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 15 June 2021

Current restrictions

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

Due to social distancing requirements the Middlegate Room is not able to hold the legal maximum of 30 people, the room has seating for up to 10 guests - room layout


Upcoming changes

  • 21 June 2021
    • The number of people who will be able to attend a marriage or civil partnership ceremony will be determined by how many the people the venue can safely accommodate based on their Covid-19 risk assessment. Please note that this step will not change the number of people able to attend a Middlegate Room ceremony, the room has seating for up to 10 guests - room layout
    • Ceremonies no longer need to be restricted to those elements to ensure the marriage or civil partnership is valid in law. Couples will be able to include additional vows / promises and a reading if they wish to do so.
  • Step 4 of the roadmap: expected 19 July (subject to review)


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 should 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 schedule.


  • 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
  • 8 guests*

*Small children (up to 3 years old) who can sit in their parent / guardian’s lap do not have to be counted in the figure, older children who require their own seat do.

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 schedule
  • Conclusion

The following aspects will be excluded from ceremonies taking place prior to 21 June 2021:

  • Readings
  • Additional vows


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?

Yes, you can be walked down the aisle by one person.They will be unable to stand next to you at the front of the aisle 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