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Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

Marriages

  • Coronavirus update

    Government restrictions are in place for marriages and civil partnership ceremonies.

    Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies at City Hall are currently limited to 25 people.

    From Friday 27 November, no marriage or civil partnership can take place at any venue that is licensed to sell alcohol, provides accommodation or is currently prevented from opening under the current restrictions.  

    Venues prevented from opening include hotels, restaurants, cafes, social clubs, bed and breakfast establishments, theatres, concert halls, museums, galleries, visitor and other cultural attractions and outdoor visitor attractions.

    Marriages and civil partnership ceremonies can continue to be held at registration offices and places of worship and are limited to 25 people.

    The following restrictions that are currently in place will continue to apply:

    • No mixing of households is allowed at a private dwelling, therefore it will not be possible for a ceremony to be held indoors as the registrar or officiant would not be allowed 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 or linked household, the ceremony cannot proceed as the registrar or officiant can be the only person from a separate household.  
    • Marriages and civil partnerships 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).

    Please call us on 028 9027 0455 or email registrar@belfastcity.gov.uk with your contact details to discuss your marriage or civil partnership arrangements further.

    Visit nidirect for more information on marriage restrictions.

    Marriage notices

    We can only accept new applications for religious and humanist marriage notices at this time. 

    Please send your original completed marriage notice forms, along with relevant documents, to:

    Registration,
    Belfast City Hall
    Belfast BT1 5GS.  

    We will accept photocopies of your birth certificates and passports, but will need to see the originals before the ceremony takes place. You can bring these when you collect your schedule. Contact us to discuss payment or you can send a cheque, made payable to Belfast City Council. 

    Please contact the Registration Office on 028 9027 0455 to discuss giving notice for a civil marriage.

    Collecting your marriage schedule

    You will need an appointment to collect your marriage schedule from City Hall. We cannot issue the schedule more than 14 days before the marriage and only you or your partner can collect it.

    Appointments are available from Monday to Thursday, 3.20pm - 4pm and Friday, 3.20pm - 3.50pm. Please select the ‘short appointments’ option on the form when booking.

    Once you have completed your booking, you will receive a confirmation email with further information about your appointment. If you don’t receive this, please check your junk mail folder.

    If you have any issues booking online, please call us on 028 9027 0290.

    To arrange a marriage and civil partnership ceremony, please call 028 9027 0455 or email registrar@belfastcity.gov.uk with your contact details and we will contact you as soon as possible.

    Returning your marriage schedule

    Please return your marriage schedule within three working days of your ceremony to:
    Registration, 
    Belfast City Hall
    Belfast BT1 5GS. 

    Your marriage certificate will be posted out to you. You can also purchase a copy of the marriage certificate for £8 when you collect your marriage schedule. 

  • Arranging your day

    We can help you organise your special day.

    If you plan to get married in Belfast, it is important that you read all of the information below. Please complete our enquiry form if you need any further advice. 

    An appointment is essential for marriage and civil partnership notices. Please call us on 028 9027 0455 or email registrar@belfastcity.gov.uk and provide a contact telephone number.

  • Marriage notice

    You must give at least 28 days’ notice to get married. If you don't give this in time, you may need to postpone your marriage. 

    You can give notice up to a year before the date of your marriage. We recommend a period of 10 to 12 weeks’ notice for a religious or humanist marriage.

  • Religious marriages

    The ceremony may, with the agreement of the Officiant, take place anywhere in Northern Ireland. Services are conducted by authorised people, according to the relevant tradition.

    You still need to give notice at the Registrar’s office in Belfast City Hall if you are having a religious ceremony. 

    If you are getting married in a different district, for example Newtownabbey, you will give notice in Mossley Mill. You can contact us for advice. 

    Once you have given notice, we’ll let you know when you can collect the schedule. The bride or groom can collect the schedule and give it to the marriage conductor.

  • Civil marriages

    A civil marriage ceremony can be conducted by a registrar or deputy registrar for the district in which it is to take place, or a Humanist celebrant.  

    If you decide to have your ceremony at our Registrar’s office in City Hall, or at one of our approved venues, please contact us for availability and advice.

  • Humanist marriages

    Humanist ceremonies are conducted by a Humanist celebrant. 

    You still need to give notice at the Registration Office in Belfast City Hall if you are having a humanist ceremony in the Belfast district. Once you have given notice, we’ll let you know when you can collect the schedule.

    The bride or groom can collect the schedule and give it to the humanist celebrant.

  • Documents needed

    Before you can get married in Belfast, you and your partner will need to complete a marriage notice form and produce other essential documents. You will need a separate form for each person.

    This still applies if you are having a religious or humanist ceremony. The marriage notice forms must be signed by the religious conductor. You can give notice up to one year in advance of your wedding but must be at least 28 days’ before you get married.

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

    • your full (long version) birth or adoption 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.

    If you're a non-EEA citizen, please read nidirect's information on getting married in Northern Ireland.

    Once the marriage has taken place, the schedule should be returned to the Registration office within three working days for the marriage to be registered. You can then purchase a copy of the marriage certificate for £8. 

  • Marriage fees

    Weddings Fee
    Religious wedding £44

    Civil wedding in Registrar's office (Belfast City Hall)

    £180 weekdays

    £306 Saturdays

    £360 bank holidays

    Civil wedding in an approved venue

    £213 weekdays

    £280 Saturdays

    £312 bank holidays

    Civil wedding in a venue of your choice

    £213 weekdays

    Plus £400 to apply for a temporary marriage licence

    £280 Saturdays
    £312 bank holidays
  • Convert marriage to civil partnership

    New legislation comes into effect on 7 December 2020, enabling couples to convert their same sex civil partnership formed in Northern Ireland to a marriage, or opposite sex marriage formed in Northern Ireland to a civil partnership.

    You can make an appointment to have your conversion at City Hall. Appointments are available from Monday to Thursday at 3.30pm.  

    Once you have completed your booking, you will receive a confirmation email with further information about your appointment. If you don’t receive this, please check your junk or spam mail folder. 

    If you have any issues booking online, please call us on 028 9027 0290.

    Conversions don’t have to take place in the original district where the civil partnership or marriage took place.

    You will need to complete an application form beforehand and will receive information on how to complete and send the form when you book your appointment.

    The application forms can be downloaded from the nidirect website:

    Please check that you have a copy of your civil partnership certificate or marriage certificate. You will require this for the conversion along with other documentation. Call the General Register Office on 030 0200 7890 or visit nidirect’s website (link opens in new window) to get a copy of your certificate.

    You have one year to sign the conversion declaration once the registrars enter your paperwork on to the system. You might like to consider this if you want a ceremony and can contact the Registration Office on 028 90 270 455 to arrange a date and time for this. Ceremony fees will apply. 

    Further information on converting a marriage to civil partnership and civil partnership to marriage can be found on the nidrect website (link opens in new window).

  • Getting married outside of Northern Ireland

    If you live in Northern Ireland and want to get married outside of NI, you may need to provide a document showing that you are free to marry. In this case, you will need to complete a marriage notice application form in order to apply for a certificate of legal capacity to marry (Certificate of non-impediment).

    You must submit your application in the district of your home address and proof of home address is required before the application will be accepted. The usual supporting documents for a marriage application are also required. A fee of £22 per certificate is payable on submission of the application.

    When the marriage notice form has been submitted, the certificate of legal capacity to marry will be issued after at least 28 days have passed. 

    You will then need to book an appointment with us to collect your certificate. Appointments are available from Monday to Friday. Please select the ‘short appointments’ option on the form to book your appointment.

    Once you have completed your booking, you will receive a confirmation email with further information about your appointment. If you don’t receive this, please check your junk mail folder.

    If you have any issues booking online, please call us on 028 9027 0290.

    For more information on getting married outside of Northern Ireland, visit nidirect’s website (link opens in new window).
     

  • More information

    Please visit nidirect's website for more guidance on marriage procedures

Registration office

registrar@belfastcity.gov.uk

028 9027 0455

Belfast City Hall, Belfast, BT1 5GS

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