The main provisions of the same sex marriage laws are:
- Allow same sex couples to marry in a civil ceremony
- Allow same sex couples to marry in a religious ceremony where the religious organisation has "opted in" to conduct such ceremonies and the minister of religion agrees
- Enable civil partners to convert their partnership into a marriage, if they wish
- Enable married individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage
How do I book my same sex marriage?
You can book your same sex marriage by contacting us on 020 8489 2605 or by coming into Haringey Civic Centre in Wood Green.
Where can I have my same sex marriage?
All venues that are currently licensed for marriages and civil partnerships including all of our approved premises. A same sex marriage can only take place in a religious building if the religious organisation has "opted in" to hold them and the minister agrees.
What are same sex marriage ceremonies like?
Marriage is the same whether it is between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man. Two registrars are in the room with one person speaking and one person writing. The Marriage Certificate is presented to the couple at the end of the ceremony.
Ceremony scripts can be found on the personalising your ceremony page.
Are Civil Partnerships still available?
Yes. Same sex couples are still be able to form a Civil Partnership, unfortunately they are not available to opposite sex couples.
What are the differences between a Marriage and a Civil Partnership?
A Civil Partnership can only take place between a same sex couple. A marriage can take place between couples regardless of sex so are open to all couples. Further information about the differences between a Marriage and a Civil Partnership can be found on the GOV.UK website (external link).
Couples wishing to convert an existing Civil Partnership to a marriage can do so. To book please call 020 8489 2605.
The Conversion Process
The conversion takes about 40 minutes. Both partners must attend a Register Office together. The Register Office that they attend does not need to be where they formed their civil partnership. Couples that are not having a conversion ceremony only need to attend the Register Office once. A fee of £45 is payable as of June 2016. Those having a ceremony have the process broken down into two stages. Both can be planned for the same day or spread over different days and even different venues. Details of the two routes can be found in the Routes to convert a Civil Partnership to a marriage section.
At the Conversion appointment
All couples must attend this appointment. At the time of their appointment the couple must present:
- Evidence of name, age and address. This will be a current passport, Government ID card and recent utility bill, Council Tax Bill
- Evidence of civil partnership eg Civil Partnership Certificate
- Provide details of where they will be having their Conversion Ceremony if not at the same Register Office
- Evidence of any consents if a conversion ceremony is to take place in a religious building
The Superintendent Registrar or a Deputy Superintendent Registrar will enter details about the couple and their civil partnership into a form. The information will be used to compile a Civil Partnership Conversion into Marriage Declaration. If a person is housebound or detained the process will take place at the location of the housebound or detained person.
If no ceremony is taking place the couple will be asked to read a declaration, they may speak it out loud if they wish. The wording of the declaration is:
I solemnly and sincerely declare that we are in a civil partnership with each other and I know of no legal reason why we may not convert our civil partnership into a marriage. I understand that on signing this document we will be converting our civil partnership into a marriage and you will thereby become my lawful wife / husband.
The declaration continues
I further declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief, all of the information given on this form, and the information and evidence supplied with this form, is true. I understand that if any of the information is false I may be liable to prosecution under the Perjury Act 1911.
The couple will then sign the Declaration in front of the Superintendent Registrar or a Deputy Superintendent Registrar. Marriage Certificates can then be issued at a cost of £4 each if ordered on the day of the conversion.
If a conversion ceremony is to take place the couple will read the declaration and sign the declaration as part of their ceremony. Where a ceremony is taking place outside of the area where the Declaration was prepared the Register Office will send the Declaration to the Register Office covering the conversion ceremony. The couple are responsible for booking any venues and registrars.
There are two routes to convert a Civil Partnership to a marriage:
- The standard procedure
- Conversion with a ceremony (note this will be a two stage process including a visit to a Register Office and the venue of the ceremony)
|Steps||Standard Procedure (takes place at the Register Office)||Conversion with a ceremony|
|1.||Completion of a declaration and checking the evidence of name, date of birth, address and the civil partnership. This takes place by appointment at the Register Office.|
Completion of a declaration and checking the evidence of name, date of birth, address and the civil partnership. This takes place by appointment at the Register Office.
A fee of £27 per couple will apply for this meeting.
|2.||Signing of the declaration by parties and the Superintendent Registrar at the Register Office.|
This can take place in:
*A Superintendent Registrar must be present at all venues.
|3.||Issuing of a Marriage Certificate if required for the statutory fee||Issuing of a Marriage Certificate if required for the statutory fee|
Conversion ceremonies at the Civic Suite will be charged at the standard wedding rate. Approved premises will be charged at the same price as weddings and civil partnerships at these venues. Fees can be found on the Register Office Fees page Where a conversion takes place in a religious building the conversion will be done by the signing of the Declaration before a Superintendent Registrar or Deputy Superintendent Registrar. Once the Declaration has been signed registration staff will leave in order to register the conversion. The religious body will play no part in the actual legal conversion.
- Please see our Register Office Fees page for more information on prices
The following websites have further information:
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