“Civil registration is a vital service that affects everyone at some point in their lives. We are therefore in a position to be able to help others during key stages of life from the joyous occasion of a birth, the celebration of a marriage or civil partnership and the difficult and emotional time of registering the death of a loved one”. - Rhiannon Pugh, Superintendent Registrar and Registration Service Manager, along with Menna Jones, Deputy Superintendent Registrar and Gwyneira Edwards, Registration and Ceremonies Officer.
Menna: I’m a qualified Nurse, Midwife and Health Visitor and wanted a change of career. I was interested in registration and the work that it involves. I saw the job advertised so I applied and I have now been here for four years!
Gwyneira: After leaving school I studied a two year bilingual Secretarial Course at the College of Further Education in Aberystwyth. I have always worked in an Office and in my last post before I joined the Council I worked there for twenty-eight years. I fancied a new challenge and joined the Council nine years ago with the Customer Service team. I then joined the Registration Service team about five years ago, following my interest in family genealogy and meeting different people every day.
Rhiannon: After practising law for a short while I decided I wanted a change in career and was searching for a job which would enable me to return home to Ceredigion. I remember attending a friend’s wedding ceremony years ago and being intrigued by the work undertaken by the registrar. Therefore, when I came across a position being advertised within the registration service, I just had to apply.
I’m very lucky that I’ve found a job I really enjoy and I work with such an amazing team. Through my work I have been fortunate enough to conduct friends and family members’ marriage ceremonies, which has been a wonderful honour and experience. For me, the best aspect of my work is the opportunity it provides to meet so many different people and assist couples to plan a ceremony which is truly personal to them. Some couples want a very simple and intimate ceremony with others opting for a larger celebration. I realise that it’s a complete privilege to conduct a ceremony and play a part in a couple’s special day, so I’ll work with them to create a memorable experience.
Every day work
Gwyneira: There is such a range of different tasks that we as such a small team have to deal with. The work can be tough and demanding but we endeavour to provide excellent customer service.
Rhiannon: Generally, people consider us as a service who only deal with the statutory registration of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, but we deal with so much more. As we hold Ceredigion’s historical birth, death and marriage registers dating back to 1837 we will gladly help with family history searches and issue copy certificates from our records. We enjoy this aspect as it’s absolutely fascinating searching through these precious registers. In terms of celebrations, we conduct commitment or renewal of vows ceremonies and even baby naming ceremonies. We also conduct citizenship ceremonies, which is the final step for successful applicants to undertake in becoming British citizens.
Menna: For weddings, there is a lot of preparation work that goes on behind the scenes.
Gwyneira: Of course there are legal formalities to ceremonies which we must adhere to but we try to be as creative as possible when tailoring our ceremony scripts according to couple’s needs. We’ll consider most things, so if you have any specific requests, get in touch!
There is no typical day
Rhiannon: Every day is different and it certainly is not a typical office job. The summer months are usually our busiest period for attending marriages and civil partnerships with ceremonies able to be conducted every day of the week! On a typical Saturday we may have several ceremonies to attend, therefore it can get rather challenging rushing around Ceredigion to make sure we arrive at venues on time.
Menna: There are very different aspects to the role which makes it such an interesting job. As our service is demand led, we are unsure what we’ll be helping with when we start work for the day.
During the course of a day, my first appointment could be registering a birth, followed by death registration appointments. Then in the afternoon I may have to leave the office and go to register a wedding elsewhere. Although the process of registration may be the same, the experience is very different as you get to meet different people at different stages in their lives.
Planning a Ceremony?
Rhiannon: If you’ve recently got engaged or planning a ceremony, then please do not hesitate to contact us to find out about our range of services and where ceremonies can take place. Marriages and civil partnerships can be held at churches, registered buildings and at the ceremony rooms located at the Register Office. We also have a number of approved venues licensed for civil marriages and civil partnerships. These wonderful venues include hotels, restaurants, a museum, library and even a rugby club. So there is plenty of choice to suit all tastes and requirements.
On the 31 December 2019, legislation came into force to extend the provision of civil partnerships enabling opposite sex couples to enter a civil partnership for the first time.
You can contact the Registration Service by phoning us on 01970 633 580, e-mail your enquiry to email@example.com or come and speak to one of our friendly team members at our main office located in Canolfan Rheidol, Aberystwyth.