Do weddings need a licensed venue? There are two answers to this….
To hold a wedding ceremony, no it doesn’t. A celebrant can conduct a wedding ceremony anywhere the venue or land owner permits. For example, outside in the open air, in your garden, on a bridge, up a mountain (I could go on but you get the idea!). Unlike a licensed venue, a Celebrant ceremony doesn’t have to be constrained by the same laws that Civil Marriages do.
To hold a marriage registered at the venue, yes it does. If you are intending to marry and have a Registrar register your marriage at the same time then you will need to hold the ceremony in a licensed venue. It will also need to be in the room / area that is licensed. It is not usually the whole venue that is licensed, only a certain area.
So really it comes down to what is more important to you – getting married and having it registered at the same time, or having your ceremony exactly where you would like it.
A great example of this was at a beautiful farm venue I recently visited. The venue had a beautiful large oak room that was licensed for weddings. It was large, grand and quite majestic. Quite perfect in itself.
However, the venue also had the most stunning amphi theatre and herb garden outside. The herb garden was behind some circular steps which themselves made for the perfect platform for a ceremony to take place.
Now combine that with the wonderful scents of summer drifting across from the herb garden and you’ve just found yourself a beautifully romantic setting in which to say your vows in front of friends and family.
However the venue hadn’t ever advertised it as a ceremony option because it wasn’t licensed. Of course this isn’t a problem with a Celebrant ceremony! You can have the most romantic setting for your wedding ceremony and register the marriage before or after the ceremony, perfect!
If you’d like to find out more about how we can work together to provide you with the ceremony you want in the exact location you want then just drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.