Ceremonies at licensed venues

Marriages and civil partnerships in licensed venues, ceremony rooms and The Register Office.

1 Ceremony types

Marriage

Marriage is available to heterosexual and same-sex couples in both religious and licensed non-religious venues. There are also options for bespoke marriages if a couple wishes to hold a ceremony at a place that is special to them.

A non-religious ceremony is called a civil marriage. It is conducted by a superintendent registrar and registered by the Registrar of Marriages. Marriage certificates are issued and specify the father's name of each partner.

A civil marriage ceremony cannot have any religious content, but individual touches can be added, such as non-religious music and readings. We will do all we can to make your special day a happy and memorable occasion.

Marriage ceremonies at religious venues

Ceremonies with religious elements may only take place in religious venues. Further information is available on our ceremonies at religious venues page.

Civil partnership

A civil partnership is a way for a couple to have their union legally recognised by the signing of a schedule in front of a registrar and two witnesses.

A ceremony and legal vows are not required, however couples are able to arrange a bespoke ceremony if they wish, either at the same time as the legal element at one of our approved venues and ceremony rooms or on another day. The ceremony can be catered to the couple's requirements.

Civil partnership certificates show both parents of each partner.

It is important to note that marriage is accepted as legally binding all over the world, whereas civil partnership is not recognised in some countries. You may need to consider the impact it could have upon travel or living arrangements.

A bill has been passed by government to extend civil partnership to opposite-sex couples. The regulations have been made and we are able to take bookings for notice appointments from 2 December 2019 and for signings and ceremonies from 31 December 2019.

Civil partnership ceremonies at religious venues

Ceremonies with religious elements may only take place in religious venues. Further information is available on our ceremonies at religious venues page.

Conversion of civil partnership to marriage

Full information regarding the conversion of a civil partnership to a marriage can be found on the convert your civil partnership to a marriage page.

2 Where to hold the ceremony

The ceremony can take place at either:

4 Book a registrar

Book a registrar
Share this
Share this

Do you have any feedback about this page?

Help us improve this website

Let us know if this page was helpful so we can make improvements. Add a star rating and leave your feedback below to show how useful you found this page.

Rate this page:
Clear star rating...
  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.