Premises Approval for Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships

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If you wish to hold a civil marriage or civil partnership in premises in Northern Ireland, the premises must first be approved by your local district Council. 


Who can apply?

An application for a Place Approval may be made by the proprietor or a Trustee of suitable premises for use as a Civil Marriage or Civil Partnership venue.

Temporary Approval – these applications must be made by either of the parties to an intended civil marriage or civil partnership.

Approval shall not be granted where the Council is of the opinion that the applicant is not a fit and proper person.


What premises/locations can be approved?

Any premises or location that meets the requirements of the Council’s Approval process.

The following conditions of approval under the Marriage Regulations (NI) 2003 19(b) and Schedule 12 will determine suitability:

  • The premises/ location must provide an appropriate and dignified setting for the celebration of marriage.
  • Civil marriages must be solemnised at identifiable places within the Registration district.
  • Health and Safety regulations and Fire regulations must be satisfied.
  • Public Liability Insurance must be provided.
  • The premises must not have a recent or continuing religious connection.
  • The safety of Registration Office staff and their legal documents will be a consideration as to the suitability of the premises.


Additional Information

There is no limit to the number of rooms that can be approved for marriages. The Council would expect the number of rooms to be kept to a minimum to avoid confusion. Please note that each application fee covers the rooms contained in one building.

Marriages must only take place in a room/location which is approved.

A separate room must also be available for the confidential interviewing of the marriage parties.

Where approval is sought for outdoor locations appropriate shelter must be provided in case of inclement weather. If the alternative is a separate location (i.e. hotel where the reception is to be held) then Approval must be sought for this location as well


The Application Process

The information provided below is intended as a step-by-step guide through the process that an application for an “Approved Place for Marriage” is subject to before being approved or refused.

  1. Application form with accompanying fee of £400 is recorded, receipted and checked.
  2. In considering an application the Council may consult with the following :
  • The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service
  • The Police Service for Northern Ireland
  • The District Registrar – Registrars Conditions of Approval
  • The Council’s Environmental Health Department
  • The Council’s Building Control Department
  1. On receipt of the application the Council shall arrange for public notice of the application to be given by requiring the applicant to place a Site Notice in a prominent position on the premises.
  2. Any person may give notice of their objection to the application by writing to the Council. The Council will take into account any objections received when deciding on the grant of approval. A copy of any objections shall be sent to the applicant.
  3. On receipt of all replies from those bodies consulted and all the required documentation to support the application the premises will be inspected by a Council Officer.
  4. Following this inspection the application will be placed before the Council and a recommendation made. The Council will decide whether or not to grant the approval based on the replies received from the consultees and after having considered any objection made.


Conditions of Application

The following documents/items are required in support of your application for a Place Approval:

  1. The completed application form
  2. The required fee of £400 – all cheques should be made payable to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
  3. Two character references to help determine if applicant is a ‘fit and proper person’ as required by the legislation.
  4. Three sets of plans for the place applied for showing the internal layout of the premises including the room to be used for the marriage and the room to be set aside for the Registrar. These plans must be of scale 1:100. If the place applied for is outdoors three location maps will be required indicating the marriage venue, along with points of entry and exit.
  5. Electrical Certificates
  6. Test certificates indicating that the following have been suitably tested:
  • The Electrical Installation itself
  • Any Emergency Lighting Systems
  • Any Fire Alarm Systems

All electrical certificates provided must be completed by a competent electrical contractor who must carry out to work to the appropriate British Standard or equivalent.

The appropriate electrician/tester will issue the certificates required.

  1. Details of public liability insurance in respect of the place for which approval is sought.
  2. A suitable and sufficient risk assessment completed by a competent person, which should meet the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (NI) 200 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations (NI) 2001.
  3. Any other certification that may be deemed appropriate to determine the application (such as Fire Fighting Equipment test certificates, material flammability certificates etc.)


Regulation Summary



Licence fees are as follows:

Type of Licence

Fee £

Civil Marriage


Civil Partnership


Civil Marriage and Civil Partnership



Apply Online


Forms to Download, Print and Post


Eligibility Criteria

Applications must be:

  • made in writing (including by electronic means)
  • signed by the applicant (including by electronic means)


Application Evaluation Process

No provision in the legislation.


Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council within a reasonable period, please contact us.


Contact Details

Environmental Services Department
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
Ballymoney Office
Riada House
14 Charles Street
BT53 6DZ

Tel:  028 2766 0233



Failed Application Redress

Please contact Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in the first instance.


Licence Holder Redress

Please contact Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in the first instance.


Consumer Complaint

We would advise that in the event of a complaint, the first contact is made with the trader by you – preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of deliver).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK: Consumer Direct will give you advice.  From outside the UK contact the: European Consumer Centre.


Other Redress

Any complaints about e.g. noise, pollution, etc. or if one licence holder complains about another should be made directly to the Environmental Services Department on 028 2766 0233 or by emailing:


Trade Associations