Special circumstance ceremonies

Circumstances where you can have a ceremony outside of the normal rules, including if you or your partner are housebound, terminally ill, in prison or Jewish.

Under certain circumstances you may be able to have a marriage or civil partnership ceremony outside of the normal rules, such as at home. For advice about having a ceremony under any of these circumstances, please get in touch.

Registration service

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

If you or your partner are terminally ill

If you or your partner are terminally ill, you can marry or have a civil partnership at home or in a hospital.

In these circumstances a doctor must sign a letter confirming that they are in medical attendance of the person and that the person is terminally ill and not expected to recover. The letter must also state that the person cannot be moved and can fully understand the importance of the marriage ceremony. 

The marriage can take place once the Registrar General has issued the licence for the marriage. Where necessary this may be on the same day that the arrangements are made, although the marriage must take place within one month of giving notice.  

Only one notice is given under these circumstances.

If you or your partner are housebound

If you or your partner are housebound, you can have a ceremony in your own home or in a hospital. A doctor must be prepared to sign a statement that the person is not able to be moved for a period of 3 months to a place normally registered for marriage.  

You can get a statement form from your local register office. It must be signed not more than 14 days before giving notice. Notice must be given in the district(s) of residence of both people. In the case of the housebound person, the notice will be taken at home.

The marriage or civil partnership must take place within 3 months of giving the first notice. 

If you or your partner are in prison 

A marriage or civil partnership can take place in a prison as long as the prison authorities agree that the marriage can be performed there. This agreement must be in the form of a statement signed by the prison governor not more than 21 days before you give notice.

The person in prison must give their notice to the local superintendent registrar. As the registrar will normally have to visit the prison in order to take the notice, there will be an extra fee to pay

The other person will also have to give a notice to the registrar of the district in which they live. The marriage or civil partnership must take place within 3 months of giving the first notice.

If you or your partner are Jewish

If you or your partner are Jewish, you can have a ceremony in a private home, hotel or even outside in a garden as long as the marriage is to be conducted according to Jewish religious rites and both people are of the Jewish faith.

The marriage or civil partnership can take place at any time and does not have to be within the usual hours for marriage which are 8am and 6pm.