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Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

Approved venues

  • Coronavirus update

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

    • Numbers at marriage and civil partnership ceremonies are determined by a risk assessment completed by the venue. 
    • For indoor ceremonies, 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.
    • Guidelines state that up to 10 people from three households (not including children under 12) are permitted in a private dwelling. This means that a marriage can take place in a private dwelling if all other guests at the marriage or civil partnership are from two households with the registrar or officiant being from the third household. If a single household has 10 members, the maximum number is increased to 15 from three households.
    • Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies 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).
    • All restrictions have been removed in relation to the number of people that are permitted in a private garden. This means a ceremony can take place in a private garden by a registrar or officiant.
    • Live music is permitted at marriage and civil partnership ceremonies and the provision of live music should be considered by the venue during the completion of the risk assessment.
    • A religious or 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 or belief officiant to ensure that COVID-19 restrictions are adhered to.

    The NI Executive have produced a guidance booklet for marriages, civil partnerships or other celebratory events (link opens in new window).

    If you have any queries, please email with your contact details or call 028 9027 0455 and we will contact you as soon as possible.

    Find out about our updates on marriages and civil partnerships.

    Read our coronavirus updates.

  • Arranging your day

    If you are considering a date in the future to have your ceremony at an approved venue, please contact the registration office for availability and advice.

    Email us at and provide a contact telephone number.

    It is very important that you check the availability of a Registrar for the day of your ceremony and your chosen location before you pay a deposit with the venue. Ceremonies can be at 12noon or 3pm, Monday to Saturday. 

  • Approved venues

    There are several places in Belfast which have licences to hold civil marriage and partnership ceremonies, subject to the availability of a registrar. You can view a full list of venues on nidirect's website (link opens in new window).

  • Fees

    The following prices apply to civil weddings and civil partnerships in an approved venue:

    • weekdays - £213
    • Saturdays - £280
    • bank holidays - £312

    Fees should be paid when you return your notice forms, before your ceremony.

  • Details of your ceremony

    You can find details of the ceremony format, including information about your dress, music and flowers in our marriages and civil partnerships brochure. 

  • Three-year marriage and civil partnership licences for venues

    Under the Marriage (Northern Ireland) Order 2003, we can grant other venues, such as hotels and restaurants, a three-year licence to hold civil marriage and partnership ceremonies, subject to a successful application.

    A three-year licence to hold civil marriage and partnership ceremonies costs £400. 

    Please call 028 9027 0455 or email with your contact details to request an application form. You will need to provide certain documentation with your application.


    We will assess and acknowledge your application within ten days of receiving it. A decision will be made within three months, provided all the necessary requirements have been met.

    We may also inspect your premises to make sure they comply with health and safety laws.

    If your application is rejected, we will notify you in writing with a reason why your application wasn’t successful. 

    Under the Marriage (Northern Ireland) Order 2003, we have to give public notice of all three-year applications. This means that members of the public have the right to object to your application, once public notice has been given. 

Registration office

028 9027 0455

Belfast City Hall, Belfast, BT1 5GS

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