If you wish to hold a civil marriage or civil partnership registration in premises in Northern Ireland, they must first be approved by the Council.
Apply online to have a place approved for weddings and civil ceremonies
Place Approval - An application for a Place Approval may be made by the proprietor or a Trustee of suitable premises for use as a civil marriage venue.
Temporary Approval - These applications must be made by either of the parties to an intended civil marriage. Approval shall not be granted where the Council is of the opinion that the applicant is not a fit and proper person.
What premises and locations can be approved? Any premises/location that meets the requirements of the Council's Approval process.
The following conditions will determine suitability:
- The premises or 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
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 (ie hotel where the reception is to be held) then approval must be sought for this location as well.
Find out more about the application evaluation process.
Marriage Regulations (NI) 2003
Civil Partnerships Regulations (NI) 2005