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Since March 2014 the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 has given same sex couples the option to get married. For more information see our marriages page.
Civil partnerships are still available. they have not been replaced by the new legislation.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.
Couples in a civil partnership are legally able to ‘convert’ this to a marriage. The ‘conversion’ is a statutory paper process with the option to have a celebratory ceremony.
The following documents will need to be produced at the appointment in order to complete the process:
- Current passports
- proof of address
- an original civil partnership certificate
There will be no conversion charge for any couple who had a civil partnership before 29 March 2014 and convert this before 10 December 2015.
Any marriage certificates purchased at the time of the appointment will be £4 each.
A non-refundable booking fee of £25 is payable to secure any date and time for a ceremony.
For more information or to book an appointment please contact the ceremonies section.
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 28 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.