Marriage partnership conversions

Although same sex marriage has been legal since March 2014, we are happy to offer civil partnership formations as an alternative to marriage.

A civil partnership ceremony can be held in the beautiful Westgate Hall, The Golden Jubilee Room, Register Office or any licensed venue across the city.

You may choose a grander ceremony where you make promises to each other and exchange rings with your family and friends present. Many couples like to enhance their ceremony with readings and music, and enjoy having the flexibility to make their ceremony their own. Alternatively, you may choose to simply sign the civil partnership schedule with two witnesses.

The legal requirements are the same as for marriage; both parties must not already be in a civil partnership or marriage, must be ages 16 or over, and not related to each other.

Civil partnerships for opposite sex couples

Did you know the law is due to change soon to allow opposite sex couples to form a civil partnership?

We would love to hear from you if this is something you and your partner would be interested in. You can register your interest, or contact us for more information, here.

Please note that although legislation has passed to ensure that civil patnerships for opposite sex couples comes into force by 31 December 2019, we are unable to take bookings until a date has been formally set.


Conversion of a Civil Partnership to Marriage

Couples who are in a Civil Partnership are able to convert it to a marriage. They can choose to either have a conversion with no ceremony or have a conversion with a ceremony.

It can be done in one of two ways:

One-Stage Conversion

We make an appointment for you both to attend the Register Office where you show us documents to prove your identification, civil partnership and address.

It is a simple administrative process which takes about 45 minutes, and just by signing the 'declaration' your civil partnership is converted to a marriage.

Legal completion of the conversion from civil partnership into marriage will be on the date of the signing. No ceremony will be held. The conversion will be recorded on the same day if it takes place at Southampton Register Office.

The fee for the standard procedure is £45 per couple.

Marriage certificate may be provided on the same day or sent out later. Please note marriage certificates will cost an additional £11 each.

Two-Stage Conversion

We make an appointment to complete the paperwork and for you both to provide your documents. It is at this stage that we arrange a date and time for your conversion ceremony.

The fee for this first stage is £27 per couple, payable by all couples regardless of the date of their civil partnership.

The couple and their guests then attend their conversion ceremony on the agreed date, at either The Golden Jubilee Room at Southampton Register Office or at approved premises or at a religious building registered for marriages of same-sex couples. During this ceremony you may choose to say new vows to each other and exchange rings. Your civil partnership is converted to marriage when you sign the 'declaration' in the presence of your family and friends.

The couple and the Superintendent Registrar sign the conversion declaration and a ceremony takes place.

Legal completion of the conversion from civil partnership into marriage will be on the date of the ceremony and the signing of the declaration.

The fee for this stage of the process is dependent on the place where the ceremony is held.

Please note marriage certificates will cost an additional £11 each.


Find out more

You will need proof of the Civil Partnership, your ID and proof of address.

We will discuss this on the phone at the time of booking and send you a letter with the information and documents required.

If you are currently in a civil partnership and wish to enquire about converting it into a marriage, please contact Register Office staff by email registrars@southampton.gov.uk.