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How to become a Licensed Venue for Civil Marriage and Civil Partnership

Legally recognised outdoor ceremonies are temporarily permitted in some circumstances until 5 April 2022.

Outdoor ceremonies guide.


8. Additional licence conditions

The following additional licence conditions, which have been agreed by ESCC, will apply to all licences issued for Approved Premises. They may be amended from time to time by ESCC.

  1. Civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies must be conducted by a (Deputy) Superintendent Registrar for the district in which your venue is located and registered by a (Deputy) Registrar of that same district. Licence holders would not be expected to supply anyone to conduct the ceremony, nor must they permit anyone other than staff from East Sussex Registration to officiate at a ceremony.
  2. Without the presence of a (Deputy) Superintendent Registrar and a (Deputy) Registrar there can be no marriage or civil partnership. The licence holder should only accept a provisional booking until the couple has confirmed their booking with the East Sussex Ceremonies team. Couples should be advised to speak to East Sussex Registration as soon as they have made a provisional booking with their venue.
  3. Civil ceremonies can take place any time of the day or night but certain times will incur a surcharge. As the attendance of Registration staff is required, licence holders should not confirm the time of any ceremony until the couple has spoken to the East Sussex Ceremonies team.
  4. The Responsible Person should notify attending registration staff of the fire evacuation procedures and how to call a First Aider.
  5. The ceremony and interview rooms must have suitable heating and ventilation to maintain the comfort of the ceremony parties and their guests.
  6. The ceremony room must have suitable lighting to all parts of the room. If necessary, a table lamp or similar must be provided for the (Deputy) Registrar, and located where the entry is to be made in the Register and where the couple must check and sign the Register. Please note that we do not allow the use of lit candles before or during the ceremony unless they are in covered lanterns. Battery operated candles may be used.
  7. The ceremony room must have a minimum of four chairs for the couple and registration staff, together with a desk or table large enough to accommodate the Register.
  8. The number of guests attending a ceremony must not exceed that shown on the licence application and the license notice supplied for display.
  9. The person(s) booking the premises for a ceremony must be made aware of:
    - Any limitations imposed by accessibility of the premises
    - Any limitations imposed on the size of the ceremony party by the size of the ceremony room and the agreed capacity listed on the license.
    - The fact that public access to the ceremony must be permitted.
  10. The use of confetti is at the discretion of the licence holder.
  11. A telephone should be made available for registration staff if required.
  12. The ceremony room should not, in the opinion of the officiating Registrars, be disturbed by noise from other activities at the premises. Any reasonable request from the officiating Registrars to ensure that the ceremony may proceed undisturbed should be complied with.
  13. The ceremony room and other rooms to be used should be set up and ready at least one hour before the agreed start time for the ceremony.

Special licence conditions

ESCC reserves the right to apply special licence conditions, in addition to those set out above, to any licence at any time as it considers necessary.

Duration

The Licence will be valid for a period of three years and is non-refundable.

Renewal

Licence holders may apply to renew a licence not more than twelve months and not less than six months before the expiry of the existing licence. The normal application procedure and fees will apply. Fees are due at the time of application.

Revoking a license

ESCC has a policy for comments and complaints, all complaints are investigated. If complaints are received regarding Approved Premises and, if those comments are ignored or the conditions of the licence abused, ESCC may revoke the licence. No refund of fees will be made if a licence is revoked.

Refusal of an application to license

If approval is not granted to an application, the applicant will be notified in writing of that decision, the reasons why, and how they may appeal against that decision should they wish to.

Apply to license a venue

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