Menu
A-Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Marriages

Coronavirus update

Last updated: Friday 3 July 2020

Restrictions have changed in relation to marriages and civil partnerships taking place:

Religious marriages

A religious marriage can:

  • take place indoors with six people in attendance. This includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant. Social distancing rules must be observed.
  • take place indoors in a place of worship if one of the parties is terminally ill with 10 people in attendance. This includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant. Social distancing rules must be observed.
  • take place outdoors with 30 people in attendance. This includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant. Social distancing rules must be observed.

The responsibility for deciding on the outside location for a religious marriage lies with the officiant who is carrying out the ceremony.  Be aware that you may need permission for public locations.

Please call us on 028 9027 0455 to discuss your marriage arrangements.

Marriages schedules for religious marriages

We can issue marriage schedules for religious marriages, for ceremonies up to six people indoors or up to 30 people outdoors.

Marriage schedules cannot be posted out. One or both of the couple must collect their schedule in person at the Registration Office. Please contact the office to make arrangements as Belfast City Hall is still closed to the public.

Civil marriages

Civil marriages can:

  • take place indoors with six people in attendance. This includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant. Social distancing rules must be observed.
  • take place in the person’s home, in a hospital or at a registration office, if one of the parties is terminally ill with six people in attendance. This includes the couple, two witnesses and the Registrar or Humanist Celebrant. Social distancing rules must be observed.
  • take place outdoors with 30 people in attendance, including the couple, two witnesses and the Registrar or Humanist Celebrant, as long as the location has been licensed by the council as an approved place. Social distancing rules must be observed.

If you are planning a civil marriage, please contact the Registration Office on 028 9027 0455 or email registrar@belfastcity.gov.uk with your contact details to discuss your arrangements.

Civil marriages at Belfast City Hall

A civil marriage can take place outdoors at the east entrance or gardens at City Hall with a maximum of 30 people observing social distancing rules.

Please get in contact if you have booked a ceremony with us and you would like to consider this option.

Visit nidirect's website for more information on marriage restrictions.

Marriage notices

We can only accept new applications for religious and humanist marriage notices by post at this time. 

Please send your original completed marriage notice forms, along with relevant documents, to:

Registration,
Belfast City Hall
Belfast BT1 5GS.  

We will accept photocopies of your birth certificates and passports.  Contact us to discuss payment or you can send a cheque, made payable to Belfast City Council. 

Please contact the Registration Office on 028 9027 0455 to discuss giving notice for a civil marriage.

Arranging your day

If you plan to get married in Belfast, it is important that you read all of the information below. 

Find out more:

Marriage notice

You must give a minimum of 28 days notice to get married. If you don't give 28 days notice, you may need to postpone your marriage. You can give notice up to a year before the date of your marriage. We recommend a period of 10 to 12 weeks notice for a religious or humanist marriage.

Religious marriages

A religious ceremony may, with the agreement of the Officiant, take place anywhere in Northern Ireland. Services are conducted by authorised people, according to the relevant tradition.

If you are having a religious ceremony, you still need to give notice at the Registrar’s office in Belfast City Hall. If you are getting married in a different district, for example Newtownabbey, you will give notice in Mossley Mill. You can contact us for advice.

Once you have given notice, we’ll let you know when you can collect the schedule.

Civil marriages

please contact us for availability and advice on ceremonies in our Registrar’s office in City Hall or at one of our approved venues,

Humanist marriages

Humanist ceremonies can only take place in a venue, which is approved by Belfast City Council (for example, a hotel).

If you are having a humanist ceremony, you still need to give notice at the Registrar’s office in Belfast City Hall if the approved venue is in the Belfast district.

Once you have given notice, we’ll let you know when you can collect the schedule. You can collect this and give it to the humanist celebrant.

Documents needed to get married

Before you can get married in Belfast, you and your partner need to complete a marriage notice form and produce other essential documents.  

This still applies if you are having a religious or humanist ceremony. You must get the marriage notice forms signed by the religious conductor. You can give notice up to one year in advance of your wedding. 

Once the marriage has taken place, the schedule should be returned to the Registration office within three working days for the marriage to be registered. You can then purchase a copy of the marriage certificate for £8. 

If you're a non-EEA citizen, please read NI Direct's information on getting married in Northern Ireland.

The following documents must be provided by both you and your partner when returning your marriage notice forms:

  • your full (long version) birth certificate 
  • your passport or national identity card - the Registrar can advise on alternatives if you do not hold either of these
  • a consent form (if you aged 16 or 17)
  • if you have been married before and the marriage was dissolved, a certificate of divorce or annulment or a certified copy decree (decrees must be absolute or final)
  • if you have entered into a civil partnership before, a court order of dissolution for that partnership
  • if you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, the death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner.

More guidance

Please visit NI Direct's website for more guidance on marriage procedures

Marriage fees 

 Wedding

Price

Religious wedding
£44

Civil wedding in Registrar's office (Belfast City Hall)

£180 weekdays

£306 Saturdays

£360 bank holidays

Civil wedding in an approved venue

£213 weekdays

£280 Saturdays

£312 bank holidays

Civil wedding in a venue of your choice

£213 weekdays

Plus £400 to apply for a temporary marriage licence

£280 Saturdays
£312 bank holidays

 


Contact us
Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships
028 9027 0274
Registrar's office
Belfast City Hall
Belfast
BT1 5GS