Organising a marriage ceremony can be a complicated process but it’s one thousands choose to take part in every year. In fact in 2014, there were more than 247,000 weddings celebrated in England and Wales according to figures published today by the Office for National Statistics. Since the legalisation of same-sex marriage in England and Wales in 2014, more than 15,000 same-sex couples have tied the knot and many more couples have plans to in the coming years.

The average length of an engagement in the UK is 16 months – giving couples plenty of time to dream up and decide on requirements for their big day. Research, conducted by jewellery brand Vashi, found the majority of brides-to-be had spent the equivalent of 36 days solely planning their wedding, whilst up to 19 per cent had admitted to spending more than 60 days organising their perfect day.

A lot of pressure can be felt on both the celebrants and registrars when organising a wedding – with even the term ‘bridezilla’ making it into the Oxford Dictionary. When faced with so many pre-wedding decisions, from the venue to the vows, it can all seem a little overwhelming for some couples. Conscious their wedding day will be remembered in family and friend’s photo frames for years to come, the burden on couples to get it right first time will certainly be felt.

However it’s not only the bride and groom who may feel the pressure of their coming nuptials. With registrars expected to be on hand at all hours either over the phone or face-to-face, the amount of time spent answering routine questions for separate couples is likely to add up.

One way to help reduce the pressure on registrars whilst allowing celebrants to plan in peace is to implement a Ceremony Planner. Using an online planner to organise a wedding can be of great benefit to both registrars and couples.

Improve ceremony management

Using the online Ceremony Planner, couples can submit vows, readings, personal promises and music for approval working chronologically through a visual colour-coded list of ceremony choices. Their preparation progress is monitored through a percentage bar displayed on the ceremony dashboard and any due tasks are highlighted in orange, with overdue tasks highlighted in red.

The planner allows integrated payments, meaning celebrants can be prompted of and pay for wedding related fees online without the need for manual reminders. The planner has the ability for registrars to add on extra features to market to couples such as selling additional certificates or buying confetti.

Reduce costs through channel shift

The Ceremony Planner has a FAQ page which can be modernised by registrars, providing up-to-date information that can be used as a resource by celebrants to refer to when seeking answers to common questions. If a couple has a question that isn’t answered by the FAQ, users can submit their query through the Ceremony Planner’s ‘Ask the Registrar’ feature. Questions are submitted through to the registrar who can reply when they have time free.

The feature works like an email system and so won’t interrupt important duties or require a member of staff to be monitoring the system constantly. Moving the majority of interactions and payments online helps to keep costs low by reducing the number of appointments needed before each ceremony with the registrar.

Reduce the pressure

Decreasing the amount of appointments not only helps to cut costs but also allows a couple to discuss decisions regarding their ceremony at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home. Instead of wasting time arranging and rearranging meetings with registrars to run past ideas with all parties present, choices can be put forward and confirmed online.

If you are interested in finding out how a Ceremony Planner could work within your register office or have any questions regarding the planner, why not contact Stopford today and see how we can help?