A civil marriage must be held in one of our selected registration offices or at one of our approved venues, which range in style and location from a windmill on the coast to a city centre boutique hotel.
Additionally there are several venues which have licensed outdoor structures and several others which are approved to hold duo ceremonies, where the legal requirements are performed in the licensed room and the rest of the ceremony is held outdoors, either immediately before or afterwards.
A religious marriage can be held in any religious building which is registered for marriage. The marriage is arranged through the priest, minister or other representative, who will tell you if you need to contact the registration office as part of the procedure.
You can have your ceremony at any registration office in England and Wales. If you are seeking an Early Bird Ceremony (also known as a 2+2) we offer these primarily within working offices in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn. Please see the section below for more information.
Larger ceremonies will be booked into our ceremony rooms. We have ceremony rooms available at the following locations:
Please note that Fakenham’s registration office is not currently available for general booking.
If you would like to have a look at one of our ceremony rooms you can telephone the office and arrange a visit.
Early bird ceremonies
The Registration Offices at County Hall in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth offer an ‘early bird’ ceremony in their small ceremony room, Monday to Thursday (subject to office opening). The small ceremony rooms can only accommodate the couple, the two witnesses plus any children of the couple, or of either partner, who are under 18 years of age. These are working offices with the associated computers, phones and other furniture in place.
Approved venues are buildings which we have approved for the celebration of civil partnerships and marriages. This includes hotels, barns, stately homes and even a castle.
You should contact your chosen venue to check provisional dates and times. At this stage it is a good idea to be flexible and have at least two options for when you would like your ceremony.
Always confirm registrars are available before paying a deposit to an approved venue.
Approved venues have their own schedule of fees in addition to our attendance charges, which you will need to take into account.
In some venues we offer an Approved Venue Duo (AV Duo). This consists of two ceremonies, both held at the couple's chosen approved licensed venue, with one ceremony immediately followed by the other. The couple can walk down the aisle and make their vows in front of all their guests outside in the venue gardens and afterwards head indoors to the licensed room for the legal formalities. Or the other way around - complete the legal formalities and then hold the whole ceremony again outdoors.
AV Duo ceremonies can only be held in the buildings and grounds of venues approved and licensed for civil marriage or civil partnerships. Many of Norfolk's approved venues offer duo ceremonies and will be happy to discuss with you.
You will need to discuss plans for adverse weather with your venue. If the outdoor ceremony falls victim to the weather an alternative space within the venue will be needed to hold the ceremony in front of your guests. You’ll need this information to complete our agreement form.
If you are planning an Approved Venue duo ceremony you must complete an agreement form.
The following venues have all been approved to hold duo ceremonies:
Have you ever thought about holding your ceremony in your garden or on the beach? If so then our Any Place Duo is the ceremony for you. This ceremony allows couples to celebrate pretty much anywhere they want.
An Any Place Duo always begins at a register office in Norfolk where the legal formalities can be carried out. The celebration ceremony (with any or all the whistles and bells the couple want) takes place either later the same day or within a few days at the couple's chosen location. This can be any place they choose such as their homes, back gardens or unlicensed venues that are special to them.
A couple's chosen 'Any Place' isn't licensed or approved and it may be a public or a private location so they do need permission from the landowner or local council. Once this is secured, and ahead of the big day, the couple will meet on site with one of our trained inspectors to discuss the ceremony and iron out practical issues including wet weather options and guest safety. The inspector will produce an 'on the day' briefing for the celebrant registrar.