Approval of premises for marriage or civil partnerships

You can apply for a licence if you operate a business premises and would like to offer it as a venue for marriages or civil partnerships. This is under the Marriage Act 1994 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

You can read more about registering a venue for civil marriage and civil partnership on GOV.UK.

You must specify an individual and identifiable room or rooms to be used for ceremonies. These are the only rooms that can be used for the ceremonies.

The licence can't be transferred to another premises.

A licence will typically be for 3 years from the date of issue. It will terminate at the end of that period unless you renew it or it's revoked.

How to apply

You can apply online on GOV.UK.

Apply online

You'll also need to provide:

  • a copy of a valid fire risk assessment
  • documents that prove you have public liability insurance of minimum value £5 million and the renewal date of the policy
  • the List of Directors (if appropriate)
  • a copy of a plan (or plans) of the premises that clearly identifies their location and the room(s) to be licensed
    • plans should be no larger than A3 size

The cost of inspection and issue of the licence itself is included in the fee.

Once you submit your application, a licensing officer will contact you to arrange an inspection of your premises.

You will also be contacted by the marriage registrar. They will make a visit to ensure that the proposed venue is deemed dignified for ceremonies.

The decision will be made about the licence within 40 days of you submitting your application.