Registering a place for marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

People wishing to use their premises for civil marriages must be in possession of a licence which approves those premises.

The purpose of the licence is to ensure that the premises are safe and appropriate for the purpose of civil ceremonies.

An application must be made by the proprietor or trustee of the premises.

Before applying please read the guidance notes for civil ceremonies at approved premises. Please also see Marriage Act 1949, Civil Partnership Act 2004 and Marriage and Civil Partnership (approved premises) Regulations 2005"

Please contact us for an inspection of your premises before you submit your application. This enables us to confirm your premises are suitable before you pay any fees. 

Licence application process

Firstly, please contact us to arrange an inspection by the Superintendent Registrar and then complete and submit the application form.

Your premises will be inspected by the Superintendent Registrar and Health and Safety Department. In order for your application to be granted, it must be in the correct format and your premises deemed suitable. Additionally, conditions will be attached to your approval. The Registrar General may guide us in making our decision.

  • Application form
  • three copies of a plan of the premises showing the room(s) must be included with the application or sent separately. The application will not be processed before we receive these.
  • Premises must satisfy our fire precautions and health and safety provisions.
  • After submitting the application, but before it is approved, you must advertise for three weeks a public notice of the application in a local newspaper or alternatively, we will publish the notice for you on our website for a fee. Please contact us for details. 
  • If your application is approved, it will be valid for three years, subject to terms and conditions.

You can find fees for licence applications on our Register Office fees page.

The licence is only granted once the full application process has been completed. If you have not been contacted by us 28 days after the public notice advert date, please contact us on register.office@towerhamlets.gov.uk.

All licences are subject to approval and issue by the Superintendent Registrar.

Renewal of licence

All approved venue licences need to be renewed every three years.

You can start the renewal process a year before your licence is to expire. The renewal process is the same as the initial application process, and you need to complete and submit the same forms.

The renewal of a licence is granted if there have been no changes to the original application, or if any changes or additional rooms included, satisfy our fire precautions and health and safety provisions.

All renewal licences are subject to approval and issue by the Superintendent Registrar.

Visit the marriages and civil partnerships approved premises public notices page for more information.

What to do if your application is refused

Applications may be refused if they do not meet the requirements set out in the guidance notes.

If your application has been unsuccessful and you wish to appeal against the decision you can do so by contacting us.

Objections

If you have any objections to an application for premises approval, please contact us within 21 days of the notice of application appearing in the local newspaper or on this website. 

If you wish to take a complaint further you can get in contact with the Tower Hamlets Corporate Complaints Service at:

Corporate Complaints Team
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
E 14 2BG

Tel (English/ Sylheti): 020 7364 4161
Fax: 020 7364 4300
Minicom: 020 7364 4853

Email: complaints@towerhamlets.gov.uk