A Simple Guide to Marriages and Civil Partnerships
Getting married can seem daunting at the best of times, but especially now where we are still under the effects of a global pandemic so please ensure you check this page regularly for updates.
We contact all couples who have booked a ceremony with us when major changes to guidance could affect your ceremony.
There are 4 steps to getting married or forming a civil partnership
- Decide and book a venue
- Book and attend your notice of intention
- Pay outstanding fees
- Attending your ceremony
Booking a Venue
You can now book your ceremony with Tower Hamlets online. The process will ask you to book a notice of marriage appointment before finalising the booking- this is to ensure that you leave enough time (29 - 72 days depending your individual circumstances) between giving notice and your ceremony day. Please see our separate pages for information ceremonies at St Georges Town Hall and our licenced ceremony venues.
You can use our tool to see if we have availability for your chosen date. Our online booking system is new and in the unlikely event you encounter an error, please do email us with your telephone number and a description of what went wrong so we can help as quickly as we can. Booking a ceremony via the portal is the quickest way to arrange a ceremony and to answer queries regarding availability
Book a marriage ceremony
Note: if you would like a civil partnership instead of a marriage, please use this form to book and email us once you have confirmation so we can change your marriage ceremony to a civil partnership ceremony. Civil Partnership ceremony bookings will be implemented fully soon.
Notice of Intention
We have a separate page on giving notice of intention which is a legal requirement before all civil marriages or civil partnerships can take place. Please read for further information and to make an appointment. If you have read this, you may book an appointment using the link below. Ensure you know the difference between the two before you book.
Book a notice of marriage
Book a notice of civil partnership
Paying outstanding fees
If you have made a booking and only paid a deposit, you can pay your remaining fees using the link below
Pay outstanding fees
Attending your ceremony
We treat each ceremony with the respect and enjoyment you would want on your big day but we do have a few things we ask from our couples. Please pay attention to all your confirmation emails. Further information may be found in our terms and conditions.
- Please ensure you and your guests arrive on time. You will be charged a late or rescheduling fee and may not be able to accommodate your ceremony on the day if you arrive late.
- The 2 witnesses must speak and understand English well.
- Ensure you understand the type of ceremony that you are having with us.
Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships: what is the difference?
Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships provide couples with broadly similar rights. Please check the government guidance for a full comparison.
The major difference is a marriage ceremony is a verbal contract given in a ceremony. A civil partnership is a signed contract, and a ceremony is optional. A marriage consists of husbands and/or wives and a civil partnership consists of civil partners.