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Choosing a venue for a civil marriage ceremony

A civil ceremony can be held in a civil registration service or another venue approved by the registrar. You do not have to live in the same area as the venue. In general, registrars 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. The registrar might need to inspect the venue.

An additional fee is charged for holding a civil ceremony in a venue other than a civil registration service.

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, religious practice or persuasion

page last reviewed: 22/10/2018
next review due: 22/10/2021