Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies
Wherever you might be thinking of getting married or forming a civil partnership, we can help you plan your dream ceremony.
We offer legal marriages and civil partnerships. As both of these ceremonies are civil ceremonies (non-religious) they are conducted and registered by our Registrars. For religious ceremonies you will need to speak to the contact at the Church or relevant religious premises for advice on booking.
Marriages and civil partnerships are available for both mixed sex and same sex couples. If you are not sure about whether a marriage or civil partnership best suits your personal circumstances then we recommend you seek independent advice. For example if you are planning on forming a civil partnership and then moving overseas you should seek advice about whether the civil partnership is recognised under the laws of that country. More information is available on the gov.uk website regarding the differences between marriages and civil partnerships.
Please be aware that there is currently no provision to convert a civil partnership formed by a mixed sex couple to a marriage, more information is available on our convert to a civil partnership into a marriage page.
Once you have decided on a marriage or civil partnership one of the first things you'll want to think about is where you want to celebrate.
At an approved venue
Norfolk is packed with choice with its rural landscapes, stately homes, city centre hotels and the Norfolk Broads and much more. We're sure you'll be able to find somewhere to fit your taste and needs. Take a look at our list of approved venues.
Outdoors at an approved venue
It is possible to have the whole legal ceremony outdoors at an approved venue, including the signing of the schedule. You will need to confirm that your venue is offering legal outdoor ceremonies and that the outdoor location has been approved by the registration service.
Some approved venues have a structure in their grounds like a pagoda or a bandstand. If that structure is licensed, you can hold a legal ceremony in it, however the couple, both witnesses and the registrars will need to be underneath the structure for the duration of the ceremony, including the exchanging of the legal words and the signing of the schedule.
You can also have your ceremony with all your family and friends in the venue gardens, but then head indoors to the licensed ceremony room or underneath a licenced outdoor structure to exchange the legal words and sign the schedule. This gives you the chance to make the ceremony legal in a more intimate setting. We call this an Approved Venue Duo ceremony.
If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, you'll need to think about what happens if there is bad weather. Speak to the wedding coordinator at your approved venue to make sure there's another space available that can accommodate your guests.
Pretty much anywhere you want
Have you thought about having your ceremony in your garden or on the beach? If so then our Any Place Duo is the ceremony for you.
The proceedings always begin at a register office in Norfolk. This is where the legal marriage takes place.
Then the celebration takes place either later the same day or within a few days at your dream location. This can be any place you choose such as your home, back garden or a place that is special to you.
We'll advise you if you need to seek permission to use the location you've got in mind.
Depending on where you choose, a member of our team might need to come and meet with you to make sure that the ceremony will run smoothly and to iron out practical issues. This might include what happens if it's raining on the day, and taking care of guest safety.