Forming a Civil Partnership

A Civil Partnership is a completely secular (non-religious) ceremony. It can take place at a register office or venue that has been licensed to hold Civil Partnership Ceremonies. The ceremony cannot have any religious content, but some individual touches can be added such as non-religious music and readings.

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act received Royal Assent on 26 March 2019 and extended eligibility for forming a civil partnership to opposite sex couples.

To register a civil partnership, you and your partner would need to sign a civil partnership document in front of two witnesses and a registrar.

Who can register a Civil Partnership?

You and your partner can register your Civil Partnership as long as all the following circumstances apply:

  • You are both over the age of 16 (If you are under the age of 18, then you would need consent from both parents, or a legal guardian)
  • You are not already married or in a Civil Partnership
  • You are not closely related through blood or marriage

Decide where your Civil Partnership formation will take place

In England and Wales, a Civil Marriage or Civil Partnership can take place at a Registry Office or at a building approved for Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships. Visit the Gov website for further information.

There are several buildings Licenced for Civil Partnership Ceremonies in Torfaen.

Torfaen Register Office is located within ‘the old town hall.’ A large Victorian building situated in the heart of Pontypool town centre.

There are several rooms licensed for Civil Partnership Ceremonies within the building.

  • The Hanbury Suite: A large ceremonial room which would accommodate up to 70 guests (currently restricted to 14 plus the couple due to COVID 19 restrictions)
  • The Park Suite: A small intimate ceremony room, which seats up to 12 guests (currently restricted to 3 plus the couple due to COVID 19 restrictions)
  • The Register Office: Available for the couple and two witnesses (Mon – Thu only)

A courtyard area to the side of the building is available for photographs. Alternatively, Pontypool Parks Italian Gardens are just opposite, providing the perfect backdrop setting in which to capture your special day.

View photos of the service area and ceremony rooms available

The Registration fees include the use of the room as well as the attendance of the registrar.

Alternatively, you can choose from one of our other venues licensed for Civil Partnership within the borough.

Registration fees will need to be paid for the attendance of the registration officer on the day, this will be in addition to any fees that the venue will charge for the hire of their licensed room.

Decide when your Civil Partnership formation will take place

A registration officer will need to be available to attend your ceremony on the day. Bookings are taken on a strictly first come, first served basis, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Civil Partnerships can also be registered in a religious building which has been approved. Your Civil Partnership Registration may then be followed by a separate religious Ceremony. Please contact the office if you have any queries regarding this.

A notice needs to be given which can be given up to a year in advance.

Outdoor Ceremonies

As a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, amendments were recently made to the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations, to allow marriages and civil partnerships to take place outdoors. This will only be for celebrations held between 1 July 2021 and April 2022.

During this period, an outdoor legal ceremony can be held in the grounds of any venue approved for civil marriages and civil partnerships. Please note, this change does not currently apply to religious marriages.

Couples can move their ceremony from an indoor venue into the grounds of the venue and thereby enable a larger number of guests to attend than can safely do so indoors.

The number of guests you can invite to an outdoor ceremony will be determined by the venue and superintendent registrar and must in the first instance be discussed with the venue. Guests attending outdoor celebrations must still be able to socially distance and the area must be COVID secure.

Due to the risk of inclement weather, all outdoor ceremonies must have a ceremony room booked as a backup. If the ceremony reverts to the indoor ceremony room, the number of guests that can attend will be reduced in line with the current restrictions at the time of the ceremony.

If you would like to change your existing booking to include an outdoor ceremony or wish to make a new booking for an outdoor ceremony, please contact us on 01495742132 for assistance

Please note, that the Civic Centre in Pontypool does not have an outdoor area to hold this type of ceremony.

Arranging a Civil Partnership formation in difficult circumstances

If your ceremony needs to be held in a venue that is not licensed for civil ceremonies, or your circumstances are such that you would need to hold your ceremony very quickly, then we may be able to help you with this. Please contact the office for guidance and advice on your individual circumstance. If you require assistance outside normal office hours, then please call the Torfaen Out of Hours Service on 01495 762200, who will arrange for a member of the Registration Team to contact you directly.

If you would like to book a ceremony or require any further guidance, please contact the office on 01495 742132 or email: where staff will be happy to help.

Last Modified: 08/07/2021
For more information contact:


Tel: 01495 742132


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