7. Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies


You must exchange some formal wording if you’re getting married.

Discuss any other wording you want in the ceremony with the person conducting it.

You don’t need to exchange vows for a civil partnership, but you can do so if you wish.

Civil ceremonies can include readings, songs or music, but must not include anything that’s religious, eg hymns or readings from the Bible.

You’ll need to have at least 2 witnesses at the ceremony.

Signing the register

You, your partner and your 2 witnesses must sign the marriage register or civil partnership document.

Cost of registering a marriage or civil partnership

You have to pay a fee to register a UK marriage or civil partnership - different fees may apply abroad.

This is £46 if you have the ceremony at a register office, but may be more at other venues. Ask the registrar or religious minister for details.

The marriage or civil partnership certificate costs £4 on the day of the event or £10 after. You may need a copy to prove your marital status in the future.


You can have a civil ceremony or civil partnership at:

  • a register office
  • any venue approved by the local council, eg a stately home or hotel
  • a religious premises where permission has been given by the organisation and the premises approved by the local authority

The Home Office has a list of all approved civil marriage and civil partnership venues.