MARRIAGE AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIP
Marriage and civil partnership
Congratulations to you both!
Our website has lots of useful information to help you achieve your special day – from the legal preliminaries to personalising your ceremony.
Marriage, according to the law of this country, is the union of two people of the same or opposite sex, voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others. It is made by a verbal contract between two people.
A civil partnership is a written contract, with or without a ceremony, and currently can only be formed between two people of the same sex. It is an opportunity to formally pledge love and commitment to each other and gives same sex couples the same legal rights as married couples.
The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act received Royal Assent on 26 March 2019. The date of implementation has yet to be confirmed but the legislation requires that this is no later than 31 December 2019. The civil partnerships processes for opposite sex couples will be in line with the current arrangements for same sex couples.
Until a date and the legal processes have been confirmed we are unable to take any bookings.
Further information can be obtained from the Government Equalities Office www.gov.uk/government/organisations/government-equalities-office
What is a civil ceremony?
A civil ceremony is a non-religious ceremony. A civil marriage or civil partnership can be contracted at any council ceremony room or venue approved by the local authority in England or Wales. There is no limit to how far in advance you can book the ceremony. We do not accept bookings made by third parties.
Approved venue ceremonies
There are over 85 approved venues for ceremonies in Cambridgeshire, a list of which can be found on our venues page. Each venue will advise you on the maximum number of guests that can be accommodated and welcome you to visit them and see their facilities. These ceremonies are available every day and conducted on the hour. We recommend you contact us to check if staff are available at the date and time you want before paying a deposit to the venue. Ceremonies are conducted on the hour.
You can only have a ceremony outdoors from March to October if the venue has approval by the local authority for a fixed, permanent outside structure. It is up to the registrar to decide on the day if the ceremony can be conducted outdoors. You, your witnesses and the registration officers need to be within the structure for the duration of the ceremony. You have agreed to this in accepting the terms and conditions of your booking, which are shown in a link in the email we send you.
Council ceremony rooms
You can have a ceremony in a council ceremony room, The Brooke Room (Cambridge), The Keats Room (Huntingdon), The Tennyson Room (Ely) or The Wordsworth Room (March) within our offices Monday to Saturday. Please note that not all offices are open every day. These offices are equally as nice for a small ceremony.
For more detailed information on what you are legally required to do prior to a marriage or civil partnership, please look at the legal requirements page.
To book a ceremony in Cambridgeshire:
please ensure you have read all the information on this page and in our ceremony brochure, which gives you information on the legal requirements and our services.
ceremonies can only be booked 45 days ahead. If you need a ceremony urgently within the 45 days, please phone 0345 045 1363, select ceremonies option and leave a message if call is not answered.
provided you are both legally free to marry or enter into a civil partnership (any divorce MUST already be finalised and granted by the court and you have a copy of the decree absolute) and are both EEA nationals, please use the ceremony booking form .(if at least 45 days ahead)
if we are able to do so, we will provisionally book your ceremony and reply explaining when and where you need to give notice and the date by which you need to do so, which is usually one month after your booking or by eleven months prior to your ceremony. This is to confirm the booking with us. Any changes after this incur an amendment fee. If we are unable to book, we will contact you by your preferred method to discuss the matter further.
please let us know if you cancel the ceremony to release space for someone else to book.
bookings are accepted on the basis that you agreed to the terms and conditions attached in a link in your confirmation email.
To enquire about giving notice in Cambridgeshire:
please ensure you have read all the information contained on the legal requirements page, our terms and conditions and in our ceremony guide, which gives you further information.
provided you are both legally free to marry or enter into a civil partnership (any divorce/dissolution MUST already be finalised and granted by the court ) and are both British/EEA nationals, know where you are having your ceremony and have at least the minimum residency requirement, please phone 0345 045 1363 option 1.. The phones are staffed Monday to Friday 8 - 6 and Saturday 9 - 1. Please have a payment card ready as an admin fee is taken when booking your appointment. This will be converted to your notice fee should the appointment be successful.
If you live outside Cambridgeshire, you need to book your notice appointment with your local register office. If you live outside England and wales, contact us for details of how to establish residency.
If you have any other enquiry, or are not British/EEA and wish to book a notice appointment, please use the general enquiry form.
For a marriage in the Church of England or the Church in Wales, contact the vicar of the church and make your arrangements. If you are a British or EEA citizen, you do not need to contact us. If you are not British, nor a member of the EEA, you will need to give notice at a designated register office in order to complete the legal preliminaries before your marriage. See further information on the legal requirements page.
For a marriage of other denominations, your minister will tell you if you need to book a registrar to attend the marriage, which we advise you do by completing our ceremony booking form as soon as you have set the date. You both need to complete legal preliminaries by giving notice of intention to marry before your marriage, details of which we will give to you when booking. Please note there is an admin fee payable for reissuing marriage authorites if you misplace them.
You can have a civil partnership in a religious building providing it has approval for civil partnership ceremonies.
If you are British and marrying abroad, you may need to produce a Certificate of No Impediment, which can be done at the office local to where you live. You do not need to contact us once back in the UK; just be sure you have purchased enough marriage certificates as duplicates will have to be purchased from the place you married. Gov.uk has information about marrying aboard, translation and legalisation of documents, otherwise known as an Apostille.
You are very welcome to have animals or birds (pets or otherwise) on the premises at an Approved Venue. All we ask is that they are not in the room when you / your future spouse’s details are being checked nor in the ceremony room itself (and outdoor spaces in the immediate vicinity of approved outdoor "rooms") until after we have left.
Formally registered assistance animals are permitted, with prior agreement from ourselves - for example guide dogs and hearing dogs who are important to their owners at ceremonies. Please provide details so we can make a note on your booking to inform those attending on your special day.
Change of name on passports
If you are giving notice in Cambridgeshire, please take the completed form to your notice appointment and it will be finalised for you at the end of the appointment and the fee taken.
If you have already given notice, or are giving notice outside Cambridgeshire, send your completed form to The Ceremonies Team, Lawrence Court, Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA and include your telephone number so that we can phone you from 9 - 4 to take payment. If you do not enclose an SAE you will be charged postage. Please note we cannot deal with your application immediately if delivered in person. Your amended passport will not be issued until three months before the ceremony.
Conversion of civil partnership to marriage
If you wish to convert your civil partnership to a marriage or have any other enquiry, please complete our general enquiry form and we will contact you within 3 working days.