Civil Marriages

In Northern Ireland from 1st January 2004 any person can make application to their local authority for approval of a place at which a civil marriage ceremony can be performed.

Types of Place for Civil Marriages

The law is intended to allow Civil Marriages to be solemnised at any approved location, including any premises, fixed buildings, temporary structures, land and any vessels or vehicles, without compromising the fundamental principles of Northern Ireland marriage law and the solemnity and dignity of civil marriage.

Civil marriages in approved places may be followed by a celebration, commemoration or blessing of the couple’s choice, provided that this does not claim to be a religious marriage and that it is distinct from the civil ceremony.

Requirements before an application can be considered

In addition to being satisfied that the requirements relating to the type of place are met, the Council will consult with The Registrar, the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, Building Control and the Police Service of Northern Ireland to be assured that the chosen place compiles with the necessary requirements.

Civil Partnerships

Civil Partnership Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 came into operation on 5th December 2005. From that date same sex persons who wish to form a civil partnership can submit formal legal notice of their intention to register a civil partnership to the local Registrar.

Applicants can apply to have their premises approved for Civil Partnership Registrations.

Temporary Approvals

A place can be granted a Temporary Approval for a Civil Marriage or a Civil Partnership Registration, subject to the suitability of the place, for the day of the ceremony.

Applications for Temporary Approvals should be submitted to the Licensing Section at least 2 months before the date of the event.


Place Approval £300 (3 year licence)
Temporary Approval £150

How to apply

Application forms can be obtained from:

Licensing Section
Building Control Department
Newry and Mourne District Council
O'Hagan House
Monaghan Row
BT35 8DJ

Telephone (028) 3031 3000


or by clicking on the relevant link below:

Place Approval for Civil Marriage Application Form

Place Approval for Civil Partnership Application Form

Temporary Approval for Civil Marriage Application Form

Temporary Approval for Civil Partnership Application Form