Changes in service due to Coronavirus
Our services, including births, deaths, weddings and civil partnerships are affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Please check the latest information:
See current changes to the Registration Service
We are delighted that you are planning to hold your ceremony in Northamptonshire.
Everyone’s ceremony is special and we will help to make your day a very happy occasion for you, your family and friends.
In Northamptonshire we have over 80
approved venues providing charming and memorable settings for all our ceremonies. Many approved venues will also arrange your reception. This website also contains details of the facilities at our
registration offices for your special day.
All non-religious marriage ceremonies in the county are conducted by Northamptonshire County Council’s Registration Service ceremony team. Our staff are dedicated to making your day in Northamptonshire memorable.
Ceremonies taking place from 4 May 2021
The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths Act successfully completed its passage through Parliament on 15 March 2019 and attained Royal Assent on 26 March 2019.
The Act provides for the modernisation of marriage registration for the first time since 1837. It removes the need for paper based registers and introduces a marriage schedule system and electronic register.
The electronic register will also allow for the names of the parents of the couple (mother / father / parent) to be included in the marriage entry and on marriage certificates, instead of only their fathers' names, as is currently the case.
The main changes couples will see:
Anyone getting married in England or Wales on or after 4 May 2021 will need a marriage schedule instead of authorities to marry. These will be printed by the Register Office in the district where the marriage is taking place, or, for certain weddings, be provided by the Church of England.
The Register Office or Clergy will ask the couple to check the schedule carefully before performing the ceremony
- The schedule will allow for mothers' or other parents' details to be included on the dayThe signed marriage schedule must be returned as soon as possible after the wedding to the Register Office in the district the marriage took place for the details to be entered into the electronic register
- No marriage certificate will be received on the day, though you may receive a commemorative certificate, which is not a legal documentAll marriage certificates will need to be ordered and issued by the register office in the district where the marriage took place.
- Regulations to confirm this were laid in Parliament on 22 February 2021 and will come into force on 4 May 2021
What is the difference between a marriage and a civil partnership?
Marriage, according to the law of this country, is the union of two people of the same or opposite sex voluntarily entered into for life to the exclusion of all others.
This is made by a verbal contract between two people and is currently recorded in a marriage register. The contract is made by the couple saying declaratory and contracting words.
A ceremony is required. You cannot currently convert a marriage to a civil partnership.
A civil partnership is a written contract formed by declaration between two people giving the partners similar legal rights as married couples. The declaration can be said out loud or read by the partners before signing. No ceremony is required although one can be held after the declaration has been made.
From 31 December 2019 same and opposite sex partners can form a civil partnership. Same sex partners can currently convert a civil partnership to a marriage.
We recommend you seek independent advice if you are not sure whether a marriage or a civil partnership best suits your wishes. There is a more information on the GOV.UK website describing the difference between a marriage and a civil partnership.
You can choose to have a Civil partnership Registration that takes place in the registrar’s office with two adult witnesses or choose to have a ceremony in one of our venues.