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Planning a Religious Marriages

Religious Marriage Ceremonies mostly take place in a Church, Chapel, Building of Worship or location chosen by the couple.  Services are performed by a Religious officiant according to the relevant tradition.

Religious Officiants

Ministers, Priests, Pastors, Chaplains, Appointed Person, etc. who will be solemnising a Religious Marriage must be nominated to the Registrar General in Belfast by a religious body and are known as Religious Officiants.

Notice of Marriage

If you plan to have a Religious Marriage you may obtain the Marriage Notice Application Forms (GRO 446) with explanatory notes attached at the District Registration Office or download at www.nidirect.gov.uk. Each party to the Marriage must complete and sign a Marriage Notice Form each. The Officiant must also sign at least one of the Notice Forms to confirm that he/she has agreed to solemnise the marriage ceremony.

The parties should then submit the Marriage Notice Forms to the Registration Office in the District where the marriage is to be solemnised along with the relevant documents (as per explanatory notes attached to the Marriage Notice form) with the notice fee of £44 plus £8 for your Marriage Certificate.  

Marriage Notice can be submitted within the twelve month period prior to the date of your Marriage.  It is advised to submit at least 12 weeks before the date of your Marriage. The legal minimum Notice period is 28 days but this is not advised.

Collection of your Marriage Schedule

The Marriage Schedule must be collected by either party in person from the Registry Office no earlier than 14 days before the Marriage.

Solemnisation of your Marriage

An Officiant can only solemnise a Marriage when he or she is in receipt of a Marriage Schedule.  Immediately after the Ceremony, the Marriage Schedule must be signed by both parties, two witnesses (over 16 years of age) and the Officiant.

Returning the Marriage Schedule

Please arrange to return the Marriage Schedule to the Registry Office within 3 working days.

Registration of your Marriage

Registration staff will register your Marriage and then issue your Marriage Certificate.  Additional copies are £8 each.