Wedding venues are set to have a big change in rules soon

·2-min read
Photo credit: Delmaine Donson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Delmaine Donson - Getty Images

Attention anybody who is planning on getting married any time soon: the rules around wedding venues may soon change permanently for the first time in 250 years. In a landmark overhaul of the law surrounding where it is - and isn't - legally okay to take your vows, the government are being urged to introduce greater flexibility when it comes to outdoor weddings, partly inspired by the ongoing pandemic.

As any recent brides, grooms or engaged couples can attest, the past two years have been an incredibly challenging climate in which to plan a wedding, so it'll hopefully come as very happy news to anybody currently in the nuptial-plotting boat.

The overhaul will give priests the power to permanently hold church weddings outside in the grounds, as opposed to solely inside the chapel, in the biggest change since the Marriage Act of 1753 set the seal on religious ceremonies. Currently, a temporary Covid-related amendment is in place allowing couples to wed in more outdoor areas than before, but it is set to expire in April 2022.

The Ministry of Justice, it's reported by The Telegraph, will also hopefully relax the rules for civil ceremonies, meaning in future they'll still be able to take place in outdoor spots too, such as forests, beaches and parks (as has been temporarily allowed during the pandemic), and possibly even a wider array of locations.

Photo credit: Westend61 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Westend61 - Getty Images

Outdoor weddings have become a more popular choice in recent years, given that the coronavirus rules have continued to change rapidly, previously putting a ban on indoor gatherings of over thirty people and massively impacting the events industry.

Tom Purseglove, the MP for Corby and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Immigration, Compliance and Courts, has said the decision to change the law would be a welcome one.

"A wedding is one of the absolute highlights of a person’s life and it is right that couples should have greater choice in how they celebrate their special day," he told press.

"Our proposals would afford them that choice whether they choose a civil or religious ceremony, and would mark a huge boost for those planning a wedding over the coming years."

Purseglove added it would be beneficial for businesses too, "Crucially, this will also support the wedding sector by ensuring venues can continue to safely meet the demand for larger ceremonies."

Ministers have also requested that the Law Commission review who can solemnise a marriage, how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated and how independent celebrants might officiate services in future.

Keen for more information? Check out the government's official statement on the matter.

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