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Guidance on Religious Marriage Preliminaries

Castlereagh Registration Office

028 9244 7822

Lisburn Registration Office

028 9250 9262/3


Officants

Ministers, Priests, Pastors, Chaplains, etc who will be solemnising marriages must be nominated to the Registrar General by a religious body and are known as Officiants.

 

Notice of Marriage

Notice for all religious marriages has to be given on the prescribed Marriage Notice Forms. The Marriage Notice forms are available at all Registration Offices or you may download a copy here (GRO-446). Each of the two parties must complete and sign a Notice Form. The Officiant must also sign at least one of the Notice Forms to confirm that he/she has agreed to solemnise the marriage ceremony. If your Officiant becomes unavailable to conduct the ceremony, contact the Registration Office where you gave notice to at once, as one of the Notice Forms must be signed by the substitute Officiant before the Schedule can be issued.

The parties should submit the Marriage Notice Forms to the Registration Office of the District where the marriage is to be solemnised along with the relevant documents (see below) and the notice fee of £44.00 cash/cheque or debit/credit card. If paying by cheque, please make payable to "Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council".

Notice may be given up to a year before the date of marriage. However, it is recommended that notice is given no later than 8 to 10 weeks before the wedding - the minimum notice period being 28 days before the date of marriage. If you don't give 28 days notice, you may need to postpone your marriage.

 

Legal Requirements

To marry in Northern Ireland, you and your partner must be:


• aged 18 years old or above on the day of your wedding (consent is needed if either of you  
  are aged 16 or 17 years old)
• unrelated to one another in a way that would prevent you from getting married
• free to marry, for example, neither of you are already in a civil partnership or are legally
  married
• not of the same sex
• capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to the 
  marriage

 

Essential Documents to be Produced

All documents must be originals i.e. not photocopies and if not in English, accompanied by a certified translation. These documents must be produced when giving notice. The Registrar must see documents that prove your age, nationality and identity as follows:

 

Identity
A Full Birth Certificate (Long Version) showing parents details

 

Status
If you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, the death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner.
If divorced - a decree absolute or a dissolution of Civil Partnership Certificate. Please note a decree nisi is not acceptable.
If reverted back to maiden name - last marriage certificate must be produced.
Consent
If 16 or 17 years - Consent Forms are available from Registrar

 

Nationality
Passport or National Identity Card

If you are a non-EEA citizen, please read NI Direct’s Information on Getting married in Northern Ireland for further information on the requirements.

 

Collection of Schedule

The Marriage schedule must be collected by either the bride or groom in person from the Registration Office where Official Notice was given, no earlier than 14 days before the marriage.

 

Solemnisation of Marriage

An officiant can only solemnise a marriage when he or she is in receipt of a marriage schedule. Immediately after the ceremony, the schedule must be signed by the bride and groom, two witnesses (over 16 years of age) and the Officiant.

 

Return of the Marriage Schedule

It is responsibility of the parties to return the completed schedule, within 3 working days, to the Registration Office where Official Notice was given. This may be returned in person or by post. You may wish to ask a close friend or relative to do this important task.

 

Registration of the Marriage

Once the schedule is received the Registration Staff are responsible for registering the marriage. Then certified copies may be purchased from the Registration Office on payment of the appropriate fee. Certificates are £8.00 at time of Registration, however £15.00 thereafter.  You may pay by cash, cheque, debit or credit card.