From this page you can apply for a licence to have premises approved as a venue for marriages and civil partnerships. Before completing the application it is important that you read the guidance notes
on the requirements before an approval can be granted. These notes provide information on:
- who can make an application
- standards the property must meet
- types of property which will not be granted approval
- availability of the property
- the role of the responsible person
- conditions to meet the requirements of the registrar
- changes to the property
- renewal of the licence
You will need to provide evidence that the premises have the necessary fire precautions and health and safety provisions in place. This should include the submission of fire risk assessments in respect of the rooms where the ceremonies will take place. The Essex Fire & Rescue Service will be consulted in relation to the application and may recommend that fire safety related conditions be imposed in relation to the granting of the licence.
The authority needs to be satisfied that no planning permission is necessary for the use of the premises for marriages or civil partnerships. For the majority of premises (such as hotels, conference centres and golf clubs) separate planning permission is not likely to be necessary because the activity is ancillary to the main use of the building.
Should the applicant be in any doubt that planning permission may be required, they are advised to consult the local planning authority prior to application and to submit any approval correspondence with the application.
You will also need to supply a plan of the property which clearly shows the room, or rooms for which approval is being sought.
All, or any, of these documents as required, can be supplied either as attachments to the form or in paper copy. Paper copies should be delivered to the address below.
A fee of £1,700 is charged. You can pay this online when you make your application. Or, you can download the form and send it to the above address with a cheque made payable to Essex County Council.
If approval is not granted this fee is not refundable. If approval is granted, the licence is valid for three years. Details of how to renew the licence are provided in the guidelines.
Following receipt of a completed application, a public notice will be posted
to advise the public of the application. The applicant will be advised of the process and the need to inspect the premises. A copy of the application and plan relating to the room or rooms intended to be used for ceremonies will be displayed at the local registration office. The public has 21 days from the date of the public notice to make objection to the application.
In the majority of cases, where no objection is received, the application should be resolved in approximately six weeks from date of receipt. Should there be any delay in resolving an application, the applicant will be notified of the reason(s) for any delay.
Where a site visit is indicated as part of the approval process, there will be no deemed approval of applications by lapse of time. Consent can be validly given only by express notification by the Authority and this will only be given after all applicable site visits have been satisfactorily completed.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of the service you receive, please do not hesitate to get in touch
Register of wedding venues
The complete list of licensed wedding/civil partnership venues in Essex is available to view at:
Essex Registration Service
PO Box 11
Opening times: 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
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