Civil Partnership registration in Cumbria

Registration update – Ceremonies

Our current call waiting time for ceremony enquiries is over 2 hours. If your ceremony is before the 21 June, you can also email ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk
We are very sorry for any inconvenience and will get to you as soon as we can.

Ceremonies Update 1 March 2021

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 22nd February 2021 our Registration Team is working at pace through a vast number of ceremony amendments. 

Our current priority is rebooking ceremonies that have been cancelled or changed due to the announcement.

For those who are looking to book a new ceremony please note - we are not taking new bookings until after Monday 15 March. At which point, new bookings can be made for May onwards.

Our phone lines continue to be extremely busy and you will currently face a lengthy wait. You can email us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We kindly ask that you do not send us repeat emails as this slows down the process and makes it harder to efficiently deal with your requests. 

We understand that you have venues and suppliers waiting for confirmation of dates and we are working as hard as we can to get to your query.

If you have outstanding fees to be paid, please do not worry - we are not going to charge a late payment fee at this time as we understand it has been difficult to get through on the phone.

We appreciate your continued patience and understanding at this very busy time.

Ceremonies Update 23 February 2021

The Prime Minister announced on the evening of 22nd February a roadmap of steps to ease lockdown. 

The guidance for weddings and civil partnerships due to take place up to 28th March is as follows:

Weddings and Civil Partnerships during this time, unfortunately, are not able to go ahead. We understand how disappointing this is for you so are offering the option to reschedule your booking free of charge. We are also suspending our cancellation policy so can issue a full refund if you wish to cancel (not including booking fee or marriage notice fee). Our team will be contacting you in the coming days as a matter of urgency.

 As per the most recent lockdown, ceremonies can take place in exceptional circumstances during this time, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.  Where ceremonies do go ahead, a maximum of 6 people are allowed to be present, not including staff working at the event.

The following steps are proposed over the coming months. Please be aware that these steps are subject to change. Government advice is that the dates and number of attendees is guidance only and wholly contingent on the national COVID-19 data. You may need to change your plans at short notice.

  • Step 1 - From 29th March: weddings will be able to proceed with 6 attendees but will no longer be limited by exceptional circumstances
  • Step 2 - No earlier than 12th April: weddings will be able to proceed with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open - please check with your venue as soon as possible before contacting us)
  • Step 3 - No earlier than 17th May: weddings, receptions can proceed with up to 30 attendees.
  • Step 4 - No earlier than 21 June: all restrictions are removed

Government guidance can be found here:

COVID-19 Response − Spring 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

If your ceremony is booked before 17th May (steps 1 and 2), we are offering the option to reschedule your booking free of charge and we are also suspending our cancellation policy. We can issue a full refund if you wish to cancel (not including booking fee or marriage notice fee). If your ceremony is booked for after 17th May (steps 3 and 4), our refund policy and reschedule fee applies.

New Ceremony Bookings

We are unable to take new ceremony bookings until after Monday 1st March. Please do not call before this date as we need to prioritise rescheduling all our current bookings.

Important information about notices

We are only able to carry out a ceremony from 29th March 2021 onwards subject to government restrictions allowing and only if you have valid notices in place. If you do not have valid notices in place for your chosen venue and date, these need to take place in your local registration office where you reside. For Cumbria appointments can be made online at https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/registrationservice/marriages/noticeofintent.asp or by calling on 0300 303 2472.

We are taking bookings for ceremonies from 1 May 2021 onwards.  Our telephone lines are very busy so please email us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk for any booking enquiries.  Please note that any bookings made may be subject to changing covid regulations at short notice.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further updates here and on our weddings website.

The Registration Service has been working hard to make sure that safety measures are in place, and we are are now able to offer appointments to register the birth of your baby and marriage notices.  Our offices reopened on Monday 20 July 2020.

Since 4 July we have been able to deliver weddings and civil partnerships at external venues (e.g. venues not part of the registrar service) following the latest government guidance.  From 27 July, weddings and civil partnerships can start again in our Registration Offices.  Ceremonies may be different because of the current restrictions and guidelines in place, but we are committed to doing all we can to give our couples a truly beautiful and memorable ceremony experience on their special day.

Over the coming months as our services start again they will be delivered differently to make sure we minimise the risks of infection for customers and staff as a result of COVID-19. 

Even with these restrictions we remain committed to providing the best customer experience possible and we thank you for your patience and support.

Service information:

Birth

Death or Still-birth

Notice of Intent for Marriage or Civil Partnership

Ceremonies

Certificates 

Corrections and Re-registrations

Civil Partnerships were extended to all couples from 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 Carlisle, Kendal, Barrow or Penrith 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 a link to complete your ceremony planner. This explains what will happen during the ceremony, the details you submit will help our staff plan your special day.

In a Register Office (signing only)

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.

Witnesses 

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. Please note due to Covid-19 guidance photograph opportunities may be limited.

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.