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Plan your marriage or civil partnership


When you are planning your marriage or civil partnership, you will, first of all, need to choose what type of ceremony you wish to have.

If you are getting married you can choose to have either a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony but if you are forming a civil partnership you cannot have a religious ceremony.

Civil ceremonies

A civil ceremony may take place in a registration office or other approved venue. The ceremony is conducted by a registration officer and is strictly non-religious. 

For a ceremony at an approved venue, contact your chosen venue direct to make a provisional booking. 

It is recommended that you do not pay a deposit to your chosen venue until you have booked a registrar to conduct your ceremony. 

Religious ceremonies

A religious ceremony may take place in any building of religious worship which has been formally registered for marriage ceremonies.

Church of England or Church in Wales

If you want to marry in an Anglican church, you or your partner would generally have to live within the parish of the church or be a regular worshipper.

If the minister is able to marry you, he or she will arrange for the Banns to be called or for a Common Licence to be issued.

The marriage will also be registered by the minister, and there is generally no need to involve the local registration office. Fees are payable to the minister.

Other places of religious worship

The church or religious building must normally be located within the registration district where you or your partner live or be a place of regular worship for one or both of you.

The service will be conducted by the minister of the venue, but occasionally a registrar is required to register the marriage. A fee of £86 is payable if a registrar is required – you can book a registrar online. A fee will also be payable to the minister.

If you would like to hold your ceremony in a church or other religious building you should contact the minister or other person in charge of the building to find out how to book your ceremony and discuss other arrangements that might need to take place.

Convert a same-sex civil partnership into a marriage

Same-sex couples can convert a civil partnership into a marriage in England or Wales. See GOV.UK: Convert a same-sex civil partnership into a marriage for more information.

Getting married abroad

If you have chosen to get married abroad you should use the GOV.UK – getting married abroad tool to find out what to do next.