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Civil Partnership or Marriage? What's the difference?

Bride and Groom in front a stain glass window

Are you confused about civil partnerships and marriage? You're not alone! This is a question that gets asked a lot!  

A marriage can be a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony (not religious) for heterosexual or same sex couples. 

A civil partnership does not require a ceremony. The couple are not required to exchange vows or binding words. Civil partnerships came to be in 2004 - nine years before same sex marriages were made legal. If you joined together as a civil partnership, this can now be converted into a marriage! Happy days! 

A civil partnership is as it suggests, purely civil. It allows couples to show their commitment to one another by signing a legal document but without getting married. The relationship is legally recognised along with associated responsibilities in line with marriage. But parting ways is often messier. 

A married couple can informally separate on their own terms. When in a civil partnership, officials are needed to dissolve the partnership which must take place at least one year after the agreement.  

Marriage is recognised around the world but in many countries civil partnerships are not and can cause some issues.  

So, to recap, marriage = religious or non-religious ceremony with spoken vows and civil partnership = no ceremony but a signed legal document showing commitment. If things go wrong, married couples can part ways informally, however those in a civil partnership need to have been together for at least one year before officials dissolve the union.  

Whether you're planning to be legally wed or bound together in a civil partnership, Town Hall Great Yarmouth welcomes everyone with various rooms and layouts to suit your preferences and size of your budget.  

Look through our Wedding Brochure, message us with a specific enquiry using our Contact Us page or arrange a viewing to be wowed by the elegance of our Grade II listed venue. 

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