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COVID-19 UPDATE: Marriage/Civil Partnership Ceremony Restrictions from 22 September 2020

Please be aware that your marriage/civil partnership ceremony must be conducted under the current NI Executive restrictions.  In all instances outlined below, social distancing rules must be adhered to.

Marriages and Civil Partnerships

  • 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 would not be permitted to enter the premises.
  • Outdoor gatherings at a private dwelling (including the garden of the dwelling) is restricted to six people from two different households.  Children aged 12 and under from those two households are discounted from this total.  If all other participants at the ceremony are not from the same household the ceremony cannot proceed as the registrar 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 six people in attendance (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant).
  • Indoor gatherings in a non-private location e.g. hotel, religious location, registration office can proceed.  The number attending must be discussed and agreed with the venue who will determine attendance based on the size of the venue and the ability to socially distance.
  • Outdoor gatherings in non-private dwelling locations can proceed.  The NI Executive have stated that certain events can have more than 15 people attending including marriage and civil partnership ceremonies as long as a risk assessment is carried out. The number attending must be discussed and agreed with the venue who will determine attendance based on the size of the venue and the ability to socially distance.     

General Information

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

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.

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

Civil Marriages

Once you have given notice, we’ll let you know when you can collect the marriage schedule. Only the 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.

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.

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 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 shown

If you are a non-EEA citizen, please read NI Direct’s Information on getting married in Northern Ireland for further information on the requirements.

Marriage Fees 

Please call us on 0330 137 4041 or email us at registration@nmandd.org to enquire about fees for your Civil Marriage or Civil Partnership Ceremony.

Legal Requirements

To marry in Northern Ireland, you and your partner must be:

  • aged 18 or above on the day of your wedding (consent is needed if either of you is aged 16 or 17)
  • unrelated to one another in a way that would prevent you from getting married
  • free to marry, for example, neither of you is already legally married or in a civil partnership to someone of the same sex.
  • Capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to the marriage