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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 seemly and dignified venue for the proceedings.
  • be regularly available to the public for the solemnization of marriages or the formation of civil partnerships.
  • meet the required 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 eligible for approval.

For civil partnerships in religious premises

The premises must

  • be used solely or mainly for religious premises or have been so used and have not subsequently been used solely or 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.

Public Notice

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.

Please confirm the applicant and premises details on the advert template included with the application form.  This will be used to create the advert.

Please contact Registrars at if you need an application form to licence your premises.

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