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Ceremonies in East Sussex

Civil Partnerships & Conversions

A civil partnership is a legal and formal recognition of the relationship between two people of the same sex.

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Death (Registration etc) Bill became an Act of Parliament on 26 March 2019, having obtained Royal Assent. This requires the Secretary of State to make regulations to extend civil partnership to opposite-sex couples by no later than 31st December 2019.

At the current time we have no further knowledge of what the process will be and are unable to take bookings for opposite-sex civil partnerships.


Forming a civil partnership

A civil partnership gives you the same legal rights as a married couple in matters such as:

  • Pensions
  • House ownership
  • Inheritance
  • Making decisions if one of you is in hospital
  • Being able to register the death of a partner and to arrange the funeral


For further information about the differences between Civil Partnerships and Marriage for same sex couples please visit


The partnership is formed by reading a legal declaration and signing the schedule in the presence of a Registrar and two witnesses.

There is no legal requirement to have a ceremony, however many couples do wish to celebrate with a ceremony. 

You may form your civil partnership at any of our Register Offices or at a Licensed Venue in any of the following three ways.

  • Simply sign a civil partnership schedule in front of a Registrar and two witnesses
  • A short ceremony with vows and signing of the schedule with family and friends
  • A full ceremony and signing of the schedule with family and friends

You are welcome to celebrate in any way you choose, our aim is to provide you with a ceremony that suits you. If you decide to have a ceremony then you may wish to personalise this with the addition of music, readings and/or personal vows.

There are certain legal procedures that you must complete before you can register your partnership. Please see How to Book for full details.

Where to hold your civil partnership

The registration can take place at any Register Office in England or Wales or at any venue which is licensed for marriages and civil partnerships.

East Sussex has over 100 Licenced Venues, including castles, stately homes, hotels and more. Find your perfect venue here.

If you have got your heart set on a venue or location that is unlicensed, such as the beach, at home, in the woods or anywhere else in East Sussex then please take a look at our Weddings with a Difference.

Once you have decided how and where you would like to form and celebrate your civil partnership call our ceremonies team on 0345 60 80 198.

Add a Bespoke Celebration Ceremony

£250, any time, any place, anywhere!

If you are planning on having a second celebration with family and friends at another venue later that same day or on a different day then why not book one of our Celebrants who will work with you to create your perfect ceremony?

Take a look at our Weddings with a difference for more information.

Converting your civil partnership to a marriage

Under the provisions of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, Civil Partners are able to convert their civil partnership into a marriage.

You do not need to have had a Civil Partnership originally conducted in East Sussex. If you registered your civil partnership in England, Wales or overseas in a British Consulate or armed forces base where it was registered according to the laws of England and Wales, then it is possible for you to convert your civil partnership into a marriage.

The conversion process can be done in one of two ways:

  • One stage process: A simple administrative process at one of our register offices. Both of you will need to attend an appointment where you are required to sign the conversion forms in front of a registrar.
  • Two stage process: A simple administrative process  with the addition of a ceremony. This process enables you to celebrate the conversion with family and friends. Signing of the conversion will take place at your ceremony.

At your conversion appointment you will need to provide:

  • Your original civil partnership certificate
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address

You will be advised what documents you need when you book your appointment.

Conversion Fees

One stage process

Two stage process

£45 - conversion fee

£27 conversion fee + £250 ceremony fee


In addition to the fees above, it will be £11 for each marriage certificate issued.

For further information and to book your conversion ceremony, call us on 0345 60 80 198

Privacy Notice

To arrange your ceremony you will need to share some personal information with us.

Please refer to our Privacy Notice for details about how and why we use your data

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