Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

Introduction

In addition to marriages and civil partnerships, we provide a range of other types of ceremonies. Citizenship ceremonies, naming ceremonies and eternity ceremonies are wonderful markers of milestone events.

Naming ceremony

Sometimes called a ‘welcome ceremony’, we offer a ceremony to celebrate a child and recognise their place in their family. It is a non-religious alternative to a christening ceremony. It is a great opportunity for friends and family to come together and celebrate the new addition to a family – new babies, extended families with step-children, adopted families and fostered children. The ceremony can be tailored to your needs and can include music and readings. The ceremony can be held at a register office, one of our approved premises, or a village hall.

Contact our team to check availability and book an appointment to plan your ceremony.

Eternity ceremony

Sometimes called a renewal of vows, we offer a ceremony to reaffirm your marriage or civil partnership vows. This is a formal yet romantic opportunity to reflect on your marriage or civil partnership and look forward to the future in the presence of your family and friends.

The Eternity ceremony is available to any married or civil partnered couple who wish to renew their commitment in a joyful celebration. It has a format similar to a civil ceremony but with no legal status. It can be personalised and totally unique. Each ceremony lasts about 30 minutes, depending on your requirements. The ceremony can be held at a register office, one of our approved premises or a village hall.

Contact our team to check availability and book an appointment to plan your ceremony.

What you need to do

For  the ceremonies above, you must contact your local Register Office to make an appointment.

At the appointment you can check our availability, book the ceremony and run through your specific requirements.

You will need to:

  • Decide on your Eternity ceremony date, time and venue
  • Check venue availability for your chosen date and time

You can have the ceremony at one of our Register Offices or an approved premises.

Naming and Eternity Ceremony costs

At a Register Office

  • Taunton, Tudor Hall (Monday to Saturday, 100 guests) £525
  • Taunton, Vivary Room (Friday and Saturday only, 40 guests) £325
  • Weston Town Hall, Hutton Suite (Monday to Saturday, 40 guests) £325
  • Weston Town Hall, Council Chamber (Monday to Saturday, 60 guests) £375
  • Yeovil, Abbey Manor (Saturday only, 40 guests) £325

At an approved premises or village hall

  • Monday to Saturday £645
  • Sunday £705
  • Bank Holiday £825

Citizenship ceremonies

In January 2004, the Government introduced a requirement that everyone aged 18 years or over, who is accepted for naturalisation or registration as a British citizen, must take a citizenship oath and pledge at a citizenship ceremony. A citizenship ceremony is a memorable and enjoyable event which celebrates the important occasion of gaining citizenship.

A citizenship ceremony involves new citizens making an oath of allegiance to the King and a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom.

important

After you receive your letter of approval from the Home Office you will be sent a letter from the citizenship ceremonies administrator at Somerset Registration Service confirming the date and time of your ceremony.

You must attend a ceremony within three months of the approval being given, or you may have to make a new application.

Find out more on the GOV.UK website Citizenship ceremonies.

A standard group ceremony

Ceremonies are normally held every four to six weeks on a Tuesday at:

Somerset Register Office
The Old Municipal Buildings
Corporation Street
Taunton
TA1 4AQ

Ceremonies take about 30 minutes, although you will be there for about an hour and a half as this includes registration before the ceremony and photo opportunities after the ceremony.

A standard group citizenship ceremony involves:

  • a welcome address by a registration officer
  • speeches by local dignitaries explaining about what it means to be a British citizen, history of the county, the local community and the ceremony venue
  • the taking of a citizenship oath and pledge
  • presentation of a certificate and an information pack
  • closing address and the playing of the national anthem
  • informal celebration with light refreshments where you or your guests have the opportunity to have your photograph taken

If your children have attained British citizenship with you then they are welcome to attend a ceremony although they do not have to. You can collect their certificate if they do not attend.

Fees

There is no additional fee for a standard group ceremony. Payment for the ceremony was included in the money you have already paid in your application for British citizenship. You will need to pay extra if you choose to have an individual ceremony.

What to bring with you

You need to bring the invitation letter sent to you by the Home Office. If you do not bring your letter, you may not be allowed into the ceremony.

Guests

Your friends and family are welcome to attend the ceremony with you. Unfortunately, space is limited so we must restrict the numbers of guests to two per family.

Individual citizenship ceremonies

If you have a large number of guests, you may like to have an individual citizenship ceremony.

Fees for individual ceremonies

There is an additional charge of £120 for an individual ceremony held in the Somerset Register Office. Individual ceremonies are subject to staff and accommodation availability, and compliance with the Home Office’s deadline for the ceremony to take place.

Applying for a British passport

Once you have received your citizenship certificate you can apply for a passport.

For more information about how to apply for a passport:

Last reviewed: June 10, 2024 by Jenny

Next review due: December 10, 2024

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