Last updated: 17/10/2012
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Civil Marriages - what are they?
These are marriages which are non-religious and are conducted by
the local Superintendent Registrar. They can take place in a
Office or an Approved Venue licensed by the local
Where to hold your civil ceremony - Registration Office
or Approved Venue?
For a civil ceremony in England or Wales you can chose a
Registration Office or an Approved Venue (these are buildings
licensed by the local authority e.g stately homes, castles, town
and country hotels etc). Under current legislation a civil ceremony
cannot take place in the open air.
Your local authority will have a list of venues approved for
civil ceremonies in its area. To obtain an up to date Approved
Venue list and also a free copy of the brochure Getting Married
in Cornwall, please email email@example.com or
telephone the Registration Information Service on 0300 1234
You can choose to marry in any Registration Office or
Approved Venue within or outside your district of
If you choose to marry in a venue outside the
district of your residence, you must provisionally book a date with
the Approved Venue and the Registration Officer in that area
before you make any firm arrangements. This is to
ensure that you can have the date and time you want, and that the
Registration Officers are available to conduct the ceremony.
For information about national registration services
visit the Registering
Life Events page on the Directgov website.
Frequently Asked Questions