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Civil Marriages and Partnerships

The Marriage (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 and The Marriage (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2003.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 and The Civil Partnership Regulations 2005.

Civil marriage (different sex partners) and civil partnership (same sex partners) ceremonies may be performed at a place approved by the Local Authority.

Types of Place for Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships

A place may include any premises, fixed buildings, temporary structures, land and any vessels.

Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships in approved places may be followed by a celebration, commemoration or blessing of the couple's own choice, provided that this does not claim to be a religious marriage and that it is distinct from the civil ceremony.

A place approval lasts for 3 years.

Temporary Approvals

A Temporary Approval for a Civil Marriage or Civil Partnership may be granted for a, one-off ceremony.

Places Not Acceptable

Approval would not be given to any place with a recent or continuing connection with any religion or religious practice. For example, a church or chapel or a private chapel in a stately home.

Notes for Couples Intending to Apply for Place Approval

As soon as you have made provisional arrangements for your marriage at an approved place in the Newry, Mourne and Down District you should contact the Registrar at Newry Town Hall, Bank Parade, Newry, Telephone: 0330 137 4041 or Downshire Civic Centre, Downshire Estate, Ardglass Road, Downpatrick, Telephone: 0330 137 4041.

Any arrangements for the use of a Place for marriage will depend on the Registrar's availability.  It is essential that you make an advance booking with the Registrar.


Place Approval £330 (3 year licence)
Temporary Approval £170
Variation £55

Please note:  when an application for approval for both Civil Marriage and Civil Partnerships is being made at the same time and for the same venue there is an additional administration fee of £52. Therefore the total fee is £382.

Cheques should be made payable to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

How to Apply

Application forms can be obtained from:

Oifig an Iúir Oifig Dhún Padraig
Newry Office Downpatrick Office
Licensing Section Licensing Section
O’Hagan House Downshire Civic Centre, Downshire Estate
Monaghan Row Ardglass Road
Newry Downpatrick
BT35 8DJ  BT30 6GQ
Email: licensing@nmandd.org
Telephone: 0330 137 4030

Or by clicking on the relevant links below:

  • application for place approval for civil marriages civil partnerships
  • application for temporary place approval for civil marriages civil partnerships
  • application for variation
  • guidance notes for civil marriages civil partnerships