Choose what type of ceremony to have

How to plan your ceremony, including how to choose the type of ceremony you want.

Before you can give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership, you need to decide whether to have a religious or a non-religious (civil) ceremony, and where to have it. You can choose to have your ceremony in either a register office or in an approved premises.

Non-religious civil ceremonies

If you are getting married, you can have a non-religious civil ceremony. If you are forming a civil partnership you can have a civil ceremony, but not a religious ceremony.

You can have a civil ceremony at:

Let us help you plan your civil ceremony

Our bespoke packages allows you to personalise your ceremony. 

Bespoke option 1 - Your day your way 

Your tailor made ceremony including the legal elements all on one day at one of our approved venues. This option allows the non-legal part of your ceremony to be conducted outside, even where there is no licensed structure.

Bespoke option 2 - Celebrate in style

A legal ceremony at one of our register offices on a day prior to a tailor-made celebratory ceremony at another venue. This could be a non-licensed premise or outdoor area (providing public liability insurance is in place). It is your responsibility to agree any ceremony additions with the venue prior to your wedding day.

Traditional ceremony

This ceremony allows you to add some personal touches. You may wish to include either up to two readings or poems, which can be read by a family member or guests, or your own personal words to each other. The ceremony lasts for 30 minutes and can be held at licenced venue or register office of your choice. 

Book a registrar

If you need a registrar to attend the ceremony, please contact us to book. You can book a registrar up to 2 years in advance. 

Email: registrationservice@cumbria.gov.uk.
Telephone: 0300 303 2472.

Fees

Find out more about our fees for bespoke and traditional packages.

Religious ceremonies

You can have a marriage ceremony at any religious building registered as a marriage venue. Same-sex couples can get married in a religious building if it has been registered for the marriage of same-sex couples. 

Your marriage must be registered immediately after the ceremony by an authorised person, such as a religious minister. If the venue does not have an authorised person you must book registrars to attend the ceremony and register the marriage.

Please do not confirm and pay for your venue until we have confirmed that we can provide a registrar to attend the ceremony.

Find out how much our registration services cost.

Church of England or Church in Wales

If you wish to be married in the Church of England or Church in Wales, you should first speak to the vicar of your local church. Generally you will be able to marry in your local church if you or your partner live in the parish. You cannot get married in an Anglican church as a same-sex couple.

Other places of religious worship

If you wish to marry by religious ceremony other than in the Church of England or Church in Wales, you should first arrange to see the minister or other person in charge of marriages at the building. However, the church or religious building in question must normally be in the registration district where you or your partner live.