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Choosing a venue for a civil marriage ceremony

A civil ceremony can be held in a registrar's office or a venue approved by the registrar. Most registrar's offices are in a civil registration service.

You do not have to live in the same area as the venue. Registrars usually only perform ceremonies in the county in which they are based.


If you want to get married in a venue other than a civil registration service, contact the civil registration service in that area. There will be an additional fee. The registrar might need to inspect the venue.

Selecting a venue

The venue must be dignified and suitable for a marriage ceremony. It must have enough space for those attending.

The venue must be either:

  • a building that is open to the public
  • a courtyard, garden, field or piece of ground that is open to the public and is near to and usually shared with the building

The venue must also:

  • be clearly identifiable by description and location
  • allow unrestricted access, without charge
  • meet planning permission, fire safety and health and safety requirements
  • have public liability insurance cover
  • be accessible to all
  • have no recent or current connection with any religion or religious practice or persuasion

Page last reviewed: 4 October 2021
Next review due: 4 October 2024