes can occur is that your venue is not privy to any of these communications that you make with the registration services,  either at Kendal or at your local town hall. So you must communicate this information back to your venue to make sure that everybody is on the same page in terms of day and time. Imagine planning for the wrong time or day! 

Registrar Sean, hosting the wedding ceremony

Other Wedding Services to Book

It is prudent to establish which other wedding services are time-sensitive, or where you need to secure the services of a professional who can only attend one event per day. For example, your photographer. Having booked your registrar, or celebrant, it is vital to secure a photographer (if you are having one), along with other wedding suppliers, such as videographers and entertainers. Of course, you may also wish to arrange your own flowers and cake, but these are less time-sensitive most could do more than one wedding in a day.

Simon hughes wedding Photographer pictured here with newlyweds Anne and Dave

To help with choosing photographers, we have a dedicated page on our website, “Real Weddingshttps://www.cotehow.co.uk/lake-district-wedding-blog/lake-district-weddings/” showcasing a variety of photographers Cote How weddings with links to their own websites.
I’ve also written a blog that you might find helpful, “Choosing the Best Wedding Photographer For You” that might be worth having a read through.

Registrar, Paul, presenting the marriage certificate to the bride....This was a funny moment - Jenny had only waited 31 years for this!

Suppliers Links:

Photography by: Simon Hughes
Flowers By: Greenwheat of Penrith, Lily Lous of Ambleside (in House)
Registrars: Cumbria County Council – Kendal Office
Venue Styling By: Caroline@CoteHow 

If you would like to read a few more of my “Wedding planning Tips” then please head over to this dedicated blog category all about wedding planning. You may find some pearls of wisdom from this old pro!

I hope you have learned something about “How to Book my Lake District Wedding” today? If so, please hit the like button and maybe share it with friends?

If you are struggling with any other burning questions about wedding planning, please drop me a comment below. You never know – I may write a blog just for you!

Take care, and we will hopefully meet soon!


Caroline with Lynn and Graham on their wedding day

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