Civil ceremony venues in Suffolk

Choose between a Suffolk County Council ceremony venue or approved venues.

Staying safe in our venues

Although restrictions have been removed, you are still encouraged by the Government to keep taking many of the COVID safe precautions to keep everyone safe and to reduce transmission of the virus.

  • You're welcome to wear a face covering.
  • Hand sanitisers are available in all our office locations.
  • The chairs in our ceremony rooms will not be socially distanced but you may choose to limit your guest numbers, to keep those you care about safe.
  • Our rooms are required to have good air ventilation, so the windows will be open, which may cause disturbance from outside noise, such as traffic and/or sirens.
  • Our staff may be wearing face coverings.

Outdoor ceremonies

The Government has introduced new legislation to enable marriage and civil partnership ceremonies to take place outdoors. This is only applicable to venues that hold a ceremony licence under the ‘Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Act.

Outside areas are not available at all venues so couples are advised to check with their chosen venue to see what may be possible. Read the Government guidance on outdoor ceremonies here.

You can choose a Suffolk County Council ceremony venue or a approved venue (private building).

Suffolk County Council ceremony venue

Ceremonies held in our own Suffolk County Council ceremony rooms will be a simple ceremony that follows a traditional ‘Register Office’ format.

During busy periods, you can expect that there will be other ceremonies either immediately before or after your booking. The layout of the ceremony room is fixed and cannot be changed to suit individual groups.

There are some options for personalising the ceremony content including the presentation of rings, but readings are not permitted. In most locations we can arrange for the couple to be kept apart before the ceremony starts and for a traditional formal entrance of the ceremony party to your own choice of pre-recorded music. 

Unfortunately, none of our own ceremony rooms can offer parking facilities. You are welcome to film your ceremony and there are some opportunities for photography. See a list of Suffolk County Council ceremony venues further down this page.

Approved venue

This is a private building with a license to hold a ceremony conducted by our registrars.

Ceremonies held in Approved Venues offer a wide range of choices to personalise the occasion to your own specification.

In addition to the arrangements shown above, you can include non -religious live music and readings, and subject to the agreement of the venue and payment of a small fee, animals can also be included. You will also have the opportunity to speak to the celebrant who will be conducting your ceremony to discuss the content in more detail, including choices of vows. This can be either in person at one of our offices or via a telephone or video call. You are welcome to take photographs and film your ceremony. See a list of approved venues below.

Note: the seating numbers include adult guests, attendants, babies and children and they must not be exceeded.

Bury St Edmunds - The Abbeygate Room, 7 Angel Hill

Ipswich, Neptune Suite*

*The Ipswich ceremony room will be moving to the Pickwick Room, at Ipswich Town Hall in early 2023. The room capacity is expected to accommodate the couple and 33 other guests.

  • Ceremonies will continue in the Neptune Suite at St Peter House until the end of October 2022
  • Ceremonies for November and December 2022 will be held in the Kilderbee Suite at the Novotel, Greyfriars Road, Ipswich IP1 1UP. The maximum capacity permitted will be for the couple and 33 other guests.
  • We are in the process of writing to all couples who have booked a ceremony from November 2022 onwards to advise the new arrangements. We will offer a full refund of deposits paid if you're not satisfied with the new location.
  • We will post images here as the refurbishment work of the Pickwick Room progresses.

Lowestoft, Conference Room

Sudbury, Mayors Parlour

  • Includes the couple and up to 28 other people
  • Available Friday and Saturday morning
  • Telephone: 0345 607 2080 or enquire online

Stowmarket, John Milton Room

Woodbridge, office room

  • Includes the couple and up to 8 other people
  • Available Thursday and Saturday morning
  • Telephone: 0345 607 2090 or enquiry online

Civil ceremonies can be held at any of our registration offices or approved venues. Approved venues are private buildings that we have licensed to hold ceremonies conducted by our registrars.

If you have booked one of our ceremony rooms we will organise a registrar for you.

You need to book a Suffolk County Council registrar to perform a ceremony at any of our approved venues. You can book your ceremony as far in advance as you wish.

It's your responsibility to ensure you have booked your venue for the same time and date that you have booked the registrar. You can book a registrar by contacting the register office that serves your chosen venue.

Each approved venue is covered by a specific register office. Pick a register office to find out which approved venues it covers:

Go to fees payable to the Suffolk Registration Service to find out about the cost of booking registrars for approved venues.