Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies guidance for venues

When you need a licence

You must have a civil partnership or marriage venue licence (premises approval) if you want to hold a:

  • marriage or civil partnership ceremony in a non-religious venue or linked outdoor area
  • civil partnership ceremony in a religious venue or any linked outdoor area

Marriages can either be between a man and a women or between two people of the same sex. A civil partnership can only be between two people of the same sex.

Qualifying criteria

Your venue and any linked outdoor area must be:

  • appropriate for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, for example, a hotel, stately home or civic building
  • a permanent structure, for example, it cannot be a tent or marquee
  • readily available for weddings and civil partnerships, for example, not a one-off ceremony, or a home or place of business
  • non-religious and with no religious connection, for example, no religious symbols, furniture or stained glass windows showing a religious scene, unless you're applying for a civil partnership ceremony
  • freely accessible to the public so that anyone can attend the service or make objections.
  • any linked outdoor area must not exceed in designated capacity figure the capacity of the largest certified room located within the venue, even if that outdoor area may hold a total capacity of a greater figure.

Some venues may need planning approval to hold weddings and civil partnerships. Before applying, please check with the planning department that your premises has the correct approval - email

How to get a licence

You can apply by signing in to the Licensing Portal or by postal application to our offices.

You will need: 

  • the name, address and email of the person who is responsible for meeting the conditions attached to the approval if it is granted
  • a copy of a plan of the premises showing the rooms and any linked outdoor areas where marriages will take place
  • a copy of the premises' most up to date Electrical Installation Inspection Certificate or Periodic Inspection Report
  • a copy of the premises' Fire Risk Assessment 

Apply online 

Apply for a civil partnership or marriage venue licence (secular)

Apply for a civil partnership venue licence (religious)

Apply by post 

Download the civil partnership or marriage venue licensing application form and guidance notes (secular and religious premises)

Send the completed form together with the licence fee to the address on the form.

Linked Outdoor Areas

The 2005 regulations (as amended) now permit Approved Premises to conduct ceremonies in any linked outdoor areas which are available for use by the premises, any outdoor area must be linked to a premises which is approved under the regulations.

For premises that hold a current Approval Certificate granted before April 2022, there is a specific application to amend your certificate free of charge and provide updated details regarding the future use of any linked outdoor area located within the Licensing Portal.

Apply for a linked outdoor area (existing Approved Premises Only)

For premises that currently do not hold an Approval Certificate or for those in receipt of a current Approval granted since April 2022, please apply for a new certificate by the process listed under “How to get a licence”.

The responsible person must get permission by way of free/new application from the Licensing Authority and Superintendent Registrar, before arranging any ceremony proceedings to secure confirmation that the proposed location is seemly and dignified.

This is to avoid a situation where proceedings cannot take place on the day because they fail to meet the seemly and dignified condition.


The fee depends on the permitted capacity of the parts of the premises to be approved.

If you are applying for more than one room, the fee is based on the total capacity of the rooms and any linked outdoor area to be approved.

Marriage or civil partnership venue licence fees
Number of people Fee
Less than 150 £1,761.98
150 to 400 £2,139.70
More than 400 £2,743.55

There is a reduction of 20 per cent on all fees if the premises are already licensed under a Licensing Act 2003 Premises Licence.

What happens next

Once we've received your application, we'll post it on the Royal Borough of Greenwich website. There will be a 21 day consultation period.

We will also inspect your venue.

If granted, a licence lasts for five years.

Renew a licence

Renew your civil marriage and partnership venue licence

Once you've got your licence

You cannot change or modify your wedding or civil partnership venue licence after you have submitted your application.

Contact the Licensing Team directly in writing if you believe there is an error within your application for example, if you want to add an extra room in which ceremonies could take place.

For most changes, you will need a new grant or renewal of the Approval Certification. 

For the most basic updates such as a change to the license holder's detailed or registered company address, you can send a written request to the Licensing Team with the fee due.