Registering a Venue for Your Wedding or Civil Partnership

So, you've found the PERFECT venue for your civil partnership or marriage.

The only problem? It isn't licensed to perform them.

You have two options in this scenario.

The easiest way to do this is to get the legal bit done separately. If you and your partner go with two witnesses to a registry office, then you can get "married" in a matter of minutes. You're then free to have the actual ceremony wherever and whenever you want. We've written about this here, and it's the best option for couples who want to marry outdoors, in unusual places or even in their own homes. You can hire a celebrant who will personalise the ceremony for you, too.

The second option is to work with the venue and apply for a grant of approval from the local council. You'll need to tell them the rooms that you're intending to use within the building by sending them a plan.

The council will then decide whether or not the venue is formal enough to deserve a licence.  They'll also want to be sure that the venue will be available for other weddings, too.Make sure that the venue has the appropriate standard of fire, health and safety certification. One person should be made responsible for ensuring the above is followed through and their details will need to be given to the council.

The venue will also need to be approved by the local registrar authority

If approved, there can be no food or alcoholic drinks sold or consumed in the room for at least one hour prior and post-ceremony.

Civil marriage ceremonies are prohibited from using religious music or readings.

You'll be required to pay a fee to the council and this is payable whether the venue is approved or not.

The .gov website has a rather detailed document of all the rules and regulations that govern whether a venue will be approved or not. You can find it here. If the venue that you have your heart set on isn't available, then remain positive and be proactive, because there are thousands upon thousands of amazing venues out there. Why not check out our directory; we have some truly stunning places for any budget.


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