CAN I get married in my back garden?
And how do I go about registering the birth of my baby in Huddersfield, if he or she is born in Calderdale?
They are just two of the common questions posed to staff at the Register Office, which has just moved to plush new premises in Huddersfield Town Hall.
The Registration Service is used by people in Kirklees every day for so many joyous, sometimes sad, but often life changing, events.
Superintendent registrar Lesley Hewitson said: “In any one day, a registrar might register the birth of a new baby, the death of a loved one, search the archives for a family tree inquiry, inaugurate someone as a British citizen, perform a wedding, civil partnership, baby naming, or renewal of vows ceremony, as well as answer many, many different related inquiries.
“It’s a rewarding and fulfilling role indeed.
“The legislation supporting these services can be quite complex and we receive a lot of inquiries at our register offices in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, about how people might conduct their business and plan their events.
“We welcome people writing in with their individual questions. So, are you thinking about getting married abroad, are you wondering what might be involved in becoming a British citizen, or perhaps planning on finding out about your ancestors?”
Frequently asked questions
QUESTION: My baby was born in Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax, but I live in Huddersfield. Can I register the birth at Huddersfield Register Office?
Answer: A baby’s birth must be registered at the register office in the district where the event took place. In this case that would be Calderdale Register Office. However, if it is easier for you to go to Huddersfield Register Office you can register by what is known as a ‘Declaration’.
This means that you can make an appointment at Huddersfield Register Office, where a registrar will take all the details from you; they will print a Declaration which you will then sign as being a true record of the facts that are to be registered. The registrar then sends this Declaration to Calderdale Register Office, where the details are entered into their birth register. You will then receive your certificate/s by post.
You will need to decide, prior to your visit, how many birth certificates you will need, as you will have to give the registrar in Huddersfield, a cheque or postal order for the number of certificates you require, so that they can send this with the Declaration. If you have to apply for any certificates in future you will then have to contact Calderdale Register Office where the register will be held.
QUESTION: I am planning my marriage for the summer of 2012 and would like the wedding to take place in my parents’ garden. What do I need to do?
Answer: Unfortunately, it is not possible for your wedding to take place in the open air in England and Wales. The laws relating to ‘approved premises’ are intended to allow proceedings to take place regularly in hotels, stately homes, civic halls and similar premises. The term ‘premises’ is defined as a permanent immovable structure comprising of at least one room, or any boat or vessel which is permanently moored. Any premises outside this definition, such as the open air, a tent, a marquee or any other temporary structure, would not be eligible for approval.
There are more than 30 premises approved for marriage in the Kirklees district. If you would like to contact Huddersfield Register Office, we can provide you with this list and their contact details.
QUESTION: I have booked my wedding ceremony at Huddersfield Town Hall followed by the reception in the concert hall. We have decided to have one meal and celebration, rather than one in the afternoon and another in the evening. We would therefore like to change the time we are getting married from 4.15pm to 7.00pm. Is this possible?
Answer: The Marriage Act states ‘a marriage must be solemnised between the hours of 8am and 6pm’. This means that the words of the contract have to be said before 6pm. For this reason unfortunately, the time of your marriage cannot therefore be changed to as late as 7.00pm. Please contact the register office for available ceremony times.
Weddings can be both stressful and costly, and it is not unusual now for couples to opt for a wedding ceremony later in the day and just enjoy and focus on one celebration in the evening. We would be happy to talk this through with any couples who might be interested in such an