Apply for or renew a ceremony venue licence

Apply for or renew a licence to hold civil marriages or partnerships.

1 Who can apply

Licensed venues or approved venues can include hotels, stately homes, civic halls, barns and other similar premises. The owner or trustee of the premises must make the application.

You cannot get a license for a garden or your house for a one-off ceremony (unless it is made available for the public to use during the terms of the three-year licence).

Religious premises

Civil marriages cannot be conducted anywhere with current or recent religious connections, for example, you cannot get a grant of approval for a chapel in a stately home.

2 Before you apply

Please read and ensure you understand the information contained in the guidance document.

3 Apply for a licence

Use our online form to apply for or renew your venue licence:

Apply for or renew a wedding venue licence

A licence is valid for three years and you should apply to renew within the remaining 12 months of the original licence.

You will be required to upload the following documents when completing your online application:

  • Building plan indicating the proposed licensed rooms and linked outdoor area(s)
  • Room plan for each proposed licensed room and linked outdoor area(s)
  • Fire risk assessment
  • Public liability insurance.

4 Licence fees

  • Licence fee (valid for three years) - £2,202
  • Fee for additional room - £379

5 What happens next

  • Before a licence can be granted, your application plan will be available for public inspection and the premises to be licensed will be advertised (Public Notice) on the West Sussex County Council website to allow for any objections. Public notices can be viewed on our Engagement Hub
  • Objections must be received in writing by the local authority within 21 days of the notice of application appearing on our website. Any objections will be considered as soon as practicable after receipt.
  • The premises will be inspected for suitability before the approval is granted. We will contact you to arrange an inspection.
  • West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will carry out a fire safety assessment, at our instruction.

The licensing process takes between six and eight weeks to complete and, provided that no objections have been received and all other requirements are met, the licence will be granted.

Last updated:
4 May 2023
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.