Marriages & civil partnerships

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update:

Register Office: The office is open for pre-booked appointments only. For all other enquiries please call 01733 864646.

Marriages and civil partnership ceremonies: While we are aware that the Government has lifted many of the restrictions; we are all still being urged to continue with many of the precautions to keep ourselves and those we care about safe and to reduce transmission of the virus. This is particularly important with rates of the virus higher than we would like in parts of Peterborough.

To ensure that we can continue to provide the services that our residents rely upon, the council has decided not to change the restrictions currently in place for the registration office.

We know this may cause some disappointment, but the council has made this decision to ensure as far as possible that services can continue for all. If our registration staff were to become infected with COVID-19 or needed to self-isolate, we would be left with no choice but to cancel appointments and ceremonies for hundreds of people every week. This in-turn would have a greater impact than limiting numbers permitted to attend a ceremony so that social distancing can be maintained.

The decision will be reviewed by the council at the end of November 2021.

The Lawns Room will remain restricted to 8 people - including the couple, witnesses, guests, and photographer.

We politely request that everyone attending an appointment or ceremony at the Register Office continues to wear a face covering, unless exempt.

Birth registrations: You can continue to register the birth of your baby. There may be a longer wait than usual for an appointment and we thank you for your patience. For more information, please go to the Register a birth page.

Death registrations: These take place over the telephone. You must not come to the Register Office. Please ensure the contact number you give us when making your appointment is correct as this is the number the registrar will phone you on to complete the registration. During the call, the registrar will explain the process for the paperwork. For more information, please go to the Register a death page.

Notice of marriage/civil partnership appointments: If you have an appointment booked with us then please still attend as these appointments are continuing. We are contacting, in ceremony date order, those couples who need to give their notice of intention.

Citizenship Ceremonies: we are now holding virtual citizenship ceremonies. To book a place, please contact us on 01733 864646. Details of how to join your virtual ceremony will be sent to you after you have made your booking.

Certificates: Orders can only be taken for certificates from recently registered births and deaths. The priority service is suspended.

Updated: 13 October 2021

Planning your ceremony

Congratulations on taking your first steps towards marriage or civil partnership. If you are interested in holding your ceremony in Peterborough, we hope that the information below will be of help. If you live in Peterborough but are planning a ceremony elsewhere, you may still need to contact us about the legal formalities. 

When planning your ceremony, there are two areas that you need to think about:

  1. Booking the venue and the registrars for the ceremony.
  2. Completing the legal formalities – this is known as ‘giving notice’ of your intention to marry or enter into a civil partnership.

Important changes to giving notice from 1 July 2021

EEA nationals who have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme

If you are an EEA national (or family member of an EEA national) giving notice from 1 July 2021 onwards and have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need to provide evidence of this at your notice appointment. This includes those with pre-settled status and pending applications made before 1 July 2021.

For settled and pre-settled status, this must be in the form of a code which can be generated online - we cannot accept anything else as evidence of your status. The code is valid for 30 days - please print or make a note of the code and bring it with you. Please do not email it to us in advance.

For pending applications made before 1 July 2021, you must provide your certificate of application. If you only have a digital copy of this, please print it and bring it to your appointment.

EEA nationals and family members who do not have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme

EEA nationals and family members who do not have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme must provide alternative evidence of their immigration status. Please contact us to discuss this before your notice appointment. If you cannot provide acceptable evidence your details may be referred to the Home Office, a higher notice fee of £47 each may be charged, and the notice period may be extended from 28 days to 70 days.

If you do not have EU settled status you will need to give notice together at a Register Office in a district in which either of you live.

For all EEA nationals

From 1 July 2021 an EEA national ID card or biometric card will no longer be acceptable as evidence of your name, age and nationality at your notice appointment. You will need to provide a valid EEA passport.

Non-EEA nationals

From 1 July 2021, non-EEA nationals will no longer be able to give notice at any designated Register Office. Instead, unless you both hold either EU settled status, right of abode, or a forces exemption, you will need to give notice together at a Register Office in a district where either of you lives.

Important changes to marriage registration from 4 May 2021

New legislation means that the way a marriage is registered will change from 4 May 2021. Marriage registers will no longer be used. An electronic registration system will become the legal register for all civil and religious marriages. Your details will be recorded on a marriage schedule which is signed at the ceremony. The schedule has to be returned to the Register Office within 7 days of the marriage and is then entered onto the central electronic register.

Once the marriage is registered, certificates are issued (providing an order and payment has been made) and posted out to you. You will not receive a certificate on the day of your ceremony. If you are having a civil ceremony, certificates are ordered when you pay your ceremony fees to us. If your marriage is a religious one, certificates must be ordered and paid for just before your marriage date by ringing us on 01733 864646.

The new legislation also allows for the details of up to four parents to be entered into the register for both marriages and civil partnerships.

Booking your ceremony

When it comes to booking the ceremony, you must make sure that:

  1. The venue is licensed for marriages or civil partnerships
  2. It will be available to host the ceremony
  3. The registrars will be available to take the ceremony on the date and time you have chosen.

You will need to contact the venue to check their availability and to make a booking. A list of the premises licensed for legal ceremonies in the Peterborough district is given below. If the ceremony is to be held at Peterborough Register Office, you will need to contact us.

You will need to contact us to book the registrars if your ceremony is at a licensed venue in the Peterborough district. Be aware that in Peterborough we can only take provisional bookings up to one year in advance. If you plan to hold your ceremony in another district, you will need to contact the registrars in that district.

When you have booked the venue and the registrars, you will need to give notice of your intention to marry or to form a civil partnership. This is a legal requirement, and the marriage or civil partnership will only be able to go ahead if the notice is given correctly.

If you are a British national and plan to hold your ceremony in another country, you may still need to give notice. If this is your intention, please contact us as soon as possible.

Please note: in order to maintain social distancing and reduce the transmission of COVID-19, visitors to the Register Office will need to follow the measures set out in the document below.

It is essential that you read these carefully before coming to your appointment - if you do not follow them, your appointment may not be able to proceed.

Notice appointment procedure409KBpdf
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Giving notice

'Giving notice' is the legal procedure that must be completed before a legal marriage or civil partnership can take place. This procedure applies to all legal ceremonies held at a Register Office or licensed venue. It also applies to religious ceremonies for most faiths other than the Church of England and, unless both parties are either British, Irish, or hold EU settled status, the Church of England too.

To give notice, you will need to make an appointment at the relevant Register Office and pay a fee (for appointments with us, the fee is subject to our terms and conditions). At the appointment you will need to bring in certain documents, as shown below, and you will be asked to confirm your details and your partner’s details.

If both of you are either British, Irish, hold EU settled status, or have right of abode or a Forces immigration exemption, you must each give notice in the district in which you live. If you live in different districts you will give your notices separately. There must be at least 28 days between the date you give notice and the date of your ceremony.

If either of you do not fall into one of the categories in the paragraph above, you must give notice together in a district that either of you lives in – if you live in different districts, you must still give notice together in one of those districts. There must be at least 28 days between the date you give notice and the date of your ceremony, and this may be extended to 70 days depending on your immigration status.

One way to check the district that you live in is to identify who you pay your council tax to. Please note that Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are different districts.

If one of you does not speak English well, please bring someone else to translate. A couple cannot translate for each other – if you do not understand the questions being asked the appointment will be stopped and you will need to pay for a new appointment.

If you are under 18 years old, please contact us before your appointment for advice. For members of visiting armed forces, or those with right of abode, the rules can be a little different – please contact us.

What documents you need to give notice

Please read the following information carefully. The rules regarding the documentation to be produced are very strict, and we will be unable to take your notice without all of the following:

What documents you need to give notice
Type of evidence Required documents
Name and identity
  • For all nationalities, a valid passport
  • Or for non-EEA Nationals, a valid biometric immigration document issued by the Home Office
  • Or for non-EEA Nationals, a valid travel document issued by the UK authorities
  • Or, for British citizens only, a birth certificate or a certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen plus one of the six documents below, showing the same name as is shown on your certificate:
    • A utility bill dated no more than three months before the date the notice is given or
    • A bank statement dated no more than one month before the date the notice is given or
    • The council tax bill for current year or
    • A mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date the notice is given or
    • A current home tenancy agreement or
    • A valid driving license

If you are a British citizen without a valid passport who wishes to use their UK birth certificate as proof of identity, if you were born after 1 January 1983 we will need to see your full birth certificate (the one that includes your parents' names) plus your mother’s UK birth certificate. If you cannot obtain your mother’s UK birth certificate, please get in touch with us to discuss alternative options.

If either one or both of you are non-EEA citizens without Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will both need to bring recent passport-sized photos of yourselves to the notice appointment. This is the case even if you have a marriage visa.

Immigration status
  • If you are a British or Irish national, you will need to provide evidence of that nationality – see above.
  • If you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme you will need to obtain a code so that we can confirm that status online at your notice appointment. This can be done online at Gov.uk. Please print or make a note of the code and bring it with you – do not email the code to us in advance of your appointment. Please note that the code is only valid for 30 days, and that we cannot accept anything else as proof of your settled status.
  • If you have a pending EU settlement application you will not be able to use the code – instead, please bring the certificate of application received from the Home Office. If you have an email version of this, please print it and bring the printed copy to your appointment.
  • If you have any other evidence of your immigration status – such as indefinite leave to remain in the UK, a marriage or civil partnership visa, right of abode, or an HM Forces immigration exemption – please make sure that you bring this with you to your appointment.

If you cannot provide evidence of your immigration status, or your exemption from immigration control, your details are likely to be forwarded to the Home Office, and the date of your ceremony could be delayed.

Confirmation of address
  • A valid UK driving license or
  • A bank statement dated no more than 1 month before the date notice is given or
  • A utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the date notice is given or
  • The council tax bill for the current year or
  • A mortgage statement dated no more than 1 year before the date notice is given or
  • A current home tenancy agreement or
  • A letter from the owner or tenant of the property where you currently live – this will need to confirm certain points, so please contact us in advance to discuss this.
Confirmation of Marital
Status (if applicable)

If previously married or in a civil partnership:

  • The original decree absolute (not the decree nisi), or the original document confirming dissolution of a civil partnership or, if obtained outside the UK, the final document confirming that your previous marriage or civil partnership has legally come to an end, or
  • A death certificate – this must name you as the surviving spouse or civil partner. If it does not, please contact us.

If you changed your name on divorce or civil partnership dissolution, please check to see that the name on your divorce or dissolution documents matches the name on your current identity documents. If it does not, we would need to see an additional document linking these names. This would typically be a marriage or civil partnership certificate – however, please contact us to check. If the divorce or civil partnership dissolution was obtained outside the British Isles, a fee will be payable for the consideration of the documents (see below for fees). In many cases overseas documents will need to be sent to General Register Office for approval, which can take several weeks – until approval is given, your ceremony will not be able to take place. If your divorce document is not in English we must also see a translation of that document. The translation can be done by anyone other than the couple, and whoever does the translation must sign the document and certify that it is a true and accurate translation of the original. They must also state their full name and address.

Confirmation of Change of
Name (if applicable)

If you are presenting documents showing different names, or would like us to record a former name, we would need to see a document linking your different names. This might be a change of name deed, or a marriage or civil partnership certificate. If your documents do not consistently show the same name, please discuss this with us in advance of your appointment to avoid any difficulties on the day.

All documents brought to the notice appointment should be originals or certified copies – we cannot accept photocopies. If any of your documents are not in English, please bring the original and a certified translation.

If you are unsure about what to bring to your appointment or have any questions at all, please contact us before the appointment. If you cannot meet the requirements at the appointment we may not be able to take your notice, which may mean making a new appointment, paying a new fee, and possibly delaying your ceremony.

The information above is intended as a general guide to the basic legal requirements. It is not exhaustive, and does not cover every situation. When you book your notice appointment, a registrar will discuss your own circumstances, the requirements that will apply to you, and the documents that you will need to provide.

Notice booking fees

If both of you are either British, Irish, hold EU settled status, have right of abode, a Forces immigration exemption, indefinite leave to remain or a marriage visa, the booking fee for a notice of marriage or civil partnership appointment is £35 per person. If either of you do not fall into one of these categories, you must both pay a notice fee of £47 per person.

If the either or both of you are divorced and the country of divorce was outside the British Isles (that is the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), there will be a fee payable for consideration of each divorce document, either £50 or £75 per divorce depending on where it took place.

Please be aware of the following terms and conditions:

  • The booking fee is non-refundable, so please ensure you come to your appointment.
  • If you cannot come to your appointment, or want to reschedule it, please contact us in advance. Please note that appointments can be rescheduled only once, and only provided that we are contacted in advance of your appointment.
  • If you want to cancel your appointment altogether, please let us know. Your notice fee can be refunded provided that you request this in writing (including email) 7 days or more before the appointment date.
  • The notice fee does not go towards the cost of your ceremony – it is a separate fee.
  • If you arrive without the correct documents and are unable to complete the notice appointment a new appointment will have to be made and the booking fee paid again. All documents provided must be originals – photocopies or scanned copies of documents cannot be accepted. If a document is not in English then a certified translation must be provided.

Witnesses and certificates

For all ceremonies you must have two other people present to witness that you have said the legal vows and to sign the schedule. These witnesses must speak and understand English well and ideally should be aged 18 years old or over.

New legislation means that certificates will only be issued after the ceremony has taken place, the schedule has been received by the Register Office and the details entered onto the central electronic register. You will not be able to obtain a certificate on the day of your ceremony.

If your ceremony is a civil one you will pay the certificate fees to us when we collect your ceremony fee. If your ceremony is a religious one you can order certificates in advance of the ceremony at a cost of £11 each.

Ceremonies at the Register Office

We offer a choice of three ceremony rooms:

  • The Register Office - Accommodating the couple and two witnesses only.
  • The Thorpe Room - Offering a simple and less formal ceremony for up to six guests.
  • The Lawns Room - An elegant ceremony room, which seats up to thirty guests, where you are able to include music in your ceremony and add your own readings, as long as neither are religious.

Free car parking is available although this can be limited on a weekday (Monday to Friday). Please ensure you and your guests allow plenty of time before the ceremony as alternative off-site parking may have to be found if all our allocated parking bays are full.

Following the ceremony photographs can be taken by the old stone archway in the gardens. The gardens have been fitted with lighting to enhance photographs on darker days or for ceremonies taking place later in the day on winter afternoons. You are of course welcome to bring a photographer or videographer to capture your ceremony. The building is easily accessible, with all rooms on the ground floor, double doors and facilities for the disabled and there is also a loop hearing system in the Lawns room for the hard of hearing.

Other than assistance dogs, we do not allow animals at ceremonies.

Fees for ceremonies held at the Register Office

Peterborough Register Office ceremony fees
Room Monday Friday and Saturday
The Register Office Room £46 £46
The Thorpe Room (up until 31 March 2022) £130 £180

The Thorpe Room (from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023)

£135 £185
The Lawns Room (up until 31 March 2022) £270 £390
The Lawns Room (from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023) £280 £395

The Register Office Room will only be available on Mondays and Fridays at 10.30am for the couple and two witnesses only.

Licensed venues

Listed below are the venues that are currently licensed in the Peterborough registration district to carry out civil ceremonies for marriage, civil partnership, renewal of vows or baby naming.

Licensed ceremony venues in Peterborough
Name Address Telephone
Bedford Hall Bedford Hall,
Tank Yard,
Station Road,
Thorney
PE6 0QE
0845 3311466
The Bull Hotel and Conference Centre The Bull Hotel and Conference Centre,
Westgate,
Peterborough
PE1 1RB
01733 561364
Burghley House Burghley House,
Stamford
PE9 3JY
01780 761992
The Cresset The Cresset,
Rightwell,
Bretton Centre,
Peterborough
PE3 8DX
01733 842520
The Great Northern Railway Hotel The Great Northern Railway Hotel,
Station Approach,
Peterborough
PE1 1QL 
01733 552595
Holiday Inn Holiday Inn,
Peterborough West,
Thorpe Wood,
Peterborough
PE3 6SG
01733 289988
Orton Hall Hotel Orton Hall Hotel,
The Village,
Orton Longueville,
Peterborough
PE2 7DN
01733 391111
Peterborough Marriott Hotel Peterborough Marriott Hotel,
Lynch Wood,
Peterborough
PE2 6GB
01733 371111
Peterborough Town Hall The Town Hall,
Bridge Street,
Peterborough
PE1 1HG
01733 747474
Sissons Barn Sissons Barn,
Thorney Road,
Peakirk,
Peterborough
PE6 7NT
01733 252216
The Showground The Showground,
East of England Arena and Events Centre,
East of England Showground,
Peterborough
PE2 6XE
01733 363533
The White Hart The White Hart,
Main Street,
Ufford,
Stamford
PE9 3BH
01780 740250

Fees for ceremonies held at a licensed venue

Licensed venue ceremony fees
Room Monday to Friday Saturday Sunday
1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 £560 £635 £685
1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 £565 £640 £690
An optional meeting to discuss final arrangements prior to a ceremony at a licensed venue £50    

Ceremonies are not held on a bank holiday at any venue.

Apply to become a licensed venue

Peterborough Registration Service must approve all venues in the Peterborough district hosting marriages or civil partnerships. If you are interested in hosting ceremonies at your venue, you can apply online to become a licensed venue or you can contact us.

The process includes:

  • an inspection of the premises by two members of council staff
  • posting of a public notice to determine any objections
  • ensuring the Council’s Planning department have no objections
  • ensuring the local Fire Officer has no objections and, if approved
  • issue of a licence that remains valid for a period of three years.

The fee for applications is £3,000.

An optional pre-inspection visit by council staff for discussion/clarification is available for a one-off fee of £130. A replacement licence or changes to an existing licence will cost £125.

All fees are non-refundable.

Cancellations and amendments

In the event that you need to cancel a ceremony for which you have already paid, you will be required to provide your request in writing to Peterborough Register Office and it will be subject to the following guidelines:

  • Six months or more notice of cancellation - Full refund (less a £20 administration fee)
  • Three to six months notice of cancellation - 50% refund (less a £20 administration fee)
  • Less than three months notice of cancellation (or failure to cancel) - No refund
  • In the event that you need to change the date of your ceremony, a £20 administration fee will be payable
  • In the event that you need to change the time of your ceremony no administration fee will be charged

Getting a passport in your new name

If you are changing your surname and going abroad immediately after your ceremony, you can apply to the passport service up to three months in advance for a passport in your new name. The passport will be post-dated to the date of the ceremony and will not be valid for use until the ceremony has taken place.

To apply, you may download the PD2 form from the Gov.uk website or visit any passport office.

Part 1 of the PD2 form needs to be completed by the Superintendent Registrar who will be performing your ceremony. If you are marrying in the Peterborough registration district, you can either call us so we can take payment and complete the form over the phone with you or if you prefer you can make an appointment to come into the Register Office. The fee for the passport form to be signed by the Superintendent Registrar for Peterborough is £30. Please be aware that we operate a call back service and it can take a week for us to return your call so please allow enough time for your application to be made. After the call or the appointment you will need to complete Part 2 of the form and submit it with your passport application.

Conversion of civil partnership to marriage

Since December 2014, civil partnership couples now have the opportunity to convert their partnership into a marriage. You will both be required to attend at the Register Office and provide evidence of your identity, along with your civil partnership certificate. A declaration will be made and signed and a marriage certificate will be issued.

Alternatively, you may complete the conversion in two stages by providing the declaration as part of a ceremony at a later date.

For further advice on this process and information on the fees payable please contact the Register Office.