From 19 July

There are no restrictions on the number of people in attendance at a wedding or civil partnership ceremony. However, as the pandemic is not yet over and the number of COVID cases continues to rise, there remains a requirement to ensure that any ceremony is as safe as possible for those attending and to reduce the risk of an outbreak.

Getting married in the register office or one of our ceremony rooms

Number of guests

The number of guests allowed are in addition to the couple and the 2 registrars.

The maximum number of guests (including any children) that can be safely accommodated in our register office and ceremony rooms is as follows:

Ceremony room capacity

Ceremony room Number of guests

Dorchester Register Office


King George V Pavilion, Ferndown


Gillingham Town Hall


Mountfield, Bridport


Sherborne Council Chamber


Swanage Town Hall


We respectfully request that you do not bring more guests than the number that can be safely accommodated as this makes the situation uncomfortable for everyone.

Safety measures at the ceremony

You and your guests must maintain a safe distance from the registrars at all times to give them space.

In our ceremony rooms (excluding the Dorset Register Office), your photographer/videographer does not need to be counted in the guest numbers.  The Registrar conducting your ceremony will advise where they can and cannot go on the day.

Where possible, windows and doors should remain open throughout to ventilate the room.

Your guests are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings whilst indoors, particularly in rooms that cannot be well ventilated to keep everyone safe and help protect those more vulnerable to infection.

The registrars may choose to wear a face covering or visor during your pre-ceremony interview and/or the ceremony itself. 

Hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities will be made available to you and your guests upon arrival.

Equipment, such as pens, that you will be asked to touch will have been cleaned in advance of your ceremony.

Anyone showing any symptoms of COVID-19 or self-isolating, in line with government guidance, must not attend the ceremony.

Test and Trace

In line with the government guidance, your contact details will be provided to NHS Test and Trace if requested for contact tracing and the investigation of local outbreaks, unless you inform us that you wish to opt out.

Getting married in an approved venue

Most of the register office and ceremony room measures will apply.

If you have not already done so, you should contact your venue to discuss the arrangements that they have in place, as well as to confirm the number of guests that they can accommodate.

Notice of marriage or civil partnership appointments

If you need to give notice of marriage or civil partnership, appointments can be booked at our Dorchester, Ferndown, Gillingham, Wareham and Weymouth offices.

Contact us

Dorset Registration Service

Name: Dorset Registration Service
Tel: 01305 225153
Full contact details

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