Ceremony in the Middlegate Room

Hartlepool Register Office's main ceremony room is situated at the Borough Hall at the heart of the historic Headland. 

Located on the first floor on the Borough Hall with large windows overlooking Hartlepool Bay. There are several locations nearby which are perfect for photographs including the tea gardens to the front of the building, the Town Wall and beach.

The room is fully accessable via lift from the Borough Hall atrium. A car park is located nearby along with on street parking. 

The Borough Hall is to begin a refurbishment programme in 2022, dates to be confirmed.  The Registration Service will be kept up to date on the project programme, if it is established that a ceremony booking could be affected either directly or indirectly by the works we will contact couples with as much notice as possible.


Last updated 13 April 2021

Current restrictions

The current full Government guidance can be viewed at www.gov.uk

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies can take place with a maximum of 15 people in attendance. This number includes the couple, witnesses and guests, but those working, such as the registrars, photographer and venue staff are not included. Please note that due to social distancing requirements the Middlegate Room may be unable to hold 15 attendees. The room layout identifies the maximum number able to attend.


Upcoming changes

The key steps identified in the roadmap are below; the dates shown are subject to the four tests outlined in the roadmap being met at each step. 

  • Step 3: No earlier than 17 May – Legal limit of 30 attendees*
  • Step 4: No earlier than 21 June – No legal limit on attendees (subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme)

The number allowed to attend includes the couple, witnesses and guests, but those working, such as the registrars and venue staff are not included.

*Please note that due to social distancing requirements the Middlegate Room is unable to hold 30 attendees. The room layout will remain in place until social distancing is no longer required.


What will my Middlegate room ceremony be like under Covid-19 restrictions?

The current full Government guidance for marriages and civil partnerships can be viewed at www.gov.uk

Please see below guidance that was set out by the Government and subsequent General Register Office guidance in relation to all marriages and civil partnerships.

Any bookings that are made will be made under the below arrangements. The number of guests able to attend and what the ceremony will look like will be changed if restrictions allow.

  • Ceremonies can only take place in a COVID 19 secure environment – this means that risk assessments for all registration offices and approved venues, maximum capacity and control measures need to be in place and signed off by Hartlepool Borough Council Health & Safety prior to any ceremony being conducted.


  • In order to support the NHS Test and Trace programme Hartlepool Registration Service ask that the couple and guests 'check in' using the NHS Covid-19 mobile phone app. If someone is not able to access the app we will record their contact details (name and telephone number) as well as recording the time they enter and leave the ceremony venue. This information will be held safely and in compliance with GDPR regulations for a period of 21 days and then destroyed / deleted.


  • Social distancing rules of 2m will be observed within the venue and ceremony room.


  • Guests at weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are required to wear a face covering unless they are exempt due to health, age or equality reasons. Further information can be found at www.gov.uk


  • The couple can wear face coverings if they choose to. If a face covering is worn it will need to be removed briefly prior to the ceremony commencing to allow the Registrars to view the couple's faces.


  • Hand sanitiser is to be used prior to entering the room.  Couples and witnesses will also be expected to use hand sanitiser before signing the Register pages.


  • No member of the ceremony party or guest should attend the venue if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, feel unwell or have been told they need to self-isolate / quarantine.  If it is found that someone is unwell, should be isolating / quarantining or that the maximum numbers have been exceeded, the ceremony will not take place and will have to be re-booked.  There will be a fee payable for this change.


How many people can attend a ceremony at the Middlegate Room?

A seating plan of the Middlegate Room can be viewed here

The Middlegate Room is able to accommodate;

  • The couple
  • 2 witnesses
  • 4-8 guests*

*The number of guests able to attend in dependent on the guests’ household make up. Please see the room layout for further information. All the ‘B’ seats marked with an asterisk can only be used if the person in seat ‘A’ is in their household / support bubble.

Small children who can sit in their parent / guardian’s lap do not have to be counted as having a seat, older children who require their own seat do.

Although babies / small children do not have to be counted in the seating plan they are counted in the overall guest number - the maximum number of guests able to attend a ceremony in the Middlegate Room is 13 (including the witnesses).

Any children attending the ceremony must be supervised by a household member.  Any infants attending must be held throughout the ceremony by a household member.


What will the ceremony consist of?

The ceremony will consist of:

  • Welcome
  • Declaratory & contractual vows - legal requirement
  • Exchange of rings (optional)
  • Completion of the Register / Schedule
  • Conclusion

The following aspects will be excluded:

  • Readings
  • Additional vows
  • Certificate presentation


Can I we have bridesmaids, flowergirls, pageboys etc (attendants)?

Unfortunately due to space restrictions in the Middlegate Room it is not possible for attendants to walk into the room ahead of the ceremony party, they must be seated for the commencement of the ceremony. 


Can I be given away?

Social distancing must be maintained at all times during the ceremony. Due to space restrictions in the Middlegate Room if you are not in the same household / support bubble as an escort they will be unable to walk down the aisle with you. While it is possible to be 'given away' the person giving you away will be unable to stand next to you due to space restrictions. They will be seated with the guests and asked to stand at the appropriate point in the ceremony.


Who can hold the rings?

It is not possible for a third party bringing the rings forward, the rings must be held by the couple.


Can music be played?

Music from a CD / flashdrive can be played for the ceremony entrance and exit. It is not possible for live music to be played.


Can we have a photographer?

Yes, you are able to have a photographer.

Please note that the amount of time available for photographs will be limited and the photographer will need to observe the instructions of the Registration Team as to where they can and can not stand.


How do I make a booking?

If you would like to make a booking please contact us to check availability. 

Check availability


How much does a ceremony cost?

Marriage and civil partnership fees


Other information

Renewal of vows

Naming ceremony

Borough Hall information