132 marriage celebrants appointed
Registrar of Marriages Lai Tung-kwok, who is also the Director of Immigration, presented the notice of appointment to the first batch of 132 marriage celebrants in a ceremony today.
Marrying couples may now give a notice of intended marriage through a civil celebrant to the Registrar of Marriages or a deputy registrar of marriages.
They may also engage a civil celebrant to celebrate their marriage at any time within three months at any place in Hong Kong, other than the office of the Registrar or a place of worship licensed under the Marriage Ordinance. Scheme introduces flexibility, convenience
Mr Lai said the scheme aims to meet the increasing public demand for more flexible marriage solemnisation services and to make use of private-sector resources in providing such services.
Lifting restrictions on marriages' time and place will provide more flexibility and convenience for those getting married, he added.
Those who have already given a notice of intended marriage at the Marriage Registration & Records Office or a marriage registry and want to engage a civil celebrant to celebrate their marriage instead should make an advance request at the marriage office or the marriage registry where the notice was given.
A list of civil celebrants has been uploaded to the Immigration Department websites. It is also available at the Information & Liaison Section, the marriage office or any of the Immigration Department marriage registries. Existing marriage services to continue
The marriage office and marriage registries will continue to provide marriage-related services such as accepting notice of intended marriage, celebrating marriage and providing marriage records.
Those who decide to have a civil celebrant celebrate their marriage should read two useful Registrar-issued documents, "Code of Practice for Civil Celebrants of Marriages" and "Information Leaflet for the Marrying Parties". These are available free from the civil celebrant or at the Immigration Department website.