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Plan your wedding or civil partnership ceremony


Plan your wedding or civil partnership ceremony

We are delighted that you are planning to hold your ceremony in West Northamptonshire.

Everyone deserves a special ceremony, and we hope to make your day a happy occasion for family, friends and you.

Select a venue

Choosing a venue is a big part of planning your wedding or civil partnership. There are many factors you may want to consider, such as:

  • size
  • cost – does it work with your budget?
  • religion – civil ceremony venues often won’t host religious ceremonies
  • distance – can you and your wedding party get there easily?
  • accessibility – do you have accessibility requirements that the venue can meet?

Your venue must be licensed to host a ceremony.

From stately homes to the rolling countryside, explore approved venues in West Northamptonshire.

Contact your chosen approved venue for their booking process. You should make a provisional booking with the venue - but do not confirm that booking until you have booked a registrar using our ceremony booking facility. A registrar must be there for your marriage/civil partnership to be legal.

Book your ceremony

We have different ceremony options to suit your requirements and budget.

A marriage or civil partnership registration

A marriage/civil partnership registration is a basic legal marriage/civil partnership which does not include religious aspects and can be a more intimate event.

For the marriage/civil partnership to be legal, there will need to be 2 adult witnesses present. It is worth noting that registry offices are smaller than the average venue, so we only allow the couple and 2 witnesses to attend. 

A marriage/civil partnership registration offers an alternative to more expensive ceremonies. You could even have an unofficial celebration later that doesn’t require licensing or notice.

Marriage /civil partnership registrations in Northampton only take place on a Monday (AM) and Towcester The Forum on a Tuesday (AM). 

A marriage or civil partnership ceremony

​A ceremony is ideal if you want a more personal and glamorous celebration for yourselves, family members and your guests.

The ceremony includes:

  • an extensive choice of registration office ceremony rooms or any of the approved venues
  • ceremony planning facility, our system that keeps track of all your ceremony requests
  • choices of readings and additional promises
  • music, either from our standard collection or from your own playlist of meaningful and memorable music
  • rings handed to the registrar during the ceremony by the ring bearer

Your event will last up to 30 minutes.

Give your notices of marriage or civil partnership

Giving notice of your marriage or civil partnership before your ceremony is a legal requirement. You must book an appointment to see your local registrar, where you will be asked to sign a document that states you are legally free to marry.

This must be done at least 1 month before a ceremony. However, we would recommend booking this at least 8 weeks prior to your ceremony date. It can be done up to 12 months ahead. There is a statutory fee for both you and your partner to give notice of marriage or civil partnership.

You will need to bring key identifying documents to your appointment.


Marriage, according to the law of this country, is the union of 2 people of the same or opposite sex voluntarily entered into for life to the exclusion of all others.

This is made by a verbal contract between 2 people and requires both parties to sign the marriage schedule. The contract is made by the couple saying declaratory and contracting words.

A ceremony is required. You cannot currently convert a marriage to a civil partnership.

Civil partnership

A civil partnership is a written contract formed by a declaration between 2 people giving the partners similar legal rights as married couples. The declaration can be said out loud or read by the partners before signing. No ceremony is required although one can be held after the declaration has been made.

Same and opposite-sex partners can form a civil partnership. Same-sex partners can currently convert a civil partnership into a marriage.

We recommend you seek independent advice if you are not sure whether a marriage or a civil partnership best suits your wishes.

Read the guide on the differences between civil partnerships and marriage.

You can choose to have a Civil partnership registration that takes place in the registrar’s office with 2 adult witnesses or choose to have a ceremony in one of our venues.

Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022

The Ministry of Justice confirmed plans to bring a new law into effect on Monday 27 February 2023. The Act raises the age of marriage and civil partnership to 18 years in England and Wales. This means from that date a person under 18 years of age will no longer be able to marry or enter into a civil partnership under any circumstances, including with parental or judicial consent.

How to book

Create an account on the link below to book your ceremony.

Review your contract details

Once you have completed your ceremony booking for a registrar to attend at your chosen venue, you will be sent an email confirmation with all our ceremony terms and conditions.

Please read through this carefully to ensure you are aware of all the requirements, as you agreed to these terms and conditions at the time of booking, once accepted these terms and conditions are applied.

Give your notices of marriage or civil partnership

This is a legal requirement where you book an appointment to see a registrar with key identity documents and to prove you are legally free to marry.

This must be done at least 1 month before a ceremony, however, we would recommend booking this at least 8 weeks prior to your ceremony date. It can be done up to 12 months ahead. There is a statutory fee to give notice of marriage.

Personalise your ceremony

Complete your ceremony choices by logging into your account created at the time of booking. If you have forgotten the login details please contact the Registration Service.

This lets the registrars know your order of events for the ceremony. We recommend you submit the form 8 weeks before the ceremony to let us review there are no religious references in readings or music as this is a civil, government, ceremony.

Enjoy your day!

Do not be late.

Registrars have other ceremonies to attend and if you do not start on time they may have to postpone your ceremony.

Last updated 13 June 2024