As we approach your special day, we would like to give you some information about how your ceremony will run and take some details about your plans and choices.

Please read all the information on this webpage and complete the form at the end at least a month before your ceremony.

You may want to bookmark this page to refer to again later.

We want to gently remind you that the Canonbury Suite is an intimate room, which can only hold:
• You and your partner
• Two adult witnesses
• The registrars

Children and babies cannot be accommodated in this room, as you can only bring two adult witnesses to your ceremony. If you want to bring a photographer, they will need to be one of your two witnesses.

These guest numbers are the maximum allowed following our fire and health and safety risk assessments, and if you attend with more guests, your ceremony will not be able to take place and you will be asked to rebook your ceremony and pay again.

We ask that you both arrive with your guests 15 minutes before the ceremony start time. Consideration needs to be given to the timely start of all events, and if you arrive more than 10 minutes late, unfortunately your ceremony will not be able to take place and you will have to rebook and incur rescheduling fees. For standard ceremonies in the Canonbury Suite, you will need to see each other before the ceremony begins.

Chauffeured cars, taxis and buses can stop outside the building to drop off couples or guests, but we don’t have general parking available at the Town Hall, so we advise your guests to arrive by public transport.

All ceremony areas in the Town Hall can be accessed by ramps or lifts for step free access. If you or any of your guests have a disability, you will need to click here to complete a Personal Emergency Evacuation Form before the ceremony. Guide dogs and other trained assistance animals are welcomed, but your animal should wear their vest to show that they are a trained assistance animal and not just your pet.

We have limited special access parking spaces available on the Town Hall forecourt for people with disabilities, and these need to be booked well in advance by emailing

You can bring one pet to your ceremony in the Canonbury Suite if you choose.

If you want to bring your pet on your special day, please click here to complete a form agreeing to our terms and conditions at least a month before your ceremony.

Inviting your pet to your ceremony does not affect the number of people you can invite to your ceremony.

Please note that this change in policy does not affect registered assistance animals attending ceremonies, which are always welcomed.

At the entrance of the building, our usher team will greet you and confirm the ceremony you are attending. We will ask your guests to take a seat in the entrance hall and show you and your partner to the Canonbury Suite for your pre-ceremony interview.

If you choose to bring personal flowers for the table, you can bring them into the Canonbury Suite with you at this point. Our rooms are used for more than one ceremony a day, so we are unable to allow further decorating of the room or changing the layout for your ceremony.

Please see the seating plan below if this is useful to you:

Your ceremony will be conducted by one of our experienced registrars. We are unable to let you know in advance who your specific registrar will be, as there are occasions where substitutions need to be made due to unforeseen circumstances.

For this reason, and as the ceremony type you have chosen is very simple, with limited personalisation, we don’t offer co-ordination calls with your registrar.

Please note that we do not offer a choice of registrar based on their personal characteristics.

Before the ceremony, you and your partner will need to check the details together to go on the marriage or civil partnership certificate. Our registrars will ask you the same questions you were asked when you gave notice, for example, your full name and date of birth etc. This is to make sure that the details on the legal record of your marriage/civil partnership are correct and up to date on the day of your ceremony. This takes 10-15 minutes and is why we ask you to arrive a little bit earlier than your ceremony start time.

We will then ask you to visually check the paperwork to make sure it is correct.

You do not need to bring any identification to this interview unless our team have specifically advised you to because of your individual circumstances.

Following the interview, we will bring your guests to the Canonbury Suite ready for the ceremony to start.

If you wish to ‘make an entrance’, you and/or your partner will be taken out of the room again ready for your entrance.

The size of the door of the Canonbury Suite does not allow for two people walking side-by-side, and the distance to the couple’s chairs is very short, so we don’t recommend someone ‘walks you down the aisle’ although you are able to do this if you wish. If you are choosing to walk in with another person, please let our registrar know on the day who that person is, so that they can remain outside the room ready for your entrance.

We do not allow the use of confetti or rose petals inside the building.

Our registrars will welcome you and your guests, and begin the ceremony. The whole ceremony will need to be legally conducted by one of our registrars, though a friend or family member can read a poem.

Standard ceremonies in the Canonbury Suite on Saturdays are simple ceremonies with limited personalisation, offered for couples who would prefer this kind of ceremony, so you can choose to add a non-religious reading or personal vows in addition to the legal vows. It may be possible for you to pay an additional fee to extend your ceremony to include full personalisation, depending on the ceremonies booked after yours. If you are interested in this option, please email to enquire before completing your choices on the form below.

Please click on the links below to see the ceremony script we use:

Our registrars will use a similar script to this, although some may change the wording slightly. These words you say do not need to be memorised as you will repeat them, a few at a time, after the registrar.

As civil partnership law is different from marriage law, there are no legal words you need to say, so if you would prefer to simply sign the paperwork with your witnesses you can.

The ceremony with no added personalisation takes around 20 minutes to complete, including the signing of the paperwork. If you are adding a reading or personal vows, please allow 30 minutes for your ceremony.

We book our ceremonies with enough time before the next ceremony so that the couple can be interviewed, guests brought in, the ceremony conducted, the paperwork completed and some photographs to be taken, and the room cleaned and prepared for the next ceremony without couples feeling rushed.

Having said that, please note that while we may book ceremonies which start at, for example, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, each couple should not expect sole use of the room for an hour until the next slot, due to the interviews, guest entrances and cleaning that needs to take place. All our booking costs include use of the room for the ceremony, the registrars’ attendance and one copy of the certificate, but we don’t book ceremonies for a particular period of time; we book for a ceremony start time.

You are able to add pre-recorded music to your ceremony. Please choose someone from your ceremony party to control the music, and bring a phone or tablet with the music on it. We advise that you download the music onto the device, rather than rely on streaming. The connection to the sound system is via Bluetooth. Our team will help your chosen guest to connect the device to our sound system.

You are not able to bring musicians to your ceremony due to the size of the room.

Unfortunately, we are unable to incorporate religious music (whether words or music) into a civil ceremony, which must be free of all religious connotations. If you would like a song that mentions God or heaven or similar, but you don’t think it is a religious song, you can submit it on the form below and we will check whether it is acceptable. For example, “Angels” by Robbie Williams and “I Say A Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin are not considered religious songs although they mention angels and prayer.

We will contact you if you need to replace your music choices.

You can choose to include one reading which will be read by one of your guests, or personal vows to each other. Your reading/vows needs to be kept to a 2000 character limit to ensure ceremonies do not overrun.

Registrars can only perform civil ceremonies, which must be free of all religious connotations, which means that the “Song of Songs”, or St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (“Love is patient, love is kind” etc.) cannot be read at a civil ceremony. If you have a reading that mentions God or heaven or similar, but you don’t think it is a religious reading, you can submit it on the form below and we will check whether it is acceptable.

Similarly, personal vows must not have any religious connotation, or be taken from any religious ceremony. The words ‘to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part’ are part of the Church of England marriage vows, and so you are not able to use them in a civil ceremony. You may like to consider different words for your personal vows with the same meaning, like ‘I promise to love, honour and care for you, to support you through good fortune and adversity, joy and sadness, as long as we both shall live’.

Other than religious content, which can’t be used, civil ceremonies must, by law, be ‘seemly and dignified’. This means that we reserve the right to ask you to change your reading or personal vows if we think they are unsuitable. It’s fine to include humour, but we will decline vows containing adult language and/or topics. We will contact you if you need to replace or amend your reading/vows.

If you would like some more information on writing your own vows, please click here to see an article written by Elle, with advice from Islington Registrars, that may help you.

Even if your reading or personal vows are a secret or surprise, we still need you to submit them on the form below, rather than by any other method.

The exchanging of rings is a traditional part of a ceremony rather than a legal requirement. Some couples choose to exchange only one ring, some choose a different token personal to themselves, and others choose not to include this part of the ceremony at all.

Your two witnesses will sign to say they have witnessed the ceremony/signing.

The witnesses can be friends/family members, as long as they speak good English and are an adult. They do not have to bring any documents to the ceremony.

Our staff are not able to act as witnesses.

If either you or your partner requires an interpreter, that person must also act as one of your two witnesses.

At the end you will be announced as husband/wife and husband/wife, or as civil partners, and will sign the marriage or civil partnership schedule, the legal record of your union, with your witnesses.

Your guests will then be invited to congratulate you both as you leave the room together, and then they will follow you. You will then be able to take some photographs inside the Town Hall building if you choose. We don’t limit the amount of time you are able to have pictures, but we do ask that all couples are considerate of other couples who also want to take pictures, and be conscious of later ceremonies.

You can also have some photographs on the beautiful steps outside. We allow eco-friendly options like biodegradable confetti, rose petals, bubbles and sparklers outside the Town Hall, but not inside. Rice is not permitted as it poses health and safety risks with the stairs in inclement weather and attracts pigeons.

You are welcome to have a celebratory glass of champagne outside, just as long as you aren’t impeding the access of other ceremony parties.

While there is no parking on Upper Street outside the Town Hall, your booked transport (for example buses or taxis) will be allowed to stop there long enough for you and your guests to get on.

Ideally your transport should be there waiting for you as you all emerge from the Town Hall ready to whisk you away to your reception.

Following your ceremony, the legal details need to be inputted onto the national database before we can check and produce certificates, which can take up to 20 working days, as we conduct large numbers of ceremonies.

You will be asked on your ceremony day if you want the certificate to be posted to you, or if you would prefer us to contact you when it’s ready so you can collect it from Islington Town Hall.

If you need your certificate more urgently, we offer an express service which produces the certificate within 3 working days of the ceremony date.

To apply for the express service, please email us with your ceremony details, letting us know whether you would like your express certificate produced for collection from Islington Town Hall (£26.00) or posted to your home by special delivery (£33.85).

The additional fee will then be added to your ceremony balance. The express service needs to be requested and paid for at least 7 days before the ceremony date.

Once you have read all the above information and made final decisions on your choices, please complete the form below:

Pre-Ceremony Organiser - Canonbury Suite (Saturday)

  • Your details

  • :

  • Who will be the two witnesses?

    The Canonbury Suite risk assessment states that it can accommodate a maximum of 2 guests, who will be your witnesses.

  • Your choices

  • Please ignore this question if you have chosen a marriage; to be legally married you will need to have a ceremony.

  • Reading or personal vows

    You can choose to include either:

    • a reading, which will be read by one of your guests
    • OR
    • personal vows in addition to the standard vows

    If you do not wish to include a reading or personal vows in your marriage/civil partnership, please leave this section blank

  • Music

    There are three moments where you can choose for pre-recorded music to be played at your ceremony.

    If you do not wish to include music in your marriage/civil partnership, please leave this section blank.

  • Approximately 1 minute of music is ideal.
  • Approximately 5 minutes of music is ideal.
  • Approximately 2 minutes of music is ideal.
  • They will be shown how to connect a phone or tablet to our music system.

  • How would you like to be declared at the end of the ceremony?

    Would you prefer the registrar to announce you to your guests as, for example 'Mr and Mr Smith' or 'John and Jane'?

  • Parents' details

    Up to four parents' details can be added to all marriage/civil partnership certificates unless you would prefer not to include these details. Please leave this section blank if this is the case.

    You can include biological, adoptive or step-parents.

    Partner 1's parents

  • Partner 2’s parents

  • Capacity confirmation

    We confirm:

    • We will not invite more than 2 adult guests in total, who will be our witnesses. If we are having a photographer, we understand that they must be one of our two witnesses
    • We understand this is the maximum number of people allowed under the fire and health and safety risk assessment for this room
    • We understand there will be no exceptions to this rule for babies, children, photographers, translators or extra guests to enter the building under any circumstances
    • We understand that if we attend with more guests, our ceremony will not take place and we will be asked to rebook our ceremony and pay again

    Please tick these boxes to confirm you have read these points and you agree to them:

  • Other confirmations

    We confirm:

    • We have read all of the information on this page before completing this form
    • We will arrive 15 minutes before our marriage/civil partnership start time. We understand that if we arrive more than 10 minutes late, our ceremony will not take place and we will have to rebook and incur rescheduling fees
    • We have chosen music and/or a reading/personal vows that are not religious in nature, such as hymns or readings from the Bible
    • We have listed the reading/personal vows and/or music we want to include (and have not written 'TBC' or similar)
    • We understand that we will need to be interviewed together, in the same room, 15 minutes before the ceremony
    • We understand that we cannot make changes to the details on this form after submission for any reason other than sickness
    • We are submitting this form at least one month before our ceremony
    • We understand that we must complete a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan form for any person attending our ceremony (including ourselves) who has a disability at least a month before the ceremony date
    • We understand that no pet will be able to enter the building unless we have completed the required form at least a month before the ceremony
    • We will comply with any other changes or procedures as required by registration staff, or government regulations to ensure safety

    Please tick these boxes to confirm you have read these points and you agree to them:

  • By entering your email address below you consent to Say I Do Islington storing your data given in this form in order to process your request and for us to contact you as required via email. Say I Do Islington will continue to hold and process your data in line with our privacy policy available here.