To hold a civil partnership ceremony or wedding at premises in England or Wales, the premises must be approved by your local authority. You must be the proprietor or a trustee of the premises to apply for permission to hold civil partnership ceremonies or weddings. The application must be in writing on the prescribed form and include a plan of the premises which clearly identifies the room or rooms in which the proceedings will occur. A fee may be payable.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005
Application Evaluation Process
Your premises will be inspected. Your application and plan will be made available to the public for inspection. You are required to place a public notice of the application at the venue for 21 days and in a local newspaper as part of a public consultation process. To be granted you application must be in the correct format and your premises deemed suitable. However your application may still be refused if it is felt that there are too many approved premises in the area for the registrars to attend. Conditions may be imposed to your approval. The Registrar General may issue guidance to local authorities to assist them in making their decision.
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
Tacit consent applies to a Marriage Approved Premises licence application if no relevant representations are made during a period of 28 days from the day after the application is received by the Licensing Authority. This target date is known as the ‘last date for representation’. The application will be deemed granted after the last date for representation.
If relevant representations are made within the 28 day consultation period tacit consent does not apply and a public hearing must be held to determine your application. The public hearing will be held within 20 working days after the last date for representation. The hearing date may be extended if the Licensing Authority considers it is in the public interest to do so.
Target Completion Period
If there are no representations to the application, the licence will be granted 29 days from the day the Licensing Authority received the application.
If there are representations the application will go before a Licensing Sub-Committee and a decision will be made at the hearing.
Forms to download, print, post or email
Should you wish to apply by post, you can download the following forms from the documents section on this page that you can complete and post or email to us:
- Marriage Approved Premises Application Form - Secular Premises
- Marriage Approved Premises Application Form - Religious Premises
- Marriage Approved Premises Guidance
- The Registrar General's Guidance to Authorities for the approval of premises as venues for civil marriages and civil partnerships (revised October 2013)
- FAQ Civil Partnership in Religious Premises
We are able to accept payment by phone, by cheque or by card in person at our offices.
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. You have the right to seek a review of the local authority's refusal to grant your application. You must deliver your request for review to the proper officer of the local authority, accompanied by any requested fee.
Public Registers or databases
A list of Marriage Approved Premises is available on request.
Use of Personal Data
We are under a duty to protect the public funds we administer and to this end may use the information you provide on your application for the prevention and detection of fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.