Licensing law isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when you’re planning your dream outdoor wedding, and it’s not something which most people have a great knowledge of.

There isn’t a lot of information out there for prospective brides and grooms and the last thing you want is to have your big day ruined over a technicality, so what do you need to know?

We’re going to run through all you need to know in this blog post and hopefully clear things up for you.

Do I Need One?

The simple answer (if a slightly unhelpful one) is maybe. You’ll need an alcohol license if you’re going to be selling alcohol, either at a cash bar or as part of a ticket price.

This means that if you’re going to be giving away alcohol for free, then you can do so as much as you want, without the need for a license.

However, the second that you charge your guests for the alcohol, then it becomes a licensable activity.

How Do I Get One?

If you are going to be selling alcohol, then don’t panic as it’s really quite easy to sort out a license for the event, due to the Licensing Act 2003, which allows you to apply for what is known as a temporary event notice.

You can choose to either apply for this yourself or turn to a company such as Hospitality Training Solutions who take all of the hassles off your hands and process an application for you.

If you do wish to sort out the license yourself, it’s quite a simple process. The first thing you need to do is head to the website of your local borough or district council, which you can do using this tool at

Once you’ve done this, you need to find an application form for a temporary event notice, which is a very straightforward form with some simple questions about the event.

Once this is done, send it back to your local authority along with the application fee of £21 and you should hear back soon whether your application has been successful.

You have to have your notice submitted at least ten working days before the event, but we recommend that you get it done sooner than this, just in case anything goes wrong.

You’ll also need to send a copy of your temporary event notice to the police at least ten days before the event, although if you’re applying online, the council will do this for you.

If for some reason you do miss the deadline, you can apply for a late temporary event notice at least five working days before the event.

Objections and Appeals

Most notices are always approved, but if there’s a chance that it could be a public nuisance, lead to crime and disorder or be a threat to public safety.

If any of these objections apply, the council’s licensing committee will hold a hearing, and either add conditions to the license or reject it.

If this is the case, you can appeal to your local magistrates.