Civil Partnership registration in Cumbria

COVID-19 – important changes to Registration Services

Following the announcement by the Government on Monday 23 March, ceremonies and notice appointments will NOT be taking place until further notice.  You will be contacted with further information around your options. 

We are continuing to experience an extremely high volume of calls.  Can we therefore please ask that if you have an enquiry about your ceremony booking you do not call us and instead email us at

We have set this email up to enable us to deal with ceremony enquiries more effectively.  A member of the team will endeavour to contact you about your enquiry as soon as possible.  Please note the emails will be prioritised in date order of current bookings. Further information is available on our website and we will be updating this as we get further guidance.  Thank you for your patience:

General guidance and advice from Cumbria Registration Service

Advice and guidance on marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

Civil Partnerships have now been extended to all couples from December 2019.

Opposite Sex couples could book their notice appointments from 2 December 2019 and ceremonies from the 31 December 2019.

The options available enable you to have a signing only with 2 witnesses or a ceremony ranging from a simple affair with just 2 witnesses to having a ceremony at an Approved Premises or Register Office of your choice. 

You can celebrate the formation of your civil partnership in any of our licensed premises or register offices in Cumbria.

A legal notice of the formation of a civil partnership is valid for twelve months.  However, in Cumbria you are able to make a provisional booking for the formation of your partnership, up to two years in advance.  

Please note that there is a booking fee which is non-refundable and non-transferrable payable at the time of booking.

Before you can form your civil partnership, there are certain formalities which are required under law.  You must both attend the Register Office in the district in which you live to inform them of your intention to form a civil partnership.  This is called giving notice and you must attend in person.  

You will each be required to give an individual notice.  

After giving notice you must allow at least 28 clear days before the formation can take place. Your civil partnership formation must then take place within twelve months of the date you gave at the notice. 

More information on giving notice can be found on GOV.UK 

Fees are dependent on the day of the week.  Full list of fees.

Once you have given your Notice of Intention to Form a Civil Partnership (either in Cumbria or elsewhere, depending on where you live), we will send you "Your Civil Partnership Ceremony Planner".  This explains what will happen during the ceremony and help you to plan your special day.  There is a form contained within the planner for you to send in to the registration office.  The details you provide on this form will help our staff to personalise.

In a Register Office (signing only)

On this special day please help us and other couples who are being married or forming a Civil Partnership on the same day by arriving at the register office on time.

We don't want to rush your appointment or have to re-arrange.

The signing is conducted by the Registrar, who is also responsible for ensuring that all information which is to be entered into the Civil Partnership Schedule is correct on the day.  He/she will see you and your partner in private to check the details and will be happy to answer any last minute questions you may have about the signing or any of the other arrangements.  You will each be asked to check that the information on the schedule is correct, any changes to addresses or occupation can be done on the day.  Please check them carefully, as there can be additional fees if errors have to be corrected later.


You will need to ask two people to witness your Civil Partnership formation. In Cumbria, we ask that your witnesses are over 18.  They will be asked to sign the schedule as witnesses to your signatures

Should the services of an interpreter be required, please contact the Superintendent Registrar of the district where the civil partnership is to take place. 

Civil Partnership Certificates you have ordered will be produced from this completed document, usually on the next working day, and posted to your home address.

In Approved Premises

Ceremonies at Approved Premises will follow a similar format to that in Register Offices. 

To arrange a ceremony in an Approved Premises you must first contact the manager or owner of the premises of your choice to make provisional arrangements.  You must then contact the relevant Registration Service booking team to ensure that the registration officers are able to attend your civil partnership on that date and time.

Please note we cannot guarantee to reach your venue during periods of extreme weather.  We will however endeavor to attend as soon as it is safe to do so and regret we will not accept liability for any loss in such instances.  We would appreciate if you could take this in to account when choosing the venue and date for your ceremony.

Forming a Civil Partnership at home/in hospital 

A person who is housebound is able to form a civil partnership in their own home or in a hospital.  A Doctor must be prepared to sign a statement that the person is not able to be moved for a period of 3 months to a place normally registered for the registration of civil partnerships.  The statement form can be obtained from your local Register Office and must be signed not more than 14 days before giving notice.  Notice of intention to form a civil partnership must be given in the district(s) of residence of both parties.  In the case of the housebound person, the notice will have to be taken at home.  The formation of the civil partnership must take place within 3 months of giving the first notice. 

A person who is terminally ill is able to form a civil partnership in a house or hospital.  In these circumstances a Doctor must sign a letter confirming that he/she is in medical attendance on the person and that the person is terminally ill and not expected to recover.  The letter must also state that the person cannot be moved to a place normally registered for the registration of civil partnerships and can fully understand the importance of the civil partnership ceremony.  The civil partnership can take place once the Registrar General has issued the licence for the formation of the civil partnership.  Where necessary this may be on the same day that the arrangements are made although the civil partnership must take place within one month of giving notice.  Only one notice is given under these circumstances.

In prison 

A civil partnership formation can take place in a prison as long as the Prison authorities agree that the civil partnership ceremony can be performed there.  This agreement must be in the form of a statement signed by the Prison Governor not more than 21 days before you give your notices of intention to form a civil partnership.  The person in prison must give their notice to the local Superintendent Registrar.  As the Registrar will normally have to visit the prison in order to take the notice, this will attract an additional statutory fee.  The other party to the civil partnership will also have to give a notice to the Registrar of the district in which they live.  The civil partnership formation must take place within 3 months of giving the first notice.

All photography and video recording, professional or otherwise, is by permission of the presiding Civil Partnership Registrar.

Allowed during the ceremony:

  • photograph as the couple make their entrance
  • photograph of the exchange of rings if applicable
  • photograph of the first kiss if applicable

Flash guns may be used only with the permission of the presiding Civil Partnership Registrar, and must be agreed prior to the start of the ceremony.

Photographers are welcome to take photographs before and after the formal ceremony, however it is important that all ceremonies begin on time.

No delay should be as a result of photographs being taken.

Video recording

Video recording is at the discretion of the couple, but the following applies throughout the formal ceremony:

  • only one video camera to be used
  • the recordist should remain stationary.

It is the responsibility of the couple to advise their chosen photographer of the above guidance.  Cameras must be battery operated to avoid trailing cables, which are a potential health and safety risk to the couple, their guests and employees of Cumbria County Council.