When you come across venue licensing a few weeks before your wedding day, you may think that it is a complicated matter as it involves some legal aspects. But, the concept is easy to understand.
Understanding wedding venue license
For a legal marriage to take place, there are a few legal aspects that you need to consider. One of them is the building you have chosen as the wedding venue. This venue should have a proper license to conduct weddings. If it doesn’t have a marriage license, your marriage ceremony will not be a legal one. The UK government has a list of guidelines outlining the requirements for venue licensing.
Wedding venue licensing
As already-mentioned, there are several requirements that the venue has to meet to become eligible for obtaining a marriage license. Some of the criteria are given below:
The building should be safe enough and in good shape for people to conduct weddings. There shouldn’t be any repair work going on when members of the public are using the place for a marriage ceremony. The safety precautions also include fire regulations.
The premises should be available regular to the public to conduct marriage ceremonies. The venue cannot be used for any other purposes. That is why people can’t get married in their homes because it is not for the general public.
No religious ceremonies
The building must not be used at any time for religious purposes. All the civil ceremonies should arrange for the religious connotations elsewhere and not inside the building. It should only serve as a place for the legal marriage to take place. That is another reason why vicarages, chapels, and church buildings don’t get a wedding venue license as they can’t meet this criterion. Also, the room where the ceremony usually takes place should be inside the licensed building. You cannot use the open backyard of the licensed venue as the wedding location. Even if the couple wants to have an outdoor wedding, the place should have a fixed, permanent structure under which the bride and the groom will take their vows. Open-air weddings, won’t do.
Is temporary license allowed?
No, they are not! As mentioned above, the venue should be available all the time for public use. It is legally not possible to acquire a one-off license. You have to go through a detailed procedure to obtain the license, and it will clearly mention that you should have the venue available for regular wedding ceremonies to take place, unless there is a need to repair the building.
Moreover, only immovable buildings with a permanent roof are considered suitable for licensing. So, if you are planning to marry in a boat, rethink your idea again. Unless the boat is permanently moored, you cannot acquire a wedding venue license. Any non-fixed structures and temporary marquees will be straightaway disqualified for licensing.
Some councils also have a rule that asks the wedding venue to provide fresh drinking water and proper parking facilities to the registrar.
That’s pretty much everything that covers the wedding venue licensing basics. There are many more details, the summary of which you more or less finished reading.