Commissioner's House
Weddings at Commissioner's House

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Commissioner's House?

Commissioner's House lies at the heart of The Historic Dockyard, Chatham. We are easily accessible from the Medway towns, Medway Tunnel, A2/M2 and M25. Should you wish to look us up on a map and/or route planner web site the postcode is ME4 4TZ.


How can we arrange a viewing?

To arrange an exclusive viewing of Commissioner's House and HMS Gannet please call our Hospitality Team on 01634 823846 (direct line) or 01634 823800 (switchboard) or email We can usually show you around at a time to suit you but sometimes, due to booked events, we have to suggest particular times.


How do we secure the date?

We are happy to hold your chosen date for two weeks without obligation or until another enquirer wishes to secure the same date, whichever is sooner.


To secure the date we require a deposit of 50% of the venue hire charge. Balances will be due 30 days in advance of your wedding day.


How many guests can I invite?

The capacity charts below show the comfortable maximums we recommend. We can always consider options for squeezing a few more in, especially for the ceremony, but your guests will get to know each other quite well!


Ceremony capacities
Room Theatre
Ballroom maximum 60
Sunne Room (facing balcony) 60
Sunne Room (facing fireplace) 60
Sunne Room and Annexe 80
Patio 60
* HMS Gannet (Main Deck) 100
* HMS Gannet (Commander's Cabin) 40

The capacity in the Ballroom, Sunne Room and the Commander's Cabin onboard HMS Gannet can be increased by having standing room, as well as chairs, for your guests


* Wedding ceremonies on HMS Gannet are held between April and September only. A sun awning is provided above the main deck during these months

Reception capacities
Room Round
Standing Theatre
Pavilion Marquee
(without long Top Table)
130 - 225 200
Pavilion Marquee
(with long Top Table)
120 - 225 200
Ballroom 40 30 80 60
Sunne Room 48 30 100 60
Sunne Room and Annexe 50 26 - 80
Revenge 20 12 30 30
Temeraire 10 8 20 20
HMS Gannet (Decks) - - 225 100
HMS Gannet
(Commander's Cabin)
30 12 50 40

The marquee round table capacity can be increased to 150 by fitting an extension; approx cost 1,500 plus value added tax


* Additional tables can be hired in at an additional charge

How big is your car park?

We have parking for c600. The car park nearest to Commissioner's House has a capacity of c200. The next nearest car park is on Anchor Wharf some 200 metres from the house. All parking is within the secured area of The Historic Dockyard security is in place 24 hours a day. You are more than welcome to leave cars overnight and would ask that arrangements are made in advance in order that security is informed.


Is Commissioners House Wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the Ground Floor is Wheelchair accessible.


Can we bring our own pre-reception and reception drinks?

No, but your chosen caterer or Commissioner's House will have a package to suit you.


Do you have a bar?

Yes. Commissioner's House has a fully licensed bar in spacious and comfortable surroundings with full access to the marquee and other parts of the house. We are licensed until 12midnight; last orders at the bar are taken at 11.30pm. Our prices are akin to average pub prices.


Can we have live music & dancing?

Yes. Commissioner's House is fully licensed for music and dancing. The Ballroom, with its sprung dance floor, is used for discos and bands. Music finishes at 12midnight.


Can we have music in the Marquee?

Yes, up to 9:00pm after which any loud music will need to move into the Ballroom. Music finishes at 12midnight. Background music can be played in the Marquee up to 12midnight.


Do you have accommodation?

Not at Commissioner's House. There is one lovely B&B on The Historic Dockyard site which we can recommend. The Ramada Encore is adjacent to the site. We also have a good relationship with all the local hotels.


Can the bride get ready at Commissioner's House?

Yes. Our Bridal Suite, including private washrooms, is a lovely room with balcony overlooking the garden.


The bride can arrive at the house and without any hassle or stress, gradually get ready for her big day. Family, bridesmaids and girl friends can join her here to help and share in the preparations. Beauticians, florists and others helping you create your perfect day can visit you in the room and your photographer can capture those treasured moments as you get ready.  


Do you have other private rooms?

Yes. Commissioner's House has a number of rooms other than the principal rooms used for the ceremony, wedding breakfast etc. Our Bridal Suite is one and we have another which can be used.


Can you help with photographers, florists, discos, car hire, entertainers and additional services?

We are more than happy to provide contact details of additional services. We prefer to do so in an advisory capacity, rather than as a recommendation because your taste is probably different to ours.


Can we ‘dress' the house?

You are more than welcome to add your personal touches to the house and we will of course help and advise on decorations.

Commissioner's House is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Grade I Listed building and most keep decoration to a minimum and in keeping with the house so you and your guests can enjoy the building's style.  Naturally we reserve the right to approve any decorations planned by you in advance of the day.


Your chosen caterer will provide white linen and white napkins are provided as standard, alternative colours may be provided and requirements should be discussed with the caterer.

Standard chairs are also provided; alternatives are available at a supplementary charge.


What time can we arrive at the house?

As you have exclusive rights to the house for the day we will do all we can to ensure you can begin your day in the house from 9.00am.


We can also arrange for deliveries and preparation to take place in advance of your wedding day depending on bookings.


What is a wedding breakfast?

Confusingly, the wedding breakfast is not, usually, morning breakfast! It is the traditional name for the first meal taken by the bride, groom and the wedding party at the wedding reception that follows the wedding ceremony / service.


What is a civil ceremony?

A civil ceremony is a non-religious legal marriage ceremony normally conducted by a Registrar. It is often performed in a registered venue, such as Commissioner's House or HMS Gannet, instead of a Church. 


How do I arrange a civil ceremony?

Once you have confirmed your booking with us you need to contact the Medway Registry Office on 01634 338899 to arrange a meeting with the Registrars to start the preliminaries with them.


Can Commissioner's House cater for other type of events?

The quick answer is of course!  Be it a christening, anniversary, birthday or conference, Commissioner's House can provide the same level of exceptional service as you will experience on your wedding day.


Click here to view our Wedding Photo Gallery

Commissioner's House, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent. ME4 4TZ.

Call our Hospitality Team
Direct Dial: 01634 823846  Switchboard: 01634 823800 Email:
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All photos on this page were taken at Commissioner's House and we thank the photographers and happy couples for letting us use their pictures