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What’s the difference between a marriage and a civil partnership?

Both marriages and civil partnerships are available to same-sex couples in England, Wales and Scotland but there are a few differences between the two types of union.


During the ceremony, marriages are formalised by a set of key phrases whereas civil partnerships are registered by signing a civil partnership document; no words are required to be spoken.


Once married there are also slight differences in the legal rights the couple will be entitled to. A full list of these can be found on the official government website.