A commitment ceremony is a non-legal non-religious celebratory ceremony which will be conducted by our experienced registrars, with lots of choice over the content.
Any couple of any age can arrange a commitment ceremony, as long as you are not legally married or in a civil partnership. You do not have to live in Islington or the City of London to have a commitment ceremony here.
Couples choose to to have commitment ceremonies for a number of reasons:
- To exchange promises of commitment in front of family or friends who are unable to witness their future legal ceremony, for example, if it is taking place abroad.
- To celebrate without completing the legal preliminaries to marriage or civil partnership.
- To make a meaningful but not legal commitment to each other.
Please note that your registrar will need to make it clear that the commitment ceremony is not legally binding to avoid confusion about the legality of the ceremony.
What are the steps to arrange a commitment ceremony?
1. Choose your venue – Islington and City of London have over 50 licenced venues to choose from, from ancient livery halls to modern restaurants. Many couples choose to commit to each other at the beautiful and historic Islington Town Hall, and you can see photographs, information and prices for all our ceremony locations by visiting these pages:
It may also be possible to hold your ceremony in another setting, such as a home or garden, subject to risk assessment. Please email us to discuss holding your ceremony in a venue that is not licenced for marriages.
2. Book your venue and registrars – When you’ve decided where you want to hold your ceremony, you will need to book the date and time with us. If you are holding your ceremony at the Town Hall, the room and registrars are booked during the same process. If you are holding your ceremony in another venue, you will need to book your venue and then book the registrars to attend your venue.
Please email us to discuss the dates and times we can offer you. Once a date and time is agreed and you have paid a deposit, we’ll send you a confirmation email.
3. Pay the final fee – If you didn’t pay the full fee at the time of booking your ceremony, you will be reminded to make the final payment at least three months before your date.
4. Choose your ceremony content – We will send you information about the choices you have, and ask you to complete a form with your decisions. We ask you to return this to us at least a month before the ceremony.
Each ceremony is individual and can reflect events in your life together. The following are examples of things you may want to include in your a ceremony:
- Readings or music
- Commitment vows/pledges to each other
- Vows to your children
- Vows from guests pledging to support you
- Exchange of rings
We will give you script examples and help you choose the ceremony content that is right for you.
6. Arrive on the day and have a wonderful time!
We have lots of information you may find helpful on our ‘Your Questions’ page, although many of these are aimed at couples holding marriage and civil partnership ceremonies, and our staff are able to answer any other questions you may have.