MARRIAGE/ CIVIL PARTNERSHIP CEREMONY RESTRICTIONS from the 26 December 2020
Please be aware that your marriage/civil partnership ceremony must be conducted under the current NI Executive restrictions.
Marriages and Civil Partnerships
- Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies are limited to 25 people this includes the couple, witnesses, officiant and all guests (including children under 12).
- Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies are not permitted to take place at a private dwelling, including the garden, unless one party is terminally ill.
- Can take place in a person’s home if one of the parties is terminally ill with up to10 people in attendance (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant).
Civil Partnership ceremonies are conducted by the Registrar and take place in the designated Office venues or in another venue which has been licensed for partnership ceremonies. See: Approved Places for Civil Partnerships.
A Civil Partnership is a relationship between two people of the same sex, which is formed when they register as civil partners of one another. Two people can register provided:
- They are the same sex
- Neither of them is already a civil partner or is legally married
- They are 18 or above on the day of the ceremony (consent must be obtained for those aged between 16 and 18)
- They are not related to one another in a way that would prevent them from having a civil partnership.
Booking Your Civil Partnership Registration
You may make a provisional booking by telephoning the office in the district you wish to have your Civil Partnership in. This will reserve the date, time and the Registrar until official notice is given.
You do not however have to initially make a provisional booking; you may just make a definite booking by completing the following:
How and When to Give Official Notice
Notice of Civil Partnership may be given within 12 months of the date of the Civil Partnership. Both partners must each complete a Notice Form and bring or send them to the Registration Office the Civil Partnership is to take place once within the 12 months, but preferably no later than 10 weeks before the date of the registration.
A Civil Partnership Notice Form helps the Registrar collect information about the ceremony and prepare details for registration.
Notice forms are available from any of the Northern Ireland Registration Offices or by downloading from www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro.
The fees should be accompanied with the Notice Forms and all required documents.
Once the Registration Office receives the two notice forms, fees and documents, the Notice takes effect from that date. Then, the earliest possible civil partnership registration would be 28 days later (depending on availability and circumstances).
Essential Documents To Be Produced
All documents must be originals ie not photocopies and if not in English, accompanied by a certified translation. These documents must be produced when giving notice. Failure to do so will mean postponement.
A Full Birth Certificate (long version) showing parents details.
- If you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, the death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner.
- If divorced - a decree absolute or a dissolution of Civil Partnership Certificate. A decree nisi is not acceptable.
- If reverted back to a maiden name - the last marriage certificate must be produced.
- If 16 or 17 years – Consent. Consent Forms are available from Registrar.
Passport or National Identity Card
When you register a life event such as a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership, you can buy a certificate for £8 from the Registrar only at the time of registration.
Our registration offices in Downpatrick and Newry no longer sell additional birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificates at any time after registration.
If you require additional certificates you need to order and buy them from the General Register Office in Belfast - www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro.
General Register Office
Belfast BT9 5RR
Telephone: 0300 200 7890