Getting married or entering into a civil partnership is a beautiful thing. Celebrating love and creating a life together are actions that bring a lot of joy into the world. Thankfully with recent legislation same sex couples have similar rights to married couples after they have “wed” in a civil ceremony. For people looking to have a civil partnership ceremony in Oxford, here’s what you need to know.
In order to form a civil partnership in Oxford, as in any other part of the UK, both parties need to be the same sex. They should not be in an existing marriage or civil partnership, should be aged 16 or over, and should not be within the prohibited degrees of a relationship. You need to give notice of your civil partnership in the registration office where you live in Oxfordshire.
Civil Partnership Ceremony
The Oxfordshire civil partnership ceremony is entirely secular, which means it is not permitted to hold a religious ceremony at any point during the process. You do not need to, legally, have any ceremony apart from the actual registration procedure but you may choose to do so. In addition, many wedding venues in Oxfordshire provide the location for a reception or party following the registration – you could even have the registration and the celebration in the same place and it does not need to be a registration office. The location needs to be an approved venue that is not religious.
On arrival at the location guests are seated and the ceremony is set to begin. The registrar will check the details of each partner that will be entered into the legal civil partnership proceedings. At this point the couple can also ask any last-minute questions. When the ceremony starts it will begin with a welcome message and an explanation of how the ceremony will proceed. Each partner will then be asked to repeat, acknowledge or read a formal declaration. After the declarations have been made the witnesses and the partners sign the schedule, as does the registrar.
However, this is the bare outline of the procedure and many couples will have a more complete ceremony including pre-arrival music, and entrance music. There will be pledges and/or rings exchanged, readings, and opportunity for photographs. At the conclusion of the ceremony there will be the presentation of the certificate. Following the ceremony couples host a party for friends and relatives, a lunch, or a simple evening reception. Oxfordshire provides a host of options for celebrating a civil partnership, from receptions in country houses and hotels to dinner in an Oxford restaurant or something more individual like a weekend trip to the Oxfordshire countryside. Planning a civil partnership ceremony takes time, so make sure you leave enough time to get everything in place and organised before the date of the event. That way you can enjoy your day without stress.
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