Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

Wedding rings

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Your marriage or civil partnership ceremony is very unique and personal to you. We want to do everything we can to ensure that you enjoy your ceremony.

We will offer guidance, suggestions and give you the opportunity to discuss your requirements before your memorable day. Please contact the Register Office for further information. 

In order to get married or to register a civil partnership, couples must be over 18 (or provide evidence of parental/guardian consent if aged 16 or 17), not closely related to each other and be free to marry one another i.e. not in an existing marriage or civil partnership. We can offer information on the following:

  • Legal requirements for marriage and civil partnerships
  • Religious Marriages
  • Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 

Read our Ceremonies brochure for further information about Ceremonies in Stockton-on-Tees and Stockton Register Office.


Legal requirements

If you wish to marry or form a civil partnership you must declare you are free legally and lawfully to do so, this is called giving 'Notice'. It is a legal requirement to give formal notice of intention to marry or form a civil partnership to the Superintendent Registrar in the district in which you live. This may or may not be the same district where the ceremony is to take place. If you live in different districts you must each give a separate notice to the Superintendent Registrar of your own district.

Giving notice means making a legal declaration that you are both free to marry each other and will require you to provide certain documents and pay a statutory fee. You may do this up to one year before the date of the ceremony and it must be done in person. If you are getting married at the Register Office, in an 'approved premise' or another religious building (except Church of England) you should give your notice of marriage within 12 months of the date of the wedding.

You will need to make an appointment at the Register Office and provide the following documentation:

(A fee for non-attendance of Notice of Intention to Marry/Form a Civil Partnership appointment may be made when a customer does not cancel/re-arrange the appointment.)

  • Valid British passport, and/or
  • Full Birth Certificate (if you were born after 1983 and do not hold a valid passport you will need to provide your full birth Certificate, along with your mother's Birth Certificate). Please note that if you hold a valid passport it is not an essential requirement to see your birth certificate.
  • Proof of current address e.g. Driving Licence, current council tax bill, bank statement dated within 1 month or a utility bill dated within 3 months of the appointment.
  • If you have previously been through any form of marriage or civil partnership and have now divorced we need to see the Decree Absolute/Dissolution Order with a County Court stamp.
  • If you have previously been married and your spouse has died we need to see a copy of the death certificate. If you were not the informant of the death we will also need to see a copy of the marriage certificate.
  • If you have changed your name by deed poll or statutory declaration we will need to see evidence of this.

The notice of marriage will be displayed the day following your appointment and will remain on display for 28 clear days prior to a ceremony taking place.

Anyone who knows of a legal reason to object to the proposed marriage can do so within this timescale.

The schedule is valid for 12 months but is restricted to the venue for which it has been issued. If the schedule expires before the ceremony takes place or you wish to change the venue then new notices will have to be given and another statutory fee paid.

If either or both of you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland and wish to get married in England or Wales please contact the Register Office for further information and advice.  

From 1 July 2021, if one or both of you is not:

1. A British Citizen

2. An Irish Citizen

3. A person who has been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme 4. (EUSS) i.e. who has the right to live, work and remain in the UK indefinitely, free from Immigration Control.

4. A person who has applied to the EUSS (on or before 30 June 2021) but is awaiting approval of their application and has been issued with a certificate of application.

Then you will need to contact us for further advice. If you one or both of you are subject to immigration control you should arrange to give notice of marriage at your local Register Office before booking a date for your ceremony as the notice period of 28 days may be extended to 70 days in some cases.

If you would like more information on where you can hold your ceremony in the Borough, please see ceremonies brochure.


Non-Statutory Additional Celebratory Commemoration/Blessing

Couples sometimes ask if, following their legal civil marriage at an Approved Premise, they can have an additional celebration, commemoration or blessing of the parties’ choice? In order that there is no confusion around your marital status we have provided some guidance below:

  • A civil ceremony commences with the registrar’s questioning of the parties and concludes with the departure of the registration officers.
  • There needs to be a clear break between the legal civil marriage and any other celebratory type ceremony.
  • The proceedings of any other ceremonial event must not be interlinked in any way with the civil marriage ceremony (i.e. they must not be seen as part of the same proceedings).
  • The couple and their guests should understand that any other ceremony is not the formal marriage ceremony and does not have any legal standing.
  • If taking place before a civil ceremony, the couple need to clearly understand and recognise that they are not legally married.


Religious marriages – Church of England

If you wish to be married in the Church of England, you should seek advice from the relevant clergy at the church. They will arrange for the Banns to be called, or a Common Licence to be issued. We would not expect to be involved with these marriages other than issuing your marriage certificate after your wedding.


Same-sex marriages

The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 obtained Royal Assent in July 2013. If you are a couple not already in a civil partnership and would like a marriage ceremony, we can now conduct and register your marriage. 

Should you require any further information please contact the Register Office.


Civil Partnerships

All couples can now choose to form either a Marriage or a Civil Partnership.

The Civil Partnerships (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019, which extend eligibility for forming Civil Partnership to opposite sex couples were approved in Parliament on 5th November, 2019. The regulations come into force on 2nd December, 2019.

This means that opposite sex (male and female) couples will be able to form a Civil Partnership from Tuesday, 31st December, 2019 onwards subject to giving notice of Civil Partnership on Monday, 2nd December, 2019.

If you are an opposite sex couple who wishes to form a Civil Partnership please contact the Register Office on 01642 527720 for further advice.

This new legislation does not affect the arrangements currently in place for Same Sex Civil Partnerships.

The Register Office is unable to give any advice on the validity of any Marriage or Civil Partnership, or of the benefits of choosing either a Marriage or a Civil Partnership. If you are unsure of the implications of issues such as inheritance, pensions or your personal finance then you should seek independent legal or financial advice to help you choose. You can also obtain help and advice from the Government Equalities Office (GOV.UK).


Conversion from a Civil Partnership to Marriage

If you have registered a civil partnership ceremony in England and Wales you now have the opportunity to convert this partnership to a marriage with effect from 10 December 2014.

Conversions will not be available for civil partnerships which took place outside England and Wales (i.e Scotland, Northern Ireland or abroad).

For more information and relevant fees please contact the Register Office or read our Further Questions and Answer sheet.


Costs and Fees  

Table of Fees 
Birth, Death, Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificates
Statutory Fees

Standard Service:

Issued at time of registration, or if requested later then processed within 5 working days.

Birth, Death and Marriage certificates issued by Registrar or Superintendent Registrar  £11
Civil Partnership certificates issued by the Local Registration Authority  £11

Priority Service:

On or before next working day (orders up to 3pm) 

Birth, Death and Marriage certificates issued by a Registrar or Superintendent Registrar  £35
Civil Partnership certificates issued by the Local Registration Authority  £35
Fees for Marriage & Civil Partnership
Notice of Intention to Marry / Form a Civil Partnership (per person) £35
Consideration by Superintendent Registrar of a divorce obtained outside of the British Isles £50
Consideration by the Registrar General of a divorce obtained outside of the British Isles £75
Attendance at the ceremony:
At the Register Office (including one certificate) £57
At a Registered Building (including one certificate) £97
Fees for the Conversion of a Civil Partnership into Marriage
Conversion of a civil partnership into marriage at the Register Office £45
Two stage procedure on other premises:
Completing the declaration £27
Signing the declaration in a religious building registered for the marriage of same sex couples £91
Fees for Changes to Initial Registration
Change of forename added within 12 months of birth registration £40
Consideration by Registrar/Superintendent Registrar of a correction £75
Consideration by the Registrar General of a correction £90
Fees for Citizenship Ceremony
Attendance at Group Citizenship Ceremony (price per delegate) £80
Fees for Searches in Indexes

Search in the indexes by the applicant personally for not more than 6 successive hours

(No fee is payable for a search in the indexes when a particular entry in the register is specified)

Statutory Service (Fees set by Local Authority)
Conducting Marriage/Civil Partnership
Current fee includes 1 certificate £11.00
Nightingale Suite: 
Monday to Thursday £205
Friday £247
Saturday £283
Approved Premise Venues:
Monday to Thursday £403
Friday £457
Saturday £583
Sunday & Bank Holiday £631
Private Citizenship Ceremony (The Nightingale Suite)
Individual Monday to Friday £155
Family Group Monday to Friday £210
Miscellaneous Fees
Ceremony Booking Fee (non-refundable) £36
Fee for Registrar’s attendance at a ceremony commencing after 16:00 hours (subject to availability of the Registrars) £631


  • We accept payment by debit and credit cards.
  • Fees are subject to an annual review.



Personal information collected from you in order to register an event is required by law. Further information on data held by the registration service and a full list of the organisations with whom registration data is shared, the purpose and the lawful basis for sharing the data can be found on our privacy notices page. Alternatively, officers at the Register Office will be able to provide the information, please telephone: 01642 527720.