Weddings and ceremonies

Wedding FAQs

First, you need to decide if you would like a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony.

See our page on how to plan your wedding for more information on what you need to do for a civil wedding ceremony.

Church of England

Contact the Minister of the parish where one or both of you reside(s). The Registration Service is not normally involved.

Other denominations

Firstly contact your Minister, who will explain what needs to take place. One or both of you should reside in the council area where the place of worship is situated or it should be the usual place of worship of one or both of you.

You will both need to give your notice of marriage to your local Registration Office.

If you live in Northamptonshire you can book your notice appointment online:

Book an appointment

​You can make a booking for the registrar to attend your ceremony and you will still need to follow the procedure for giving notice of marriage to your local Registration Office.

You can marry or join in a civil partnership in any registration office or approved venue in England or Wales.

However you both need to give your notice of marriage or civil partnership to the registrar in the council area where you both live, and you need to have lived there for at least nine days before giving your notices.

If you live in Northamptonshire you can book your notice appointment online:

Book an appointment

​Firstly you should contact your chosen venue to check dates and times they have available. Then complete the online enquiry form to enquire about registrar availability:

Make an enquiry

No problem, however you still need to give your notices to the registration service in the council area where you live. You will  need to have lived there for at least 9 days before giving your notices.

Book a registrar

It is your responsibility to book a Northamptonshire registrar for the ceremony. To check our availability complete on online enquiry form:

Make an enquiry

Book your venue

It is also your responsibility to book an approved venue. The council cannot book venues on your behalf.

​Your notice of marriage or civil partnership has to be displayed in a public area for 29 days, however, we suggest you allow a minimum of one month.

There are procedures in place to reduce the 29 day waiting period in exceptional circumstances for example, where either the bride or groom is seriously ill.

Please contact Northamptonshire Registration Service for advice immediately.

If a close relative is terminally ill it may be possible to help but this would be subject to any legal restrictions.

​You can, but there are some restrictions where either of the couple are subject to immigration control even if you have indefinite leave to remain in England and Wales.

For details of the restrictions and how to satisfy them, GOV.UK: marriages and civil partnerships page if you’re a foreign national. Should you have other queries about immigration matters, please visit GOV.UK: visas and immigration.

There are differences in law between civil partnership and civil marriage. A civil partnership is formed when the second partner signs the Civil Partnership Schedule. A civil marriage is formed when the couples have exchanged their declaratory and contracting vows.

Opposite sex couples can opt for a religious or civil marriage ceremony as they choose, whereas formation of a civil partnership will be an exclusively civil procedure. There are also differences in the content of a marriage and a civil partnership ceremony.

Same sex couples can be married in religious institutions if the religious institution specifically opt in to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 to do so, with written authorisation from their governing authority to allow for a place of worship to be registered for same sex marriages. It is a matter for the individual religious organisations whether they wish to do so.

A comparison between civil partnership and same sex marriage can be found on the GOV.UK website.

​The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into effect 29 March 2014.

The Act gave same sex couples not already in a legal relationship the choice to marry or form a civil partnership through a civil ceremony.

The Act also provided approved venues with automatic approval for the marriage of same sex couples on their premises.

The Act also introduced the option for a conversion from a civil partnership to a marriage.

​A booking for a wedding or civil partnership can be taken up to two years prior to the ceremony.

Legal notice may be given up to 12 months in advance of the ceremony day.

We strongly advise you to book with us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

To check our availability complete an online enquiry form:

Make an enquiry

​Please visit our fees page for up to date fees information.

​In every case if you are under 18 when notice is to be given you will need to obtain written consent.

In order to establish whose consent is required in law, for either marriage or civil partnership, visit GOV.UK: marriages and civil partnerships.

This is a printable copy of the consent form.

For specific information about getting married abroad, please visit our getting married abroad page.

​It’s up to you, but each registration service ceremony room has a maximum seating number.

Please visit the registration offices pages for seating capacity or contact the approved venue.

​Whilst the choice is yours, a civil ceremony (marriage or civil partnership) cannot have any religious content.

For a wedding or civil partnership ceremony, complete the online planning form and we will review your choices and let you know if there are any issues:

Plan your ceremony

For wedding or civil partnership registrations, no enhancements can be agreed.

​No, the certificate will be issued on the next working day.

The details that appear on the schedule are entered onto the national database following the registration.

However, you will be given a commemorative certificate following the completion of the civil partnership ceremony. The commemorative certificate has no legal status and is a memento of the occasion.