Marriages and civil partnerships

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Planning your ceremony

Congratulations on taking your first steps towards marriage or civil partnership. If you are interested in holding your marriage or civil partnership 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 (see giving notice section). 

There are several ways a couple can enter into a legal relationship with one another:

Marriages can be entered into by opposite sex and same sex couples in a register office or in a licensed venue (e.g. a hotel) or religious building which has been licensed for this purpose.

Civil partnerships are for same sex couples who wish to enter into a legal partnership with each other, and will usually take place in a register office or licensed premises. This is often done as part of a civil partnership ceremony, but it is possible to form a civil partnership without a ceremony. The government has announced plans to introduce civil partnerships for opposite sex couples and this will be available once the law is changed.

It is also possible to convert a civil partnership to a marriage.

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.

Booking your ceremony

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

  1. The venue is licensed for marriages
  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.

With regard to the venue, you will need to contact them yourself 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.

With regard to booking the registrars to take the ceremony, you will need to contact us 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.

After 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

‘Giving notice’ of your intention to marry 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 booking fee towards that notice appointment (the fee is subject to our terms and conditions shown below). At the appointment you will need to bring in certain documents, as shown in the section below, and you will be asked to confirm your details and your partner’s details. Notice of your intention to marry will then be displayed at the register office for a period of 28 days, or 70 days if one or both of you are not an EEA national, and then 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. So 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 can give notice at any Designated Register Office in England or Wales, regardless of where you live and you must both attend 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 and 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
Proof of name and identity
  • Current valid passport 
  • Or an EEA National ID (as long as it contains name, nationality and date of birth)
  • Or a UK government Home Office travel document
  • Or, for British citizens only, a birth certificate plus:
    • A utility bill for last quarter or
    • Bank statement dated within last month or
    • Council tax for current year or 
    • Mortgage statement or
    • Current home tenancy agreement or
    • Valid driving license 
Please note: for British citizens without a valid passport and presenting a birth certificate, 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 or father’s birth certificate and their marriage certificate if father’s documents are provided and his details are not on your birth certificate. If your mother’s name on her birth certificate is different to the one on yours, we will need to see a connecting document e.g. her marriage certificate or a deed poll certificate.

For all non-EEA citizens, both of you must provide a passport sized photograph even if one of you is British or an EEA citizen.
Immigration status
  • EU Passport or UK Biometric Residence Permit or Valid Visa
  • Valid Home Office endorsement
  • Valid UK residence permit
Please note: if you do not have any of these, your application to get married will be referred to the Home Office.
Confirmation of address
  • Council tax bill for current year or
  • Bank statement for current month or
  • Utility bill for current quarter or
  • Mortgage statement for current year or
  • Current home tenancy agreement or
  • Valid UK driving licence or
  • Letter from owner/occupier of residence
Please note: if you do not have any of these documents we will be unable to take your notice of marriage.

Letters from owner/tenant must give your full name and address and must state you have lived there for 9 days and that the person writing the letter is the owner/tenant of dwelling and must be signed and dated by them. If signed by a tenant, we will also need to see their tenancy agreement.
Confirmation of Marital
Status (if applicable)

If previously married:

  • The decree absolute (not the decree nisi) or
  • A death certificate and marriage certificate
Please note: if the divorce was obtained outside the British Isles, a fee will be payable either to the Superintendent Registrar (£50), or to the Registrar General (£75) for their consideration of the divorce papers.*


If the Decree Absolute is in a foreign language we must also see a translation of the document. The translation can be done by anyone, just not the bride or groom, and whoever does the translation must sign the document and certify that it is a true and accurate translation of the original document. They must also state their full name and address.

Confirmation of Change of
Name (if applicable)
  • Change of name document

* If overseas divorce papers are to be sent to the Registrar General for consideration, it can take several weeks. Please be aware that until approval is granted, your ceremony will not be able to proceed.

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 your name appears differently on different documents, please bring the document that links those names – such as a marriage certificate or change of name deed.

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 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 can attend on the date booked.
  • When you attend your appointment the booking fee is used towards the cost of your notice, not the cost of the marriage.
  • If you do not attend for your appointment the booking fee will not be returned to you.
  • Appointments can be rescheduled once only and then only providing we are contacted in advance of your appointment.
  • If you need to cancel your appointment completely then 7 days notice must be given in writing or via email or the booking fee will not be returned to you.
  • If you arrive without the correct documents or we are unable to complete the notice appointment then 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:

Monday Friday and Saturday
The Register Office Room £46 £46
The Thorpe Room 
(up to 31 March 2020)
£116 £166
The Thorpe Room
(from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021)
£124 £174
The Lawns Room
(up to 31 March 2020) 
£250 £380
The Lawns Room
(from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021) 
£260 £385

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 Saturday Sunday
1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 £550 £625 £675
1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 £555 £630 £680

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

£40

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

Witnesses & 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.

Corrections 

Corrections can only be made when the information in a marriage register is wrong. You cannot apply for a correction to show new information if your circumstances change after the marriage. 

If you need to make any corrections please contact us. The process for correction is lengthy and may need to be authorised by the Registrar General which will add to the delay in the corrected certificate being issued. 

There are fees payable for the consideration of the correction and for any corrected certificates requested. The following national fees apply:

  • Corrections which we are able to authorise locally: £75
  • Corrections which we need to refer to the Registrar General: £90

In addition, you will also need to pay again for any certificates you require with the corrected information.

For more information, please visit the Gov.uk website.

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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,
Thorney,
PE6 0QE
0845 3311466
The Cresset,
Rightwell,
Bretton Centre,
Peterborough,
PE3 8DX
01733 842520
Orton Hall Hotel,
The Village,
Orton Longueville,
Peterborough,
PE2 7DN
01733 391111
Thorney Road 
Peakirk 
Peterborough 
PE6 7NT 
01733 252216  
The Bull Hotel and Conference Centre,
Westgate,
Peterborough,
PE1 1RB
01733 561364
The Great Northern Railway Hotel
Station Approach,
Peterborough,
PE1 1QL 
01733 552595
Peterborough Marriott Hotel,
Lynch Wood,
Peterborough,
PE2 6GB
01733 371111
The White Hart,
Main Street,
Ufford,Stamford,
PE9 3BH
01780 740250 
Burghley House,
Stamford,
PE9 3JY
01780 761992
Holiday Inn,
Peterborough West,
Thorpe Wood,
Peterborough,
PE3 6SG
01733 289988
The Town Hall,
Bridge Street,
Peterborough,
PE1 1HG
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 customer services or email ask@peterborough.gov.uk.

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 Gov.uk 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 & 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

Ceremonies Guide 2019

Size: 692.72 KB File format: pdf

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