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Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

Civil partnerships

  • Coronavirus update

    Government restrictions are in place for marriage 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 six people from two 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 one household with the registrar or officiant being from the second household.   
    • 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).
    • Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies in private gardens are restricted to 15 people (including children) from three different households. Ceremonies can take place in a private garden if all other participants at the ceremony are from two households with the registrar or officiant being from the third household.
    • 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).

    Please email the Registration Office registrar@belfastcity.gov.uk with your contact details or call on 028 9027 0455 to discuss options for your marriage or civil partnership arrangements.

    We have allocated two rooms in City Hall to accommodate couples who are having ceremonies while still maintaining social distancing. 

    Visit nidirect for information on civil partnership ceremony restrictions (link opens in a new window).

    Read our coronavirus updates

  • Notice period

    If you plan to celebrate your civil partnership in Belfast, it is important that you read all of the information. 

    You must give at least 28 days’ notice to register a civil partnership. If you don't give it in time, you may need to postpone your civil partnership. You can give notice up to a year before the date of your civil partnership. We recommend a period of 10 to 12 weeks’ notice.

    Please send your original completed civil partnership 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.  Contact us to discuss payment or you can send a cheque, made payable to Belfast City Council. 

  • Documents needed to form a civil partnership

    Before you can form a civil partnership in Belfast, you and your partner need to complete the civil partnership notice form and produce certain documents.

    Download civil partnership notice form

    If you're a non-EEA citizen, please read nidirect's information on registering civil partnerships in Northern Ireland. (link opens in new window)

    Essential documents

    You and your partner should provide the following documents when you return your civil partnership 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) - these are available from the registrar
    • if you have entered into a civil partnership before, a court order of dissolution for that partnership
    • 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 been married more than once, only the documents for your most recent marriage are required
    • if you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, the death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner.

    Presenting your original documents

    You will need an appointment to present your original documents and wedding day information form before your ceremony. There will be an opportunity to talk with one of the registrars and ask any questions about your day.

    Appointments are available from Monday to Friday, 11am - 12.20pm, at City Hall. Please select the ‘short appointments’ option on the form and then 'civil ceremony final appointment' from the list when booking.

    Book an 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.

    If you are unable to come into City Hall, you can still present the documents on the day of your ceremony.

  • Fees

    Civil partnership fees

    Price

    Civil partnerships in registrar's office (Belfast City Hall)

    £180 weekdays

    £306 Saturdays

    £360 bank holidays

    Civil partnerships in approved venues

    £213 weekdays

    £280 Saturdays

    £312 bank holidays

    Civil partnerships in a venue of your choice

    £213 weekdays

    Plus £400 to apply for a temporary marriage licence

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

    New legislation came 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. These are available from Monday to Thursday at 3.30pm. You need to submit your application form before your appointment.   

    Book an appointment

    If you would prefer to have a ceremony to sign the conversion with family and friends attending, you can book this with the Registration Office by calling 028 9027 0455. The registrar will advise you on completing your application forms and documentation needed. Ceremony fees and room hire will apply.  

    Ceremonies will take place under the current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

    If you have completed your appointment booking online, 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.

    Application forms

    Please complete and send your application form to us before your appointment. We will then enter your information onto our system and submit this to the General Register Office (GRO) for authorisation. This is completed beforehand so you both can sign the declaration at your appointment.

    The application forms can be downloaded from the nidirect website:

    Send your completed application form, including photocopies of your marriage or civil partnership certificates and photocopies of photographic ID (preferably passports), to:
    Registration, 
    City Hall, 
    Belfast 
    BT1 5GS. 

    Please don’t post or drop off your original certificates or passports. You will need to bring the originals to your appointment.

    Ordering copies of civil partnership certificate

    You will need your civil partnership or marriage certificate for the conversion. If you need a copy of this, call the General Register Office on 030 0200 7890 or visit nidirect’s website (link opens in new window) to request a copy.

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

  • More information

    Please visit nidirect for more guidance on civil partnerships

Registration office

registrar@belfastcity.gov.uk

028 9027 0455

Belfast City Hall, Belfast, BT1 5GS

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