License your venue

You need a licence to enable your venue to perform marriages and civil partnerships.


Contact us to arrange a pre-licensing visit:

During the visit we will offer advice and then supply an application form for you to fill in. When completing the application you will need to supply the following:

  • proof of planning permission or a letter from the local planning department confirming that planning is or is not required
  • 3 copies of a plan of the venue showing the room(s) intended for the marriages or civil partnerships, interview rooms and access points
  • fire risk assessment
  • copy of the Premise Licence as required under the Licensing Act 2003

Planning consent may be required depending on the circumstances of the venue and the current use class. If the venue has the necessary planning permission please attach the decision notice as evidence or apply for a certificate of lawful use (existing). If you fail to do this, you may need to apply for planning permission for a change of use.

The Planning Portal contains further planning information and advice.

The planning authority cannot give informal advice and will not confirm if planning is required without submission of an application.

The application must be made by the proprietor or trustee of the venue. If successful, the applicant will be the holder of the approval. The licence will be valid for 3 years.

For prices, view the ceremony fees page.

Types of venues that can be licensed

The premise must be:

  • a permanently immovable structure comprising at least 1 room
  • any boat or other vessel which is permanently moored
  • a specified open air area, tent or temporary marquee within a licenced premises

Marriages or civil partnerships must take place in an identifiable and regularly available premises. This will exclude marriages or civil partnerships from taking place in most forms of transport or in a private house.

The primary use of the premises must not demean marriage or civil partnerships, bring it into disrepute or be unsuitable.

After your application

Public notice of the application will be published on our website with a period of 21 days for objections to be lodged.

We will inspect the venue for suitability. If the requirements and conditions are met, and any objections received are resolved or rejected, the premises will be approved for 3 years. We will arrange further inspections during the 3 years with the possibility of cancellation if it is found conditions are no longer being met.

Change a licence

To add or removing rooms to an existing approved venue licence contact us at: [email protected].

Renewing your licence

We will contact you in advance of your licence expiry date to let you know when you need to renew it.

Last updated 06 June 2024