Civil ceremony venues in Suffolk

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

Outdoor ceremonies from 1 July 2021

The Government is introducing new legislation to enable marriage and civil partnership ceremonies to take place outdoors. This will be effective from 1 July 2021 in venues that have been approved under the ‘Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005’.

Outside areas will not be available at all venues so couples are advised to check with their chosen venue to see what may be possible. Detailed guidance explaining this new legislation will be issued by the Government shortly. We'll update this page with more information when it's received.

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.

Bury St Edmunds, Athenaeum

  • COVID secure for 58 people (from 21 June to 19 July 2021)
  • Includes the couple and 56 other people
  • Available Monday to Friday and on Saturday morning.
  • Telephone: 0345 607 2060 or enquire online.

Ipswich, Neptune Suite

Lowestoft, Conference Room

Sudbury, Assembly Room

Stowmarket, John Milton Room

Woodbridge, office room

  • COVID secure for 8 people (from 21 June to 19 July 2021)
  • Includes the couple and 2 registrars and 4 witnesses
  • There's no space for a professional photographer to stand during the ceremony
  • Available Tuesday, Friday and on Saturday morning
  • Telephone: 0345 607 2090 or enquiry online

Who else can and cannot attend

Other people who can attend and are counted in this number include adult guests, attendants, babies and children. Other guests cannot wait in our receptions or similar areas. Anyone working in a professional capacity such as a photographer and the registrars do not count towards the room capacity.

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.