Where Can I Get Married?

Wedding Rings

In her latest blog, Family Law Expert Alison Wilding discusses proposed changes to places where you can get married….

When I was younger, the only places that you could get married would either be a church or a Registry Office.

That changed several years ago to allow a lot more venues to become licensed to undertake weddings but it has to be in a permanent structure with a roof. A lot of hotels began to obtain licenses for a civil ceremony but there are still a lot of places where you can’t get married, such as outside or having a civil ceremony in a church.

What About The Future?

The Law Commission has launched a consultation on proposals for law reform as to where couples can get married. The proposals will consider the following:

• To allow weddings to take place outdoors, such as on beaches or in private gardens.

• In more various buildings, such as private homes and cruise ships.

• For couples to have greater flexibility over the form that the wedding ceremony takes.

• To make the process simpler and more efficient. For instance, they are considering allowing couples to give notice of their intended wedding online or by post rather than having to do so in person.

• To allow non-religious belief organisations or independent celebrants to conduct weddings.

• To look at ensuring that all religious weddings will be recognised under English Law.

• To allow weddings to take place remotely during any future national emergency, such as another pandemic.

When Will The Changes Come Into Practice?

The Law Commission will not publish their final report until the second half of 2021 and then it is just a proposal to the Government. They will then need to consider those proposals and decide whether or not they should become law so it could still be some time before we see such future changes.


Alison Wilding
September 2020

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