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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.


7. Statutory conditions

The following Licence Conditions as set out in Schedule 2 of The Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005 will apply to all licences for Approved Premises in East Sussex. They may be amended from time to time on the instructions of the Registrar General.
Schedule 2 of ‘The Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations Act of 2005’ requires that:

  1. The holder of the approval must ensure that there is at all times an individual with responsibility for ensuring compliance with these conditions (“the responsible person”) and that the responsible person’s occupation, seniority, position of responsibility in relation to the premises, or other factors (his “qualification”), indicate that he is in a position to ensure compliance with these conditions.
  2. The responsible person or, in his absence, an appropriately qualified deputy
    appointed by him, shall be available on the premises for a minimum of one hour prior to and throughout each of the proceedings.
  3. The holder must notify the authority –
    (a) of his name and address immediately upon him becoming the holder of an approval and;
    (b) of the name, address and qualification of the responsible person immediately upon the appointment of a new responsible person.
  4. The holder must notify the authority immediately of any change to any of the
    following -
    (a) the layout of the premises, as shown in the plan submitted with the approved application, or in the use of the premises;
    (b) the name or full postal address of the approved premises;
    (c) the description of the room or rooms in which the proceedings are to take place;
    (d) the name or address of the holder of the approval; and
    (e) the name, address or qualification of the responsible person.
  5. The approved premises must be made available at all reasonable times for inspection by the authority.
  6. A suitable notice stating that the premises have been approved for the proceedings and identifying and giving directions to the room in which the proceedings are to take place must be displayed at each public entrance to the premises for one hour prior to and throughout the proceedings.
  7. No food or drink may be sold or consumed in the room in which the proceedings take place for one hour prior to or during those proceedings.
  8. All proceedings must take place in a room which was identified as one to be used for that purpose on the plan submitted with the approved application.
  9. The room in which the proceedings are to take place must be separate from any other activity on the premises at the time of the proceedings.
  10. The arrangements for and content of the proceedings must meet with the prior approval of the superintendent registrar of the district, or the registration authority of the area, as the case may be, in which the approved premises are situated.
  11. Any proceedings conducted on approved premises shall not be religious in nature.
    In particular, the proceedings shall not –
    (a) include extracts from an authorised religious marriage service or from sacred religious texts;
    (b) be led by a minister of religion or other religious leader;
    (c) involve a religious ritual or series of rituals;
    (d) include hymns or other religious chants; or,
    (e) include any form of worship.
    But the proceedings may include readings, songs, or music that contain an incidental reference to a god or deity in an essentially non-religious context.
    For this purpose any material used by way of introduction to, in any interval between parts of, or by way of conclusion to the proceedings shall be treated as forming part of the proceedings.
  12. Public access to any proceedings in approved premises must be permitted without charge.
  13. Any reference to the approval of premises on any sign or notice, or on any stationery or publication, or within any advertisement may state that the premises have been approved by the authority as a venue for marriage in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of the 1949 Act and the formation of civil partnerships under section 6(3A)(a) of the 2004 Act but shall not state or imply any recommendation of the premises or its facilities by the authority, the Registrar General or any of the officers or employees of either of them.
    For reference:
    The licence holder may use the following words to describe an “Approved Premises” licence:
    “Approved by East Sussex County Council as a venue for the solemnization of civil marriages and the formation of civil partnerships”
  14. If a change of name to the approved premises occurs after the issue of the certificate for marriage or the civil partnership document but before the proceedings, the former name of the approved premises as recorded in the certificate for marriage or the civil partnership document shall remain valid for its duration for the purpose of the proceedings.

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