Approved premises for ceremonies - licences

What sort of premises can become licensed to host ceremonies and what ceremonies can they hold, what criteria is necessary to become an approved premise, how to obtain a license and how long does it take, is there a list of licensed venues, what the cost is to get a license and what are license conditions.

What sort of premises can become licensed to host civil ceremonies?

Commercial venues such as hotels, stately homes, clubs and other similar premises may be licensed to host civil ceremonies. This would be subject to meeting certain criteria including those relating to Fire Safety, Planning and Building Control.

The premises MUST be a permanent immovable structure comprising of at least one room, or any boat or other vessel, which is permanently moored. We cannot perform the legal parts of a marriage or civil partnership outside, in a tent, marquee or other temporary structure, however, we may be able carry out the legalities inside the premises and hold the celebratory ceremony outside.

Premises must not have any religious connection and must have the relevant planning permissions to host civil ceremonies.

How do I obtain a licence to host civil ceremonies?

An application may be made by the owner, proprietor, manager or a trustee of a suitable venue. The superintendent registrar or their deputy will pay an informal visit to you to assess the premises for suitability, talk about the services we offer and answer any questions that you may have.

Would a very small hotel be considered as suitable?

Some of our ceremony venues are quite small but, offer a very professional, personal service for small parties of people. Providing that your building can meet the necessary conditions there should be no problem.

What is the necessary criteria for becoming an approved premises?

The grant of approval (the licence) is granted subject to certain legal and local conditions being met, including health and safety, satisfactory fire risk assessments, relevant planning permissions if necessary and accessibility.

How long does it take to issue a licence?

From receipt of a completed application form to approval can take up to 3 months.

Please contact us, to make an application:


Telephone: (01482) 393600

The Register Office Walkergate House Walkergate Beverley East Riding of Yorkshire HU17 9BP

What happens after I have submitted my application?

Once you have sent a completed application form, together with supporting documentation and the fee to the register office an advertisement will appear within a local newspaper seeking any public objections to the application. If no objections have been lodged within a set period of time a final inspection of the premises will take place. If all conditions have been met the approval will be granted and a licence will be issued.

How long will the licence be valid for?

A licence will be valid for 3 years, providing that all licence conditions are complied with throughout that period.

What if the licence conditions are not complied with?

The council reserves the right to withdraw a licence if conditions are not complied with at any time during the period, however, this would be a last resort and we will work with you to resolve any issues.

What if there are changes to the venue?

The licence may be transferred between new owners or managers, but is NOT transferable between venues/premises. Any changes to the premises/rooms or additions of new rooms will require a new licence. Let us know immediately of any changes by:


Telephone: (01482) 393600

East Riding Registration and Celebratory Services

The Register Office Walkergate House Walkergate Beverley East Riding of Yorkshire HU17 9BP

What happens at the end of the three year licence period?

We will contact you about 12 months before the licence expires and start the process for a renewal. You must tell us at any time whether you want to renew or not. There are extra fees if this process is delayed.

Is there a list of licensed venues in East Riding of Yorkshire?

A list of licenced venues is available on the East Riding Ceremonies website.

What if the premises has an outside structure like a summer house or gazebo?

In certain circumstances it may be possible to include these on your licence, please check this when you apply. We may also be able to provide a civil celebratory ceremony outside such venues as long as the legalities are completed beforehand.

How much does it cost to become licensed?

There is a fee of £1,900 for a 3 year licence, this is for an unlimited number of rooms within your venue. Fees are reviewed in September and April each year.

Will I receive some guidance?

We are always at the end of a telephone to offer help and advice and have also produced a guidance booklet for approved premises.

Approved Premises Guidance Booklet (pdf 307kb)

Who do I contact to enquire about becoming licensed?

Please contact the superintendent registrar by:


Tel: (01482) 393600

The Register Office
Walkergate House
East Riding of Yorkshire
HU17 9BP.

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