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Outdoor Ceremonies

Step 4 – from 19 July 2021:

  • Safety, and maintaining the level of public services we can offer are our priorities.
  • Registrars will wear a face covering.
  • We’re requiring all visitors to East Sussex County Council buildings, including our Register Offices, to continue to wear a face covering in public areas and ceremony rooms (unless exempt).
  • We urge all people attending wedding ceremonies at which we officiate, in any venue, to continue to wear a face covering (unless exempt).

For the latest information about ceremonies during the Covid-19 pandemic see our Covid Update Page

Dream of celebrating your special day in the great outdoors?

Beach Ceremony, Woodland Celebration or a Garden Party?

Great news! Here in East Sussex, you can.

 

East Sussex boasts many stunning beauty spots making the ideal ceremony backdrop. Many of our Licensed Venues also have wonderful outside structures set in beautiful grounds that can provide the perfect location for your outdoor ceremony. Take a look at our Venue Finder to view a list of all Licensed Venues in East Sussex.

If your chosen venue or location has not been licensed for marriages and civil partnerships, take a look at 'Weddings with a Difference' to find out how you can celebrate in your chosen place.

From 1 July 2021, until 5 April 2022, as part of the pandemic easements introduced by the Government, outdoor civil marriages and civil partnerships are permitted. These ceremonies will be legally recognised where they are conducted by a registrar in the linked grounds of licensed premises, and provided that certain conditions are met, including prior approval of the proposed location by the Superintendent Registrar. It is for individual venues to decide whether they wish to offer these outdoor ceremonies and, if so, on what basis. 

If you would like to hold your ceremony outdoors, please speak to your venue in the first instance. 

 

 

 

Things to consider

Things to consider when planning an outdoor ceremony.

The great British weather can be unpredictable, so make sure you have a plan B in case the weather scuppers your plans. Discuss this with your venue to ensure you have an appropriate contingency plan. 

Think about the comfort of your friends and family. Guests are likely to be outside for at least one hour, with the ceremony lasting around 30 minutes. Will the temperature be adequate? Is there enough shade? Will it be warm enough? Is it accessible to all?

If holding your ceremony in a public place, such as on the beach, or in the woods, you will need to gain permission from whoever owns the land. Another consideration if holding your ceremony in a public place, is whether members of the public will be in the vicinity. 

Please note, a simple risk assessment will need to be carried out by one of the Ceremonies Managers, prior to the ceremony taking place in a location that has not already been licensed for marriages and civil partnerships. 

We will do our very best to accommodate your wishes of an outdoor ceremony. However, please be aware that certain circumstances may mean this isn't possible, and we may have to make the decision to move your ceremony inside. Any decisions to move your ceremony inside will be discussed with you first . The final decision will be down to the Celebrant and Registrar.

Contact us now to book your outdoor ceremony

Phone: 0345 60 80 198

Email: ceremonieshub@eastsussex.gov.uk

 

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