Ceremonies

Whether you're looking to get married or form a civil partnership, you'll find everything you need here to help plan your perfect ceremony.

Who can get married or form a civil partnership

You can get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales if you're:

  • You must be 18 years old or over
  • not already married or in a civil partnership
  • not closely related

If you’re unsure whether to get married or form a civil partnership, the GOV.UK website has a comparison of marriages and civil partnerships to help you decide.

What you need to do

To get married or form a civil partnership you need to:

Wedding ceremonies

Marriage is a social and legal contract that gives you someone to rely on. It also brings a degree of emotional security.

You can choose to have either a religious or civil wedding ceremony. Religious weddings can take place at any registered religious building. Civil weddings can take place at a register office or other approved venue.

Whether you choose a religious or civil ceremony, you must exchange vows with your partner when you get married. Civil ceremonies can include readings, songs or music, but can't contain any religious content.

Book a registrar for your wedding
Bride and groom with wheel in background



Bride and groom at Elsecar Heritage Centre

Civil partnerships

Forming a civil partnership gives your relationship legal recognition. They can be formed by both same sex and opposite sex couples.

You can form a civil partnership at a register office or other approved venue. Venues that are approved to hold weddings are also approved to register civil partnerships. They can also be registered at religious premises, but you can't have a religious ceremony.

You don't have to have a ceremony to form a civil partnership, although most couples do choose to have one. You also don't need to exchange vows for a civil partnership, but you can do this if you’d like to.

Book a registrar for your civil partnership



Convert a civil partnership to a marriage

If you're in a same sex civil partnership you can convert this to a marriage. This replaces one legal relationship with another.

You can have a conversion without a ceremony if you'd like. Or you can celebrate your marriage with a ceremony at:

  • Barnsley Town Hall
  • an approved ceremony venue
  • a religious building or other place registered for same-sex marriages
More about converting your civil partnership
Brides of wedding day



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