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License your venue

West Northamptonshire has the unique appeal of bustling towns and beautiful countryside. Close to Oxford and London, it offers a more cost effective and vibrant location for couples to have their ceremony.

If your venue is situated in West Northamptonshire, licensing it for weddings may be an ideal opportunity for you.

Only venues with an approved license can host legally recognised marriages and civil partnerships.

An approved venue licence is valid for 3 years.

Types of venues that can be licenced

For a building to be licenced, it must be immovable and comprised of at least one room that can be licenced. Boats or vessels must be permanently moored.

The main use of your premises outside of a potential marriage/civil partnership venue, should not cause it to be unsuitable for the respectability of marriages or the formation of civil partnerships.

Your venue must be readily identifiable and regularly available to the public.

Marriages can now take place at a licenced venue in the open air, a tent or temporary marquee as a specified 'linked area' in conjunction with the licenced premise.

How to apply

Please contact us to arrange a pre-licensing visit, where we can assess the property and offer advice. We will look at the suitability of your property to become a licensed venue and suggest any changes that may be needed to fit into the venue criteria. We will also run through the cost of licensing your venue.

We will then provide you with an application form. You will need to request and then send a completed version to [email protected].

You will need to attach:

  • 3 copies of a plan of the premises (showing the room(s) in which it is intended that marriages or civil partnerships will take place, interview rooms and access points)
  • the appropriate fire risk assessment
  • a copy of the Premise Licence as required under the Licensing Act 2003
  • proof of planning permission or a letter from the Local Planning department confirming that planning is or is not required

The application must be made by the proprietor or trustee of the premises. If the application is successful, the applicant will hold a license.


Approved venue licenceFee (out of scope of VAT)​
​Approved venue licence (including religious premises for civil partnerships)​​£1,935
​Addition of a room mid-licence (standard fee irrespective of the expiry date of approved venue licence)​​£585
​Appeal for a licence refusal​​£585
​Health and Safety inspection (commercial premises for external open-air structure at the time of its licensing) Non-refundable​​£85

After your application

The premises will be inspected for suitability before approval is granted and may be subject to further inspections during the 3-year period of approval.

Public notice of the application will be published on our website with a period of 21 days for objections to be lodged.

If the requirements and conditions are met, and any objections received are resolved or rejected, the premises will be approved for the purpose for 3 years. This is subject to further inspections and possible revocation if the requirements and conditions do not continue to be met.

Adding or removing rooms to an existing approved venue licence

To make alterations to your licence please contact Northamptonshire Registration Service.

Renewing your licence

We will contact you in advance of your licence expiry date to let you know when you need to renew it.

Last updated 21 June 2024