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Marriages

MARRIAGE / CIVIL PARTNERSHIP CEREMONY RESTRICTIONS

Please be aware that your marriage/civil partnership ceremony must be conducted under the current NI Executive restrictions. 

Marriages and Civil Partnerships

  • Numbers at marriage and civil partnership ceremonies will be determined by a risk assessment carried out by the venue. 
  • Face masks must be worn by all except the couple being married or forming a civil partnership. Current guidance states that children under the age of 12 do not have to wear a face mask.
  • No mixing of households is permitted at a private dwelling therefore it will not be possible for a ceremony to be held indoors as the registrar/officiant is not permitted to enter the premises.
  • Outdoor gathering in a private gardens is restricted to 10 people from two different households. If all other participants at the ceremony are not from the same household the ceremony cannot proceed as the registrar/officiant can be the only person from a separate household. 
  • Can take place in a person’s home if one of the parties is terminally ill with up to 10 people in attendance (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant).
  • A religious/belief officiant can carry out a marriage ceremony at any location in Northern Ireland, it does not have to be an approved venue.  It is the responsibility of the religious/belief officiant to ensure that COVID-19 restrictions are adhered to. 

Marriage and Civil Partnerships from 30 April 2021

  • Numbers at marriage and civil partnership ceremonies will be determined by a risk assessment carried out by the venue.  
  • Face masks must be worn by all except the couple being married or forming a civil partnership. Current guidance states that children under the age of 12 do not have to wear a face mask.
  • No mixing of households is permitted at a private dwelling therefore it will not be possible for a ceremony to be held indoors as the registrar/officiant is not permitted to enter the premises.
  • Can take place in a person’s home if one of the parties is terminally ill with up to 10 people in attendance (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant).
  • Outdoor gatherings in a private garden will be restricted to 15 people (including children) from 3 different households. If all other participants at the ceremony are from two households the ceremony can proceed with the registrar/officiant being the person from the third household. 
  • A religious/belief officiant can carry out a marriage ceremony at any location in Northern Ireland, it does not have to be an approved venue. It is the responsibility of the religious/belief officiant to ensure that COVID-19 restrictions are adhered to. 

Coronavirus Guidance surrounding places of worship(COVID-19): click here

General information

If you plan to get married in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area it is important that you read all the information below carefully. 

Religious same sex marriage became lawful in Northern Ireland from Tuesday 1 September 2020.

Marriage Notice

You must give a minimum of 28 days’ notice to get married. If you don't give 28 days’ notice, you may need to postpone your marriage. You can give notice up to a year before the date of your marriage.

Religious Marriages

Religious ceremonies take place in a church, chapel or other building of worship. Services are conducted by authorised people, according to the relevant tradition.

If you are having a religious ceremony, you still need to give notice at the Registrar’s Office in the District you are getting married in.

Humanist ceremonies

Humanist ceremonies can take place in any location deemed suitable by the Humanist Celebrant. Acomplete list of humanist celebrants authorised by the Northern Ireland General Register Office can be found on the Humanists UK website: https://humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/find-a-celebrant/weddings  

If you are having a humanist ceremony, you still need to give notice at the Registrar’s Office in the District you are getting married in.

Documents Needed to Get Married

Before you can get married, you and your partner need to complete a marriage notice form and produce essential documents.

Download marriage notice form - More Information:  www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro

The following documents must be provided by both you and your partner when returning your marriage notice forms:

  • your full (long version) birth certificate
  • your passport or national identity card - the Registrar can advise on alternatives if you do not hold either of these
  • a consent form (if you are aged 16 or 17)
  • if you have been married before and the marriage was dissolved, a certificate of divorce or annulment or a certified copy decree (decrees must be absolute or final)
  • if you have entered into a civil partnership before, a court order of dissolution for that partnership
  • if you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, the death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner.

All documents must be in English otherwise a translated copy must also be provided.

Please do not post original documents. Payment can be made by cheque, payable to Newry Mourne and Down District Council, or card payment by phoning 0330 137 4041.  

If you need any advice in relation to your wedding, please email registration@nmandd.org or telephone 0330 137 4041

Once you have given notice, we will let you know when you can collect the marriage schedule. Only the prospective bride or groom can collect the marriage schedule and give it to the marriage officiant.

If you have decided to have your ceremony at our Registrar’s Office in either Newry or Downpatrick, or at one of our approved venues, please contact us for availability and advice.

Contact Details

Email: registration@nmandd.org

Telephone: 0330 137 4041