Civil ceremony venues in Suffolk

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

Staying safe in our venues

Although restrictions are being lifted, you are still encouraged by the Government to keep taking many of the precautions to keep everyone safe and to reduce transmission of the virus. This is particularly important with rates of the virus higher than we would like.

To ensure that we can continue to provide the services that our residents rely upon, the council policy is that everyone moving around our buildings is required to wear a face covering unless exempt. This includes guests at ceremonies which take place in our own venues.

Everyone will be asked to wear their face covering unless they are seated in the ceremony room, to check in using the QR code displayed and to use the hand sanitiser provided.

  • There will be no waiting areas or toilet facilities available within the building.
  • 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 choose to wear face coverings throughout the ceremony.

Outdoor ceremonies

The Government has introduced new temporary legislation to enable marriage and civil partnership ceremonies to take place outdoors. This is effective from 1 July 2021 in venues that have been approved under the ‘Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005’ and is in place until the end of March 2022

Outside areas are not available at all venues so couples are advised to check with their chosen venue to see what may be possible.

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, Athenaeum

Due to a boiler fault, the Old Library is being used for ceremonies temporarily instead of the Old Billiards Room. The Old Library is opposite the Old Billiards Room and has an identical layout and design and the same guest capacity. 

Ipswich, Neptune Suite*

* New location expected within the next 12 months

The current Neptune Suite ceremony room is likely to change within the next 12 months. 


  • don't yet have a date or a new location
  • don't expect an impact on ceremonies currently booked for the rest of 2021
  • will offer a full refund of deposits paid if you're not satisfied with the new location

(7 September 2021)

Lowestoft, Conference Room

Sudbury, Assembly Room

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.