Civil marriage and partnership venue licence

The Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005 enable premises approved by local authorities, such as hotels and stately homes, to be used for the solemnisation of civil marriages and the information of Civil partnerships. Following amendments to the 2005 Regulations made in December 2011, Religious Buildings (as defined by section 6A (3C) of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (the Act), may now be approved for the registration of Civil Partnerships.

The application process is listed below along with guidance notes.


To apply for a Civil Marriage and Partnership licence, or an Approval of Religious Premises licence please complete the relevant form below. Fee information can be found at: Licence fees . The fee covers the inspection of the building, the publication of the application, the administrative costs in processing the application and the issue of the licence.

What happens next?

  • Inspection of building
    The premises will be inspected by officers of the Council and the Register Office to ensure that the premises are suitable and comply with all necessary requirements. Further interim inspections may be carried out at any time should an approval be granted.
  • Publication of application
    The particulars of any application for an approval will be published on the Council's website for any local objections during the statutory period of 21 days.
  • Issuing an approval
    When the statutory period has elapsed, subject to there being no unresolved objections and all other matters being settled the Council will issue an approval in respect of the building.
  • Validity
    The approval will be valid for three years from the date of issue

Renewing an approval

If the holder of the approval wishes to renew the approval at the end of three years, the holder must apply for a renewal no more than twelve months before the current approval expires.

Fresh fees are payable for re-inspection of the building and the issuing of a renewed approval. See: Discretionary fees .

Expired approval

Under no circumstances can marriages or civil partnership proceedings take place in a building where the approval has expired or been revoked.

Complaints procedure

A complaints procedure is operated by the Council for use by the general public. All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the Council's complaints procedure.

Revoking an approval

The Council reserves the right to revoke an approval at any time where:

  • The holder of the approval fails to comply with any of the conditions and responsibilities which apply to the obtaining of the approval, or
  • If the use or structure of the premises has changed so that any of the conditions and responsibilities cannot be fulfilled.

The Registrar General may direct the Council to revoke an approval if, in their opinion, there have been breaches of the law relating to marriage/civil partnership proceedings or the approved premises.

Surrendering an approval

The holder of the approval can, at any time, surrender an approval. The approval will be revoked as soon as is practicable. It is the responsibility of the approval holder to notify any parties, who have made arrangements to marry, that the marriages can no longer take place in their building.