Same Sex Marriage

The Civil Partnership Act of 2005 meant that the registration of civil partnerships became legal, and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act of 2013 subsequently made the marriage of same sex couples lawful in England and Wales, with Scotland following at the beginning of 2015. Existing civil partners can now also choose to have their partnership 'converted' into marriage by attending a register office and signing a declaration that they wish to be married in front of a registrar. 

The civil preliminaries must be complied with once the couple has chosen where they'd like the ceremony to be held. It can take place in any licensed venue in the UK, be it a register office, castle or hotel.

The law does not provide for a specific ceremony. The partners sign a document before the registrar and two witnesses; music, readings and vows can be included.

Religious organisations can ‘opt-in’ to offer same-sex weddings, however the law currently prevents the Churches of England and Scotland and the Church in Wales from doing so.

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