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(E.B. Browning)
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LEGAL MARRIAGE/CIVIL PARTNERSHIP
Any couples who are planning to marry or have a Civil Partnership must consult with their local Office of Registrars. Both Marriage and Civil Partnership are legally binding agreements and subject to the marriage laws of N Ireland. No matter where you are getting married, or by whom, you will need to visit your registrar to apply for a marriage "schedule" and be advised of the legal requirements. The related laws state you can only get married in a place that has been approved with an official license, and also limit the licensing of persons to conduct legal marriages. You can find out more at:
http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/government-citizens-and-rights/marriage-and-registration/registration-of-marriage.htm
I am aware that the same laws about officiants apply in the Republic of Ireland, but they are currently under review. There has recently (2013) been a move to allow Humanist celebrants to perform legal weddings. It is not yet clear if this will be extended to include unaffiliated professionally trained celebrants like myself.

LIMITED CHOICE
It is a sad fact of our marriage laws that, apart from registrars, only members of a "religious body" who have a congregation of regular worshippers can apply to have an officiant approved to conduct legal marriages. This current situation does a great disservice to the new cultural demographics of our country where many couples are multi-denominational, or no longer attend church but still have spiritual beliefs they wish to express at a significant time such as their wedding ceremony. The ’wedding’ ceremonies I provide (and those of other local celebrants or officiants who are not church-based, with the exception of one inter-faith celebrant) need to be backed up by an official registrar to be legally binding.

YOUR OPTIONS
Now let’s have some fun with this! Couples I have worked with have mostly arranged the registrar ceremony for an earlier day or time. They look on this as an added bonus added: an opportunity for the core family to celebrate informally, have a grand day out, have a fun photo-shoot, and/or the opportunity to make the wedding last all week-end! It could be the inspiration for a really romantic venue, or a twin-destination holiday wedding! With the legalities done quickly and simply, you are free to be where you want most, on your special date, at whatever time suits, and to have whatever you wish in your ’wedding’ ceremony. I am happy to discuss all your options with you.

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