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Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

Marriages

  • 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 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 fill out our marriage and civil partnership enquiry form or call 028 9027 0455 or to discuss options for your marriage or civil partnership arrangements.

    Visit nidirect for more information on marriage and registration (link opens in a new window).

    Read our coronavirus updates

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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. 

    If you can’t obtain your officiant’s signature on your notice form during the current restriction period, we will accept a copy of an email from the officiant. The email should come from the officiant’s email address or church, denomination or belief organisation email address to one of the parties to the marriage and should contain:

    • the names of the parties and the date of marriage
    • a statement from the officiant saying that they are willing to act as officiant at the marriage
    • for a religious officiant – name, address and denomination of the officiant
    • for a belief marriage – name, address and organisation.
  • 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.

    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 - 3.40pm. Please select the ‘short appointments’ option on the form 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.

    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. 

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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.

    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 - 3.40pm. Please select the ‘short appointments’ option on the form 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.

    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. 

  • 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.

    Download the marriage notice form from nidirect’s website

    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 (link opens in new window) 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 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 marriage 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.

    More information

    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).

  • 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.

    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.

    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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