Venue administration

About venue licensing

What are approved venues?

Approved ceremony or licensed venues are places that have applied to be permitted and accepted as suitable locations. They can include hotels, stately homes, halls, barns and so on. Find details on our Approved ceremony venues page.

Is there anywhere that can't be licensed?

You cannot get a license for:

  • a garden or house for a one-off ceremony - unless it is made available for the public to use for the duration of the license
  • a venue with current or recent religious connections - for example a chapel in a stately home.

Length of license and renewal information

A license is valid for 3 years. To ensure continuous licensing, you should apply to renew in the 12 months before the expiration of the current license.

How much does it cost?

  • License - £2,398
  • Additional room - £413

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.

Provided that no objections have been received and all other requirements are met a license will be granted.

The licensing process takes 8 weeks. if you have not heard from us after this time, or you have any queries, concerns or complaints, Contact the ceremonies team.