Only permanent enclosed structures of at least one room, or vessels which are permanently moored, can be approved as venues for marriage and civil partnership ceremonies.
The criteria on the following list must apply to your venue for you to be able to host marriage and civil partnership ceremonies:
- The premises must be a seemly and dignified venue for the proceedings.
- The premises must be regularly available for use for marriage and civil partnership ceremonies.
- The premises must have fire precautions and such other reasonable provision for the health and safety of persons employed in or visiting the premises.
- The premises must have no recent or continuing connection with any religion or religious practice that would be incompatible with its use as a venue for civil marriage and civil partnership proceedings.
- The room or rooms in which the proceedings are to take place must not be already approved as part of a register office.
- The room or rooms in which the proceedings are to take place must be identifiable by description as a distinct part of the premises.
- The venue must offer suitable toilets, as well as facilities to assist disabled persons to access the premises.
Approved venues do not need to be able to offer facilities for receptions - some venues concentrate solely on ceremonies. Any venue that does wish to host receptions may need to be licensed to provide entertainment and supply alcohol.
The Register Office will provide the officials to conduct and register a marriage or civil partnership. The approved premises will be responsible for providing hosts and catering staff, as appropriate.