Civil partnerships

Customer notice

COVID-19: Further to Government announcements on the easing of lockdown restrictions, some services have now resumed on limited basis. Please go to the individual service webpage for further details.

Admission to the office is by appointment only. Customers without an appointment will not be admitted and should not travel to the office. Please contact us via email or telephone.

Civil partnerships are a legally recognised union formed by the signing of the civil partnership schedule in the presence of two witnesses and a civil partnership registrar.

For information on the legal differences between marriage and civil partnership visit GOV.UK. We cannot advise you on your choice.

Civil partnerships were introduced in 2005 to allow same sex couples to enter a legally recognised union and acquire legal rights and responsibilities. On 26 March 2019, The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act received Royal Assent extending eligibility for forming a civil partnership to opposite sex couples. 

Ceremonies

Civil partnership ceremonies are conducted and registered by a Registrar. The ceremony cannot have any religious content, but individual touches can be added such as music and readings.

Civil partners are not required to have a ceremony and can have a simple registration. During a 'signing only,' the couple sign the legal schedule in the presence of witnesses and the Registrar without the requirement of having to say any words or vows.

Where you can form Civil Partnerships

You are able to form your Civil Partnership in buildings that have been officially registered.

These include venues at Wandsworth Town Hall and approved venues such as a hotel, an art centre and a sporting venue.

Places of religious worship may also be authorised for civil partnership.

COVID-19 update

The Government has announced that small marriage and civil partnership ceremonies, involving close friends and family, may resume from 4 July.

How ceremonies will take place

  • A maximum of 30 people may attend a marriage or civil partnership ceremony. This limit has been decided by Government and will be imposed without exception in all venues.
  • Capacity limits may be lower, depending on the room, to allow for social distancing in line with building risk assessments. Check room capacities.
  • Ceremony fees are set according to the venue/room chosen and will not be reduced based on a lesser number of attendees.
  • Social distancing rules on gatherings apply to ceremonies and must be adhered to in respect of who you invite to attend your ceremony.
  • Approved venues must submit a risk assessment to the Register Office. Registrars will only attend a venue once satisfied that it is COVID-secure and operating in line with Government guidance.
  • A short and simple ceremony will be carried out to minimise prolonged exposure and risk. Couples may not be able to include all of the enhancements they had planned, including readings and separate entrances.
  • Admission to Wandsworth Town Hall will be by guest list only. Couples must confirm the names of all attendees at least 3 working days before the ceremony. Unnamed guests will not be permitted to enter the building or outside areas.
  • Couples and their guests will need to arrive 10 minutes before their ceremony, but no earlier. The number of people in the building at any one time is being carefully managed. Guests arriving early may be asked to remain outside until they can be safely accommodated. Late arrival will result in non-admission and this will be non-negotiable.

For ceremonies at the Town Hall, the booking includes the registrar's attendance and use of the room for the duration of the ceremony. We have a choice of five rooms of differing sizes and styles. The venue description for your notice of marriage or civil partnership should read The Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street, London.

For ceremonies at approved venues, the booking includes the registrar's attendance only. The venue will need to be booked separately and hire costs will apply.

Read full terms and conditions

Booking a ceremony at Wandsworth Town Hall or an approved venue

You need to check the availability of the Registrars to attend a ceremony. Your marriage or civil partnership ceremony booking is provisional until such time as you have given your notices and completed the legal preliminaries.

  • A non-refundable booking fee of £50 is required at the time of booking. This will be redeemed against the ceremony and certificate fee.
  • Any outstanding balance is due no later than 2 months before the ceremony. If your booking is within 2 months the full fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Any changes to your booking will incur an administrative fee.
  • The Register Office reserves the right to cancel a ceremony if payment has not been received.

Read the full terms and conditions.

If you choose an approved venue you will also need to make a booking at the venue.

Conversion to marriage

A same-sex couple who have entered into a civil partnership in England or Wales can now choose to convert to a marriage.

  • The cost of the conversion is £45
  • The cost of the marriage certificate issued on the day is £11
  • If you intend to accompany your conversion with a ceremony the cost of preparing the conversion in advance is £27

Ceremony fees vary depending on the venue. You must decide upon the ceremony venue before your appointment. You will need to attend together and each bring:

  • Original proof of identity (e.g. passport or full birth certificate)
  • Original recently-dated proof of address (e.g. utility bill, bank statement, Council Tax statement)
  • Your civil partnership certificate 

There is currently no provision to convert an opposite sex civil partnership to a marriage.

Book a conversion

To book an appointment to convert your civil partnership call the Register Office on 020 8871 6120 or email registeroffice@wandsworth.gov.uk.