Since 29th March 2014, same sex couples have been able to choose between marriage and civil partnership. Both give couples the same rights and obligations, and a table of Comparison of Civil Partnership and marriage for same sex couples can be found on the website www.gov.uk.
For a civil partnership there is no legal requirement to hold a 'ceremony' or to speak aloud any words, however most couples wish to have a ceremony to celebrate their partnership and we are very happy to help arrange that. Ceremonies may be held in any of the district Register Offices or at any of the approved venues.
If your civil partnership is to be held at a register office, contact us on 0300 123 4045 to book the date, time and place. If the partnership is to be held at an approved venue, check their available dates and provisionally book with them and then contact us to book the registrars. For celebration ceremonies, contact us to discuss the options.
Every person who wishes to form a civil partnership in England or Wales must give a notice of intention. If you live anywhere in the county of Hertfordshire and you are both British or EU citizens, you may choose to give your notices at any Hertfordshire Register Office. You can book an appointment online or by phoning 0300 123 4045. However, if your ceremony is taking place in Hertfordshire but you reside outside the county, you will be required to give your notices in the registration district in which you live in.
Later this year the Government plans to make provision for anyone who is already in a civil partnership to be able to convert it to a marriage. Up to date information will be available on our website at www.hertsdirect.org/registrars.
The Partnership Ceremony
If you have decided to have a ceremony we will give you guidance and options; you may include vows to each other, exchange of rings or gifts, music and readings. We will be pleased to help you put together the ceremony that feels right for you both.
Your ceremony will be the focal point of a very special day. There are no compulsory words, so you have a wide choice of words you may wish to say. However, it is important to have a structured and formal ceremony as this confirms your commitment to each other in front of your invited guests.
We can help and advise you on putting your ceremony together. At the end of the ceremony, once the official form has been signed by you and your witnesses, the certificates of partnership can be produced. These are the legal documents which prove your new status.
The Hertfordshire Celebrations Brochure below contains useful information about civil partnerships.
- Ceremony Fees 2015/16 (PDF file 28KB)