Civil Partnership registration in Cumbria

Ceremonies update 14 June 2021

Following the Prime Minister's recent announcement (14 June 2021), we are now aware of the following information:

From 21 June the rules for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies; and wedding receptions and civil partnership celebrations will change.

From 21 June, there will no longer be a maximum number cap for attendees set out in law. Instead, the number of attendees at weddings, civil partnerships and receptions will be determined by how many people the venue or space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place. This will be based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of the venue or outdoor space, and the measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Cumbria Registration offices continue to adhere to the social distancing measures as set out by the Government and the number of possible attendees remains the same. 

If you are having your ceremony at an approved venue, please contact them as soon as possible as they will be able to determine how many attendees can be safely accommodated at their location. We will not be able to advise on this as it is based on individual risk assessments.

Social distancing measures are still required to ensure the safety of the couple, guests and staff. Attendees at a wedding or a ceremony must wear a face covering unless medically exempt (this does not apply to the Ceremony Officers or the couple who are subject to the maximum social distancing requirements).

There is no legal requirement to wear a face covering when outdoors at a ceremony or reception.

Full guidance updates can be found on Gov.uk website

If you decide to reschedule your ceremony, please contact us on 0300 303 2472. 

Our cancellation policy applies 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further updates.

Ceremonies update 25 May 2021

Under the Government roadmap the number of guests permitted to attend a ceremony was increased to 30 people from the 17 May 2021. This figure includes the couple but does not include our ceremony officers and anyone working at the ceremony for example - a photographer. This number is only applicable if social distancing guidelines can be adhered to and is dependent upon the size of the venue. All guests must wear face coverings and must only sit within their bubble. 

Please speak directly with your venue to check their capacity limits for ceremonies.

We have carried out a review of our ceremony rooms seating plans and in line with social distancing guidelines the new capacities for our ceremony rooms are as follows: 

If you have any queries please email registration.service@cumbria.gov.uk


Ceremonies update 12 May 2021

The Prime Minister announced on Monday the next phase of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

From Monday 17 May 2021, 30 people will be permitted at Weddings and Civil Partnerships, this number includes the couple but does not include our ceremony officers or any staff working on the day - for example - Photographer. 

Social distancing guidelines are still in place. You should stay 2 metres apart from anyone who is not in your household or support bubble where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings) if you cannot stay 2 metres apart. Please note face masks are still mandatory for all guests.

Numbers permitted in the ceremony will be dependent upon social distancing guidelines being adhered to. Maximum numbers for our ceremony rooms from 17 May to be confirmed. 

We will provide further information when the guidance for small weddings and civil partnerships has been updated.


Ceremonies update 1 May 2021

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

Our phone lines continue to be busy so you may face a 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.

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


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.

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 15th March. Please do not call before this date as we need to prioritise rescheduling all our current bookings. 

You do not need marriage notices in place to make a booking with us unless your ceremony is within 29 days (or 70 days if one party is subject to immigration control).

Important information about notices

Notice of intent must be given at least 28 days prior to a ceremony or up to 70 days if one partner is subject to immigration control. 

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.

We advise taking out notice of intent to marry no sooner than 3 months prior to your ceremony. 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.


Ceremonies update 31 December 2020

Tier 4 Restrictions in Cumbria

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 30/12/2020, Cumbria is now subject to tier 4 restrictions until further notice.  Government guidance on tier 4 restrictions states 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:

Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals

This unfortunately means that all ceremonies booked between 31/12/2020 and the next review date of 18/01/2021 must be cancelled or rearranged. We do not know yet how long these restrictions may be in effect, so it is possible that bookings from 19/01/2021 will also be affected and we will provide further information as soon as we can.

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 18/01/2021. 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 31/12/2020 to 18/01/2021 and will issue a full refund if you wish to cancel.

Please do not call us if your ceremony is due to take place after the 18/01/2021 as our phone lines are extremely busy and you may be waiting for some time.

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


Ceremonies update 2 December 2020

The Government have announced that ceremonies can commence from 2 December 2020. We have been working closely with our venues and staff to put measures in place to allow us to carry out ceremonies from 3 December 2020. 

Ceremonies taking place in Cumbria must follow the Governments latest guidance for Weddings and civil partnerships in relation to the Local Government Covid Alert level. Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can resume in all tiers with 15 guests. Wedding or Civil Partnership receptions are not allowed to take place in tier 3 areas.

It is the personal responsibility of the couple and guests if they are travelling to Cumbria to attend a ceremony, that they check their local Government Covid Alert Level and follow any government guidelines that may be in place in their own residing district.  This should be discussed with your venue to determine if the ceremony should go ahead according to the area the couple and the guests are travelling from.

All ceremonies booked with Cumbria Registration Service will proceed unless we are instructed by the client that the ceremony is cancelled.  

Cumbria has been placed in Tier 2, this will be reviewed on 16 December and weekly after that. We will provide regular updates on our website and social media pages. Check current Local Government Covid Alert Levels.  


Ceremonies update 2 November 2020

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 31st October, further guidance has been produced by the Government stating that weddings and civil partnerships will not be permitted to take place during the new national restriction period (ceremonies will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as life limiting illness):

New National Restrictions from 5 November

This means that all ceremonies booked between Thursday 5th November and Wednesday 2nd December 2020 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 from 5th November to 2nd December to help you through this.  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 5th November to 2nd December and will issue a full refund if you wish to cancel.

Please do not call us if your ceremony is due to take place after the 2nd December as our phone lines are extremely busy and you may be waiting for some time.


Ceremonies update 13 October 2020

Local Government Covid Alert Levels

Ceremonies taking place in Cumbria must follow the latest guidance for weddings and civil partnerships in relation to the Government's Local Covid Alert levels. 

If you are travelling to Cumbria to attend a ceremony it is your personal responsibility that you check the Local Covid Alert Level and follow the government guidelines that are in place where you live. Check your current Local Covid Alert Levels.

If your ceremony plans are affected by this new guidance please contact your chosen venue and us as soon as possible.  


Ceremonies update 23 September 2020

Weddings and Civil partnerships can take place at our Registration Offices and at external venues providing the current government guidance is followed. 

On 22 September the Prime Minister announced that wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships were restricted to 15 people. This includes the couple and 2 witnesses, it does not include the 2 ceremony officers and any third party suppliers - for example a photographer. It is expected that these restrictions will be in place for the next 6 months.

Should you wish to cancel your ceremony our normal refund policy will apply. Reschedules made as a direct result of this announcement will not be charged an amendment fee. 

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.

We have resumed taking bookings for Weddings and Civil Partnerships, bookings can be made up to 2 years in advance. 

Please call our registration operations team on 0300 303 2472. Our team will be more than happy to help, but please note your call may be held in a queue as our team are currently experiencing high volumes of calls due to the latest announcement. We thank you in advance for your patience.

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 12 months.  However, in Cumbria you are able to make a provisional booking for the formation of your partnership, up to 2 years in advance.  

Please note that there is a non-refundable deposit or booking fee (ceremony type dependent)  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 can be ordered and paid for after your ceremony online.


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.