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The law is changing: From Thursday 13 March 2014, same sex couples will be able to give notice of marriage. Although the ceremony cannot be performed before 29 March, we are now taking provisional bookings for same sex marriages. For more information see our marriages page.
Civil partnerships will still be available after 13 March, they are not being replaced by the new legislation. Information about the differences between civil partnerships and same sex marriages is available on the gov.uk website, please see comparison of civil partnership and marriage for same sex couples.
A civil partnership is a legally binding contract between two people of the same sex. It provides for single sex couples to form a partnership, recognised in law, to become next of kin to one another, and to enjoy the same rights and privileges awarded to married couples.
Following implementation of the Civil Partnership Act on 5 December 2005 same-sex couples may register their intention to form a civil partnership. They must then wait 15 clear days. The partnership is formed when the couple sign a legal document in the presence of a Civil Partnership Registrar and two witnesses. There is no requirement to have a ceremony, but we offer ceremonies in Bristol Register Office at the Old Council House and at all our approved premises currently licensed for ceremonies.
- The couple must be of the same sex. Couples of the opposite sex may not form a civil partnership
- You must be free to form the partnership - you must not be in an existing marriage or civil partnership
- You must be over 18 years of age. If you are under 18, but over 16, you must bring written consent from a parent or legal guardian
- If one or both parties do not hold British or EU citizenship you must seek Home Office approval before giving notice
Please find full details on our Giving notice of a marriage or civil partnership page
Full information about having your ceremony at the Old Council House, or having a registrar in attendance at another venue, can be found on our Register Office fees page.