Licensing a venue for ceremonies
To hold a civil marriage or civil partnership ceremony at a venue in England or Wales, the premises must be approved by the local authority. A separate approval is needed if you wish to hold a civil partnership in a religious premises.
The application must be made by the proprietor or trustee of the premises.
For marriage and civil ceremonies in non religious premises the premises must:
- be a dignified venue for the ceremony
- be regularly available to the public for the solemnization of marriages or the formation of civil partnerships
- meet all fire precautions and other health and safety provisions
- not be of a religious nature
- the room or rooms in which ceremonies are to take place must be identifiable by description as a distinct part of the premises
- be a permanently immovable structure comprising at least a room or any boat or other vessel which is permanently moored.
Premises such as the open air, a tent, marquee or other temporary structures, most forms of transport, private houses, register offices and religious meeting places will not be approved.
For civil partnerships in religious premises the premises must:
- be used only or mainly for religious premises and not mainly for other purposes
- be a church or chapel of the Church of England or Church in Wales, a place of meeting for religious worship as maintained by the Registrar General, a place of meeting for members of the Society of Friends or a Jewish synagogue
- be regularly available to the public for use as a premises for the registration of civil partnerships.
How to apply
Please contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need an application form to licence your premises.
You must fill in the application form in full. You will need to pay the application fee when you submit your form.
Public notice of the application must be given with a period of three weeks for objections. The council will advertise this for you by placing an advert on this website. We may also decide to publish it in other ways if we consider it necessary to do so.
You will need to fill in the applicant and premises details on the advert template included with the application form. This will be used to create the advert.
We have a target period of 7 days for this notice. We aim to acknowledge your application and to begin processing it within this period. If you have not heard from us by the end of this period you will be able to act as though your application is granted.
Please note that this target period only begins when we receive a complete application including any supporting documents and payments.
If you have any problems with your application or would like more information then please email email@example.com.
All premises that are currently approved are listed on our Ceremonies at approved venues page.