Welcome to the civil partnership section of akentishceremony.com. If you are looking for the perfect venue and ceremony for your big day, you've come to the right place!
If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of planning and booking a civil partnership in Kent, don't panic! We are here to help guide you through.
Kent County Council (KCC) is responsible for providing civil partnerships in the county of Kent and the London Borough of Bexley and for licensing venues where these ceremonies may be celebrated.
Where do I start?
The first thing most couples decide on is the venue where they wish to be married. In Kent and Bexley there are more than 200 venues to choose from - including hotels, stately homes, castles, restaurants, theatres and wild animal parks for example. Or you may want to get married in one of KCC's register offices where we offer a wide variety of special venues owned or managed by the council.
We also offer an electronic version of our quarterly magazine A Kentish Ceremony which contains a wealth of helpful information, articles and ideas. You can view latest issues by clicking the images under "Read our latest issues" or request a magazine by post.
Who books staff to conduct my ceremony?
If you choose a venue, you’ll need to book your ceremony with the event staff there. They will take your ceremony details and inform us about your booking. Our local ceremonies team will then contact you to tell you what to do next.
If you choose a Register Office, our ceremonies team will take the booking and will allocate staff to conduct your wedding. You can book by calling your local ceremonies team.
Making your decision and what to do next
You will probably want to visit several venues before you make your final decision. It is often a good idea to book an appointment in advance so that you can speak to the venue staff and ask questions.
Once you have decided on your venue, you need to decide on the ceremony date and time. The ceremony can take place any day between 8am and 5pm.
Same sex marriage
You may choose to have a same sex marriage instead of a civil partnership. Same sex marriages can take place in any of the venues licensed by Kent County Council and also in any Register Offices.
Further information on the similarities and differences between civil partnerships and marriage, as it applies to same sex couples, can be found here.
Go to the weddings section for more details of our marriage ceremonies.
Converting a civil partnership into a same sex marriage
Couples are able to convert their exisiting civil partnership to marriage, provided they registered it in England and Wales, or overseas in a consulate or armed forces base where the civil partnership was registered according to the laws of England and Wales.
The conversion process need the couple to sign a declaration before the superintendent registrar in the register office. We are currently planning our implementation (pending the Parliamentary approval) but if you wish to have a conversion please ring your local register office who will take your details and we will contact you after the approval.
Couples will be able to convert their civil partnership into a same sex marriage from Wednesday 10 December 2014 (pending Parliamentary approval), along with married couples or those in civil partnerships who change their legal gender.
Couples are able to convert their existing civil partnership to marriage, provided they registered it in England and Wales, or overseas in a consulate or armed forces base where the civil partnership was registered according to the laws of England and Wales.
The process for converting a civil partnership to a marriage is as follows:
The couple will need to attend a register office of their choice in person.
The couple will need to provide evidence of their identity and address (passport or birth certificate, current utility bill or bank statement) and their civil partnership registration
The civil partnership becomes a marriage when the couple sign a declaration. The declaration confirms that you have not dissolved your civil partnership and that you both wish to convert your civil partnership to a marriage.
The declaration is signed at the Register Office. The conversion to a marriage will then be registered and KCC will issue a marriage certificate.
The full fee for conversion is £45.
If you are in a civil partnership and are considering converting this to a marriage, please contact one of our ceremonies teams for more guidance and information.
Couples don’t need to go through a marriage ceremony to complete the conversion. However, couples can choose to have a non-official ceremony after the conversion at a place of their choice. KCC have designed a conversion ceremony containing lots of choices for couples to consider and will give them the option to design the ceremony to suit them.
If you would also like to have a ceremony, please discuss the options with the member of staff when you book your conversion appointment or make your enquiry.
A registration of Civil Partnership
You can choose to have a basic Registration of Civil Partnership. Please note that if you are planning to have just a registration of civil partnership for the statutory fee of £46, this is carried out in a small office at a Register Office. Only 4 guests are allowed to attend and it does not include a Kentish Ceremony.