Getting married in a religious/belief ceremony
A religious/belief marriage can only be performed by a minister, priest or pastor or person who has been registered as an officiant and authorised by the Registrar General to conduct religious/belief marriages.
Before you can give notice of your marriage you must decide when and where you want the marriage to take place.
A couple wishing to have a religious/belief ceremony should talk with the officiant and agree the date and venue. A religious/belief ceremony may, with the agreement of the officiant, take place anywhere in Northern Ireland.
You should arrange for two people, aged 16 or over, to be present at your marriage to act as witnesses.
Couples from the Republic of Ireland
If you are aged over 16 and under 18 years old you can marry in Northern Ireland but you should note that your marriage will not be legally recognised in the Republic of Ireland.
The minimum age for marriage in the Republic of Ireland is 18 years of age and this remains the case even if you marry in Northern Ireland.
This applies to all couples marrying in Northern Ireland, where one or both parties are under the age of 18.
It is particularly relevant to couples who have a home address in the Republic of Ireland.
Couples from England and Wales
If you are aged over 16 and under 18 years old and have a home address in England or Wales the Registrar cannot accept a notice of marriage.
The legal age for marriage in England and Wales is 18 years old.
It is an offence for a Registrar to allow a child under the age of 18, who is habitually resident in England and Wales to marry in Northern Ireland
You can find out more about giving notice of your marriage, including how and when to present your marriage notice application form at the link below.
When the registrar is content that there is no reason why the marriage can’t take place, a marriage schedule will be prepared from the information you have given in the marriage notice form.
No marriage can go ahead without a marriage schedule.
The marriage schedule cannot be issued more than 14 days before the marriage and the registrar will advise you when the marriage schedule can be collected.
The marriage schedule cannot be collected on your behalf by a relative or friend, the registrar will issue it only to the prospective bride or groom who will have to sign for it.
The marriage schedule must be produced before the marriage ceremony to the person performing the marriage.
Immediately after the ceremony, the schedule must be signed by both parties, the person performing the marriage and the two witnesses.
Registering your marriage
To register your marriage make an appointment with your local district registration office.
If you do not return the marriage schedule you will not be able to order a certified copy of your marriage.
If you are married at a religious/belief ceremony you will not receive your marriage certificate immediately after the ceremony.
You can find out how to order a marriage certificate at this link: