Civil Partnership registration in Cumbria

Ceremonies Update 5 January 2021 - National Lockdown

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 4 January about the new national lockdown, the guidance is that weddings and civil partnerships should only take place in exceptional circumstances, 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:

Guidance on

The new restrictions will be in place until mid-February at the earliest and are expected to be reviewed around the half-term date for schools.  This unfortunately means that all ceremonies booked up to 21 February must be cancelled or rearranged.  

We are so very sorry for couples who are due to be getting married or form a civil partnership during this period and we appreciate that this will be extremely upsetting news for everyone.   We are in the process of contacting all couples with bookings up to 21 February, in date order. We are offering the option to reschedule your booking free of charge and we are also suspending our cancellation policy for ceremonies falling in the period from now up to 21 February 2021 and will issue a full refund if you wish to cancel.

Our phone lines are extremely busy and you may be waiting for some time.  If you wish to cancel or reschedule your booking, please email us at, with the date of your ceremony in the subject line.   Please can we ask that you do not call us if your ceremony is due to take place from March onwards as our priority is dealing with couples with bookings in the period affected by the latest lockdown.

We are taking bookings for ceremonies from 1 April 2021 onwards.  Our telephone lines are very busy so please email us at 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:


Death or Still-birth

Notice of Intent for Marriage or Civil Partnership



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.


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.