Written by Paula Jones Last updated: March 5, 2009
One reason that many couples choose to hold a civil ceremony is because there are so many fancy, beautiful, fun places to hold the ceremony!
Basically, you can choose to hold a civil ceremony at any register office in England or Wales, or at any approved civil venue licensed to hold weddings under the Marriage Act.
There are over 3000 licensed civil venues to choose from in England and Wales, from hotels and stately homes, to zoos and football grounds. The only rule is that such premises must be permanent and roofed, (which rules out boats and gardens), open to the public and unconnected with any religion.
If you’re getting married in Scotland, civil or religious ceremonies can take place wherever a minister or registrar agrees to hold them.
For a full list of legally approved premises, call the General Register Office on 0151 471 4817 or visit gro.gov.uk/gro/content to request a list. Proposals to change the law to allow couples to marry wherever they choose as long as the celebrant is licensed are currently under discussion… so keep your fingers crossed if you had your heart particularly set on getting married aboard your boat!
In the confetti venue channel, we have over 2000 civil venues listed, including contact details, photos, sample menus, costs, facilities and contact details. Search our directory of venues or take a look at our venue channel for some great ideas.
You could also hold a civil ceremony abroad and wedding packages offered by tour operators can make this an inexpensive option. Check out our guide to getting married abroad or visit your local travel agent to find out more.
A civil ceremony still contains certain statutory words and vows, which must be said to make your marriage legal, but...