Arranging your civil partnership

A civil partnership is a legal relationship which can be registered by a same sex couple. It gives your relationship legal recognition and gives you added legal rights, as well as responsibilities.


You can have your civil partnership in any Register Office or at any venue that has been approved to register civil partnerships. Anywhere that has been approved for weddings will automatically have approval to register civil partnerships. You can also have a civil partnership at religious premises.

You don't need to have a ceremony, although most couples will want a ceremony at the same time as you form your partnership.

You can use the form below to book a registrar to attend your civil partnership, and to book the Town Hall for your venue.

You'll have 30 minutes to fill in and submit the online form to book your appointment. If you don't complete your booking within this time you'll lose your chosen appointment slot.

You can form a civil partnership in the UK if you’re both

  • the same sex
  • 16 or over (parental consent is required if you’re under 18)
  • not already married or in a civil partnership
  • not closely related

To form a civil partnership you’ll need to

  • decide if you want to have a ceremony or not
  • if you want a ceremony then choose and book a venue
  • book a registrar if required
  • give notice of your intention to form a civil partnership at your local Register Office
  • pay for the registrar or your ceremony if you’re having one
  • register the civil partnership at least 29 days after giving notice

If you choose not to have a ceremony

You’ll have to give notice of your intention to form a civil partnership.  You’ll need to book an appointment to do this and you’ll have to pay a non-refundable booking fee and the cost of the registrar. Once you’ve given notice you’ll then need to wait at least 29 days before your registration can take place.

On the day of registration of your partnership you’ll sign the partnership schedule in the presence of a registrar and two witnesses. A civil partnership schedule can be signed at any Register Office or other building licensed for civil ceremony in England or Wales.                  

There is no requirement for any words to be said as part of the legal process of forming the civil partnership.

Ceremonies at the Town Hall

We have 2 rooms available for civil partnership ceremonies at the Town Hall, both of which are fully accessible to those with limited mobility.

The Register Office is suitable for small, simple ceremonies for up to 6 people (couple and up to 4 guests). Unfortunately there’s no facility to play music in this room. Ceremonies are held on Thursday mornings at 10am; 10.30am; 11.00am; 11.30am.

The Ceremony Suite is suitable for larger ceremonies. It has traditional décor, silk flower arrangements and the facility to play music. Monday to Friday it can seat up to 40 people and up to 70 people on Saturdays.

Ceremonies can be held in this room on the following days and times

  • 10.00 am - 3.30 pm Monday - Thursday
  • 10.00 am - 3.00 pm Friday
  • 10.00 am - 3.30 pm Saturday (May to September)
  • 10.00 am - 11.30 am Saturday (October to April)

If you want to have your ceremony in the Town Hall you’ll need to book the room you want, which includes the registrar to conduct the ceremony. You can book up to 12 months in advance of your ceremony.

You’ll have to pay a non-refundable booking fee, plus the cost of the room and the registrar. This includes one copy of your civil partnership certificate.

You must also give notice of your intention to form a civil partnership at least 29 days before the date of your ceremony. The notice is valid for 12 months, so you can’t give notice more than 12 months before the date of your ceremony.

You might also like to read our useful information for ceremonies at the Town Hall. 

Ceremonies in approved venues

If you want to have your ceremony at an approved venue, you’ll first need to make provisional arrangements at the venue. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the venue you choose is registered or approved for ceremonies. See our list of approved ceremony premises to find out which venues in Barnsley are licensed to hold ceremonies. If the venue's not on the list, you won't be able to hold your ceremony there.

You’ll also need to to book a registrar to conduct your ceremony. You’ll have to pay a non-refundable booking fee, plus the cost of the registrar to attend. The fee includes one copy of your civil partnership certificate.

You can book a registrar up to 3 years in advance of your ceremony.

You must also give notice of your intention to form a civil partnership at least 29 days before the date of your ceremony. The notice is valid for 12 months, so you can’t give notice more than 12 months before the date of your ceremony.

You might also like to read our useful information for ceremonies at approved venues.

Paying for your ceremony

You’ll pay a non-refundable booking fee when you make your booking and you must pay your outstanding balance in one instalment at least 3 months before the date of your ceremony. Your balance will consist of:

  • Room and registrar for Town Hall ceremonies plus one copy of your civil partnership certificate
  • registrars attendance fee for approved venues plus one civil partnership certificate

If we don’t receive full payment, your booking will be cancelled.

Ceremonies outside England and Wales

If you’re forming your civil partnership outside England or Wales, different rules apply depending on the country you choose. 

You should always consult with the authorities in the country where you’re planning to form your partnership, to ensure you have all the legal paperwork you need and you may also need to complete legal paperwork once you get to that country. 

You may need to provide a ‘Certificate of No Impediment’ which confirms there are no objections to your proposed civil partnership. If you live in Barnsley, the Register Office can sometimes provide this document, however they cannot be issued for all countries due to various legislation. You’ll need to contact us to make an appointment to do this.

You should also check gov.uk website for further information on ceremonies outside England and Wales, and if a certificate of no impediment is required.

Different regulations apply in Scotland and these can be found on the National Records of Scotland website.

Your overseas civil partnership will be recognised in the UK if you follow the correct process according to local law - you won’t have to register it in the UK.

Please make sure you arrive for your appointment on time - if you're more than 5 minutes late we won't be able to see you and you'll need to book a new appointment slot.

If you’re unsure whether to have a civil partnership or marriage, the GOV.UK website gives a comparison to help you to make an informed choice.

Whether you choose to form a civil partnership at Barnsley Register Office, The Ceremony Suite, an approved venue or elsewhere, we're here to help create the perfect ceremony for you.