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:

If you have a ceremony booked you will have been contacted regarding the number of attendees you may be allowed under the Government’s plan for emerging from the current lockdown and roadmap to ease restrictions.

The planned changes are:

​Step 1 (2nd stage): From 29 March – Legal limit of 6 attendees

Step 2: No earlier than 12 April - Legal limit of 15 attendees (see note ** below)

Step 3: No earlier than 17 May - Legal limit of 30 attendees (see note ** below)

Step 4: No earlier than 21 June - No legal limit on attendees (subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme - from April the government will run pilots for events such as large weddings to help determine how measures such as enhanced testing might allow large groups to attend without social distancing.)

The plan is subject to the four tests outlined in the roadmap being met at each step.

The legal limit of attendees number includes the couple, witnesses and guests, but

those working, such as registration officials and venue managers are not included.

The number of attendees quoted above are the 'legal limits', but Covid 19 safety

measures means that the numbers may be less at certain venues.

Please note: Even after 12 April 2021, the Lawns room at the Register Office will remain restricted to 8 people (the couple, witnesses and guests) until further notice.

Ceremonies are subject to certain restrictions. These restrictions have been put in place in order to ensure social distancing at ceremonies and reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission for those attending. They may affect what can be offered as part of the ceremony.

Please read the following carefully:

We are only able to take new ceremony bookings for dates that are at least 6 months ahead of your enquiry. If you would like to make a new booking please contact us. Alternatively, if you have an existing booking and want to change the date, please get in touch with us.

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: Small group citizenship ceremonies are being held. To book a place, please contact us on 01733 864646. Guidance on the restrictions applying to citizenship ceremonies can be read online - please read this carefully.

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

EUSS service: This service is not currently being offered.

Updated: 01 April 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.

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 or commonwealth 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.

Giving notice

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
Size: 409KBFile format: pdf

‘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, if one party is not an EEA national, 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.

Notice of your intention to marry or enter into a civil partnership will then be displayed at the register office for a period of 28 days; where one or both of you are not an EEA national, this may be extended to 70 days. At the end of this notice period the documents allowing the ceremony to proceed will be issued.

If both of you are British or EEA nationals, you must give notice in the district in which you live. If you live in different districts you will give your notices separately, each one in the district where you live. One way to confirm the correct district is to identify who you pay your council tax to.

Please note: Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are different districts.

If either one of you is not a British or EEA national, you should give notice at a Designated Register Office. This can be any Designated Register Office in England or Wales, regardless of where you live, and you must both attend together at the same appointment. Peterborough is a Designated Register Office - a full list can be found on the government website.

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:

Type of evidence Required documents
Name and identity
  • For all nationalities, a valid passport
  • Or for EEA Nationals, a valid EEA ID (as long as it contains name, nationality and date of birth)
  • 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
Please note: 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
    • For non-UK and EEA nationals, please provide evidence of your immigration status in the UK – this could be, for example, a biometric permit or a visa or other endorsement in your passport.
Please note: if you are a non-EEA national and cannot demonstrate that you have indefinite leave to remain, a marriage visa, permanent residence as an EEA family member or an exemption from immigration control (such as a member of visiting armed forces) 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.

Please note: 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.

Please note: 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 you are both British or EEA nationals, the booking fee for a notice of marriage appointment is £35 per person and must be paid in full at the time the appointment is made. If either or one of you is a non-EEA national without settled status, permanent residence, a marriage or fiancé visa, or exemption from immigration control, you must both pay a 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. This fee must be paid at the time the notice is booked.

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.

  • When you attend your appointment the booking fee is used towards the cost of your notice, not the cost of the marriage.

  • 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.

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.

Ceremony fees

Ceremonies held at the register office:


Friday and Saturday

The Register Office Room*



The Thorpe Room (up until 31 March 2022)



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



The Lawns Room (up until 31 March 2022)



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



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

Ceremonies held at a licensed venue:

Monday to Friday



1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022




1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023




An optional meeting to discuss final arrangements prior to a ceremony at a licensed venue


Please note: ceremonies are not held on a bank holiday at any venue.

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 register or civil partnership schedule. These witnesses must speak and understand English well and ideally should be aged 18 years old or over.

You can order certificates in advance of the ceremony at a cost of £11 per certificate.

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.

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.

Bedford Hall,
Tank Yard,
Station Road,
0845 3311466
The Cresset,
Bretton Centre,
01733 842520
Orton Hall Hotel,
The Village,
Orton Longueville,
01733 391111
Sissons Barn Thorney Road
PE6 7NT 01733 252216
The Bull Hotel and Conference Centre,
01733 561364
The Great Northern Railway Hotel,
Station Approach,
01733 552595
Peterborough Marriott Hotel,
Lynch Wood,
01733 371111
The White Hart,
Main Street,
01780 740250
Burghley House,
01780 761992
Holiday Inn,
Peterborough West,
Thorpe Wood,
01733 289988
The Town Hall,
Bridge Street,
01733 747474

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 from 1 April 2019 will be £2800 and from 1 April 2020 it will be £2900.

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.

Please note: all fees are non-refundable.

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 website or visit any passport office.

Please note: 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.

Cancellation 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

Ceremonies Guide

Size: 693KBFile format: pdf