Births, marriages, deaths and nationality Marriage and Civil Partnership ceremonies

Ceremonies in a place of worship

Marriage ceremonies at Approved Religious Premises

If you are marrying in any religious building other than the Church of England or Church of Wales, you are still both required to give notice of marriage.    

In some circumstances the Minister at a Church of England cannot read the banns, so will refer couples to their relevant register office. If this is the case for you, email us at with your names, address, date and place of marriage and a contact telephone number: we’ll call you to book you an appointment.  

  • Same sex couples can only marry in a religious ceremony where the religious organisation has 'opted in' to conduct such ceremonies, and the minister of religion agrees.
  • The church or religious building must normally be situated in the district where you or your partner live, unless either of you usually go to worship in that building.  
  • You can also get married in another district if there is no building of your religion in the district where you or your partner lives. 
  • The marriage can only take place at the venue you name on your notice of marriage: if you change the venue you’ll have to give, and pay for, a new notice of marriage.  

If the church or religious building you are getting married in does not have its own authorised person to register the marriage, you will need to arrange for a registrar to attend. This will cost £116.50, including the cost of a marriage certificate.  

If you need a registrar to attend, you should check that one is available for your chosen date and time before you give your notices of marriage.  

You will both need to complete legal preliminaries - either through the Church via the calling of Banns or by giving notice of marriage at a register office.  

You won't sign a marriage register or be given a marriage certificate during the ceremony: you will sign a marriage document that includes the details needed to register your marriage. This Marriage Document will be issued by the Minister at the Church in which your marriage is taking place, and will include the details of you both: name and surname, date of birth, condition, address and occupation. You can record your mother, father or parents’ details on the Marriage schedule and in the marriage registration. You can also now include step-parents. If you haven’t already given these details you can do so on the day of the ceremony.  

The officiating minister will forward the completed and signed Marriage Document to the local register office within 21 days of your ceremony. The details will be entered onto the electronic marriage register within 7 days of it being received at the register office; only then will a marriage certificate be available.  

Civil Partnership ceremonies at Approved Religious Premises 

You can hold a civil partnership ceremony in a religious building but the venue must have applied for, and been given, approval to do so. At the moment there are no religious premises in Manchester that are approved for this. Your ceremony will still be a civil one, and not a religious event.


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