Officiant registration

A religious body can apply to the Registrar General for a member, aged 21 or over, to be registered to carry out wedding ceremonies in Northern Ireland. This person is called an officiant. If needed, religious bodies can also apply for a temporary officiant.

Nominating an officiant

You must be a church official, for example a senior elder, president or secretary, to nominate an officiant.  

Find out more about marriage procedures in Northern Ireland.

Permanent officiant application

If your church has not had a permanent officiant approved by the Register General since 1 January 2004, you should complete the form below. You will need to provide the following information:

  • the constitution of the church
  • confirmation of charity status (if applicable)
  • declaratory words to be spoken by the parties during the marriage ceremony whereby they take each other as husband and wife
  • religious credentials of the nominee or references
  • a letter from his/her superior, if the nominee is or was ministering outside Northern Ireland

You can download the application form at the link below.

Additional permanent officiant application

In some cases, an additional permanent officiant may be approved. If your church feels it needs another permanent officiant, you should complete the GRO 461 application form below.

You will need to provide the following documents:

  • religious credentials of the nominee or references
  • a letter from his/her superior, if the nominee is or was ministering outside Northern Ireland

You can download the application form at the link below.

Temporary officiant application

If your church has a permanent officiant, but needs temporary approval for another officiant, you should complete the GR0 464 application form below.

You will be required to provide the following documents:

  • religious credentials of the nominee or references
  • a letter from his/her superior, if the nominee is or was ministering outside Northern Ireland

If your church does not have a permanent officiant and requires temporary approval for an officiant, you should complete the GRO 465 form ‘Application for temporary approval as an officiant at religious marriages in Northern Ireland’.

You will be required to provide the following:

  • the constitution of the church to which you belong
  • confirmation of charity status if applicable

If you are unable to provide either of the above, the signatures and addresses of 10 householders affiliated with the church should be supplied.

  • declaratory words to be spoken by the parties during the marriage ceremony whereby they take each other as husband and wife
  • religious credentials or references
  • letter from a superior of the religious body

You can download the application forms at the link below.

Submitting the application

You should complete the form in block capitals, except for the signatures required. Completed application forms should be returned to the General Register Office at the address below.

General Register Office
Colby House
Stranmillis Court
Belfast, BT9 5RR

Help with registering an officiant

If you have any questions about your application you can find contact information for the General Register Office at the link below.

More useful links

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