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Legal Duties of a Responsible Person

It is a legal requirement for the Responsible Person (or their deputy) to:

  • Be on duty for and available to the registrars one hour prior to, and during the ceremony itself. 
  • Ensure the doors to the ceremony room are unlocked during the ceremony.
  • Ensure the venue licence is displayed near the entrance to the building and ceremony room/area. 
  • Ensure no food or drink is sold or consumed in the ceremony room/area for at least one hour prior to, and throughout the ceremony. If there is an open bar in the room it must be closed or covered. Water is permitted.


The Responsible Person will also:

  • Ensure the couple (and guests) are ready to begin the ceremony at the agreed start time.
  • Be on-hand to usher guests and give advice about the venue.
  • In the event of a fire or First Aid emergency take control and contact the necessary emergency services. 
  • Ensure candles are out of reach or in covered lanterns. Battery operated candles may be used. 
  • Advise the registrars where to find the couple for their pre-ceremony interview.
  • Liaise with the couple and the registrars to decide if it is safe to proceed (inside or outside) when adverse weather makes it difficult to continue with the ceremony i.e., too cold, too hot, rain, high winds etc.


Before the Ceremony

  • The registrars will arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to start. Please reserve two parking spaces for the registrars. 
  • Please be aware of the guest capacity for your ceremony room/space (this is displayed on your licence), this number must not be exceeded.
  • The venue should provide a quiet, private space for the registrar to interview the couple.

* The room should not contain personal effects of the couple or any other guests.

* Please provide water and 4 glasses in this room for the couple and registrars.

* The interview is a legal requirement and must not be interrupted in anyway as this can cause delays.


The Ceremony

  • Four chairs and a desk/table must be available for the couple and the registrars. 
  • Please supply water and tissues if possible. 
  • For venues with a licensed outside space, please bear the following in mind:

*Guests should be discouraged from drinking where the ceremony is due to take place. 

*Please ensure there is seating and a table for the registrars, the couple and two witnesses. 


After the Ceremony

  • The Responsible Person should be on hand to guide the couple to their welcome drinks/photos and to usher guests as necessary.


If you wish to add/remove any Deputy Responsible People to the licence contact

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