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Arranging a marriage or civil partnership

Marriage

Any two persons, regardless of sex, may marry in the Isle of Man.

If you are in a civil partnership which was registered in the Isle of Man, you can now convert it to a marriage in the Island. Ceremonies can take place at the following:

  • a religious building solemnized for marriages
  • the Civil Registry (Douglas)
  • a registration office (Ramsey or Peel)
  • an Approved Place or at a venue granted consent by the Registrar General 

Civil Partnership

Couples who register a civil partnership will acquire the legal status of 'civil partners' and gain similar rights and responsibilities to those of a married couple.

Any two persons, regardless of sex, can register a civil partnership provided they are not legally married, already in a civil partnership or come under the prohibited degrees of relationship.

You can have a ceremony at the Civil Registry, a registration office, an Approved Place or at any venue granted consent of the Registrar General. 

Please Note: An Isle of Man opposite-sex civil partnership provides for such recognition in the Island. The recognition of an opposite sex civil partnership elsewhere will depend on the approach that jurisdiction's legal system takes to questions of civil status. If you require any clarification on the validity of an opposite sex civil partnership where you are domiciled, you should seek legal advice.

Organising a Ceremony

You must organise your marriage/civil partnership ceremony in advance. The earliest you can give notice of your intentions to the Civil Registry is 1 year prior to your event. You cannot give notice of your intentions to the Civil Registry any later than 8 days before your event. All couples are required to give notice to the Civil Registry, unless you’re having a Church of England wedding. (Please contact your church for details)

Non UK or Irish Nationals will require valid paperwork to have a ceremony in the Isle of Man. If you are in any doubt as to your visa requirements, please contact the Immigration service as soon as possible on +44 1624 685203.

Any person who wilfully gives false information to the registrar relating to the particulars to be entered in any register is liable to prosecution, and on conviction, to the punishment prescribed by law.

Step by step guide to organising a Civil Ceremony

  1. Choose a venue (Registry Office / Approved Place / One Off Place [requires application and approval from the Registrar General])
  2. Contact the venue
  3. Book a Notice Appointment with the Civil Registry
  4. Give Notice to Registrar
  5. Discuss Ceremony & finalise with Registrar
  6. Pay the applied fees

Please find detailed information and guidance below.

Booking your Ceremony at the Civil Registry Offices (and the associated fees)

Civil Registry Offices

Contact the office in which you would like to have your ceremony at:

Douglas

Email: civil@registry.gov.im

Telephone: +44 1624 687039

Ramsey        

Email: enquiries@rtc.gov.im

Telephone: +44 1624 810100

Peel

Email: ptc@ptc.org.im

Telephone: +44 1624 842341

Prices for Douglas Registry Ceremonies

The following fees are to be paid at your Notice Appointment. They vary depending on the day and time of your ceremony:

Monday to Friday (not including bank holidays) 9:30am to 3:30pm: £266
Saturday 9:30am to 3pm: £322

The above fees include the cost of the Entry in the marriage notice book (£42), Certificate authorising marriage (£14), Room hire (£140), Registrar hire (Monday to Friday £56; Saturday £112) and a Certified copy of the marriage register entry (£14).

Normally, couples secure and book the date, and pay all of the applied fees, at their Notice Appointment.

Please note: The fee for Room Hire may vary at the Ramsey and Peel Registry Offices, please contact them directly for more information.

Booking your Ceremony in an Approved Place (and the associated fees)

View our list of Approved Places for Ceremonies on the Isle of Man. Contact your venue of choice to agree a time and date and they will give you an AP1 Form to complete and submit to the Douglas Civil Registry Office.

Once the form has been processed and a Registrar has been allocated, we will write to you in relation to booking a Notice Appointment.

You should receive a letter within 1 week of submitting your AP1 Form.

Prices

The following fees are to be paid at your Notice Appointment. They vary depending on the day and time of your ceremony:

Monday to Friday (not including bank holidays) 9:30am to 3:30pm: £360
Saturday 9:30am to 3pm: £420
Outside of these hours (including bank holidays): £570

The above fees include the cost of the Entry in the marriage notice book (£42), Certificate authorising marriage (£14), Registrar hire (Monday to Friday £290; Saturday £350; Out of hours £500) and a Certified copy of the marriage register entry (£14).

Please note: Approved places charge their own extra fees. Please contact them directly for more information.

Booking your Ceremony in a One Off Venue/Aircraft/Vehicle/Vessel (and the associated fees)

Contact the venue owner and together complete the S4B Form/ Contact the aircraft; vehicle; vessel owner and together complete the S4D Form. Submit the completed form to the Douglas Civil Registry Office with all the enclosures listed in section 7 of the S4B Form / section 8 of the S4D Form and pay the £290 non-refundable application fee.

An inspection of the venue/aircraft/vehicle/vessel will be arranged by a Civil Registry representative as to its suitability and to ensure it meets the criteria within their guidance issued by the Clerk of Rolls. The Civil Registry will report back to you and will either approve, reject or supply a list of adjustments for the venue/aircraft/vehicle/vessel to make ahead of your ceremony.

Once the form has been processed, all checks have been carried out, permissions have been granted and a Registrar has been allocated, we will write to you in relation to booking a Notice Appointment. This can take up to 42 days following the submission of your S4B/S4D Form.

Prices

On submission of your S4B/S4D Form to the Douglas Civil Registry you are required to pay the non-refundable £290 application fee.

The following fees are then to be paid at your Notice Appointment. They vary depending on the day and time of your ceremony:

Monday to Friday (not including bank holidays) 9:30am to 3:30pm: £360
Saturday 9:30am to 3pm: £420
Outside of these hours (including bank holidays): £570

The above fees include the cost of the Entry in the marriage notice book (£42), Certificate authorising marriage (£14), Registrar hire (Monday to Friday £290; Saturday £350; Out of hours £500) and a Certified copy of the marriage register entry (£14).

Please note: The one off venue/aircraft/vehicle/vessel will charge their own extra fees. Please contact them directly for more information.

Notice Appointment

You must both give notice of your intention to have a marriage/civil partnership ceremony within 12 months of the ceremony date but no later than 8 days before the ceremony date. At this appointment, you will both sign legal documents to confirm you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. You will also discuss the ceremony with a Registrar and pay the applied fees.

Note: A registrar may not be available to take notice if you were to turn up at the Registry Office unannounced so to avoid this we ask that you call to book an appointment in advance.

The Notice is placed in a Notice Book (for 7 full days) which is kept in the Registry Office and is open for public inspection.

Providing we do not receive any objections to your ceremony within the 7 full days following your notice appointment, the Registrar will sign your Marriage Licence (Certificate for Marriage) or Civil Partnership Schedule. This essentially gives the all clear for your ceremony to go ahead. Your licence/schedule is valid for 1 year.

Documents to bring to your Notice Appointment

You are both required to bring the following original documents to your Notice Appointment (translated into English if necessary):

  • Full Birth Certificate (that includes parent’s details)

  • Photo ID (preferably Passport, although a Driving License is acceptable or a HM Forces identity card)

  • Proof of address (utility bill dated within 3 months of the appointment or bank statement dated within 1 month)

  • Decree Absolute (if divorced)

  • Deed Poll Change of Name Certificate (if you have changed your name by deed poll)

  • Death Certificate if widow(er)

  • Consent from parents or guardians (if under 18)

  • Immigration Documentation (if applicable)

Note: Failure to produce the original documentation above may result in your notice appointment being postponed until the required paperwork is produced.

Cancelling or amending the date and/or time of your Ceremony

If you wish to cancel or amend your booking please complete this form.

The amendment fee is £35 if made within 5 working days of the date of your ceremony.

The amendment fee is £20 if made in excess of 5 working days before the date of your ceremony.

There is no fee payable if you are cancelling your ceremony.

Note: Only the Marriage Certificate fee & the Registrar Hire fee is refundable.

The amendment fee can be paid over the telephone by credit/debit card. Alternatively you may come into the office to pay.

If you have already given notice of your intention to marry/register a civil partnership and your amended date falls outside the 12 month period and/or you are changing venue, you will be required to give notice again and the Civil Registry will have to produce a new marriage license (certificate for marriage).
Additional fees will apply as follows:

New Notice: £42
New Marriage License: £14

If your ceremony is booked at an approved place/one off venue you should also contact the venue as soon as possible. They may charge additional fees too.

Converting your Civil Partnership into a Marriage

There are two different ways to convert your civil partnership to a marriage:

Standard Procedure (no ceremony)

You can make the conversion by booking an appointment with the Civil Registry or registration office to complete the relevant documentation. You will need to bring your original civil partnership certificate, birth certificate, photographic ID and proof of address as stated in Schedule 1 of the Civil Partnership (Conversion to Marriage) Regulations 2016.

Two Stage Procedure (ceremony)

Alternatively you can convert your civil partnership to a marriage by having a ceremony. If you wish to have a conversion through a full marriage ceremony, in addition to the requirements of the standard procedure, you will need to complete the legal preliminaries and pay the associated fees under the Civil Partnership (Conversion to Marriage) Fees Order 2023.

For more information please call the Douglas Civil Registry Office on +44 1624 687039.

You can convert your Civil Partnership in any of the Civil Registry Offices, in an Approved place or in a One Off Venue or Aircraft/Vehicle/Vessel. More information on the locations can be found on the first dropdown on this page titled 'Where you can have a Marriage/Civil Partnership Ceremony at and costs'.

Marriage visitor visa

For immigration information please check the Isle of Man Immigration web page. On this page there is also a section called ′Visit′ that has information regarding who can and cannot get married or have a civil partnership in the Isle of Man.

If you are in any doubt as to your visa requirements, please contact the Immigration service as soon as possible on +44 1624 685203.

Note: Failure to produce the original documentation above may result in your notice appointment being postponed until the required paperwork is produced.

Witnesses

You are required by law to have 2 witnesses present to sign the register and we ask that they are over the age of 18, are able to speak English and understand the nature of what it is they are signing. Their names will appear on your marriage/civil partnership certificate.

Note: The registrar cannot act as a witness nor provide witnesses for you.

The Ceremony

Guests at the Douglas Civil Registry Ceremony Room

The Douglas Civil Registry Ceremony Room holds up to 40 guests. 

Length of the Ceremony

A ceremony can take from 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on how you want it to go (you will discuss this with a Registrar at your Notice Appointment). The fee paid to book the Civil Ceremony room secures it for one hour.

At the day of the Ceremony

The following will be discussed and can be altered to suit your wishes at your notice appointment.

You may wish to arrive together or separately. Either is fine.

Ordinarily the Registrar will arrive at least 1 hour prior to your ceremony start time.

You should advise your guests to arrive between 30 minutes and 10 minutes before the ceremony start time depending on the number of them.

We suggest Partner A arrive 5-10 minutes before the ceremony start time. The Registrar will answer any last minute questions and instruct Partner A on where to stand in preparation for the arrival of Partner B.

The Registrar will meet Partner B on arrival to let them know where Partner A will be and give instruction as to when and where to enter the ceremony area.
The Registrar will then return to the ceremony area and ask everyone to be upstanding. The ceremony can then begin.

Receiving your Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate

The Registrar will give you your Marriage Certificate once the two of you and both witnesses have signed the Register at the end of your ceremony.

You can obtain as many copies of your Marriage Certificate as you want, and at any time.

You can order Certified Copy Certificates online (£12 per certificate).

Getting married off-Island

If you are getting married in the UK or abroad you will need to clarify with the Registrar Office you are dealing with if you can give Notice on the Isle of Man. 

Please ensure they are aware that the Isle of Man is a separate jurisdiction to the UK.

Certificate of No Impediment

The Civil Registry does not currently issue Certificates of No Impediment, however we can issue a Certified Result of a Search.

For this you need to complete the Certified Result of a Search application form and submit it with your birth certificate and decree absolute (if previously married). We conduct a search of our records from either, the date of your 16th birthday, the date of your decree absolute or the date you commenced residency on the Isle of Man.

The prescribed fees are as follows:

  • £7 where a search is required to be made by Registry staff in respect of records from 1980 to date

  • £35 where a search is required to be made by Registry staff in respect of records prior to 1980, for every period of 5 years or part thereof that is required to be searched

Decree Absolute

The Civil Registry does not hold records for divorces. If you were divorced in the Isle of Man, you will need to contact the Isle of Man Courts of Justice.

Church weddings

If you wish to be married by the Church of England, enquiries should be made to the Vicar of the church who will advise you of the legal requirements. The registration of your marriage will be the responsibility of the Vicar and should not involve the Civil Registry.

However, if your wedding is to be held in any another religious building, you must give notice of your intention to marry to a registrar in the same way as you would for a civil marriage. Your service will be conducted by the Priest/Minister in accordance with the religious rites and ceremonies of the denomination.

Renewal of vows

Contact a local church or find a venue. Any person can perform such a ceremony on the Island. As there are no legalities involved, you do not need to contact the Isle of Man Civil Registry.

Other things you may wish to consider

Music

Music certainly enhances the occasion and is usually played as your guests arrive, for your entrance, during the signing of the register and for your exit. This can be any music of your choice providing it has no religious references. During your notice meeting this can be discussed with the registrar. The Ceremony Room at the Civil Registry is equipped with a CD player and a Bluetooth speaker. If your ceremony is at an Approved Place, please liaise directly with the venue as to what facilities are available for playing recorded music. There may be more scope for you to have live music if you prefer.

Readings

Readings of non-religious poetry or prose may be read by a family member or friend, giving them the chance to play a part in your ceremony. Photography Photographs are a very special memento and your official photographer may take photographs throughout the ceremony. Although your guests are very welcome to bring cameras to record the occasion, we ask that they keep their places until directed by the Registrar.

Videography

We understand that you may want to look back on this important day and relive your treasured memories, therefore we are happy for a video recording of your ceremony to be taken, however, we do ask that the operator remains stationary and is not one of the parties to the ceremony or an official witness. If the ceremony is recorded, any live music or commercial music recording captured (or later dubbed on by the person editing the video recording) will require permission to do so. For live music you will need to obtain permission from the artist(s). For commercially available music, The Limited Manufacture Licence from PRS is the best way to obtain this.

Flowers

The Ceremony Room at the Civil Registry is tastefully decorated with silk flower arrangements, however, you are welcome to provide your own floral arrangements for your ceremony, giving you the opportunity to personalise the room to match your chosen colour scheme.

Confetti

Confetti is a traditional part of a ceremony and we are happy for your guests to throw biodegradable confetti outside the building. If your ceremony is taking place at an Approved Place, please make enquiries directly with the venue as to what restrictions they may have.

Reserved seating

We suggest you allocate an usher to assist with the seating arrangements.

Animals

Animals or wildlife, including your own pets, are not permitted in the Ceremony Room. The only exception to this is assistance dogs who may attend with their owners.

Interpreter

It is essential that both of you and both of your official witnesses fully understand the content of your ceremony and the full legal implications. If there are any language difficulties, you must employ the services of a government recognised interpreter (extra fees will apply). The interpreter will be required to sign the register and a declaration to confirm they have translated all content for you and are satisfied that you understood the nature and purpose of the ceremony.

Parking and public transport

There are no reserved parking spaces outside the Civil Registry, although there is disc parking zones. Pay and display car parks are located at Chester Street and Drumgold Street. For satnav systems, please use postcode IM1 3AR. The Civil Registry is easily served by public transport and is close to Douglas town centre. For information about parking at an Approved Place, please contact the venue direct.

Changes to your personal information

If any of your information changes after giving notice, please inform the Registrar immediately in writing, supplying documentary evidence and contact details should we need to get in touch with you before your ceremony.

Postponements and cancellations

In the event that you need to postpone or cancel your ceremony, you are required to notify the Registrar in writing by completing the Application to Amend or Cancel a Ceremony form forwarding it to the Civil Registry as soon as possible. Should you need to change the time and/or date of your ceremony, a prescribed fee will also be payable

Code of conduct - Civil Registry

  • Smoking is not permitted in any part of the Registries Building

  • Foods, chewing gum, soft drinks or alcohol are not permitted in the Ceremony Room

  • Anyone under the influence of drink and/or drugs or who is abusive, will be asked to leave the Registries Building

  • Mobile phones, pagers, etc. must be switched off or put on silent for the duration of the ceremony

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