This Is How Wedding Laws Could Soon Be Changed Forever

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
Getting married on a beach, in a park or within a private garden would become possible under proposed changes to wedding laws in England and Wales.
The Law Commission, an independent body which recommends reforms to statutory law in England and Wales, is now consulting on proposals to modernise existing wedding laws which date back to 1836.
At present, legally binding wedding ceremonies in England and Wales can only take place in a registered building – namely, a place of worship or a licensed venue such as a registry office. Outdoor weddings aren't even allowed in the garden of a licensed venue.
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However, The Law Commission is proposing that these rules be relaxed to allow couples to hold weddings in a variety of outdoor settings, such as beaches, parks, private gardens and the grounds of current wedding venues.
It's also recommending that weddings should be allowed to take place in a "wider variety of buildings" including – potentially at least – people's private homes. It goes without saying that this has the potential to make weddings much more affordable in the future.
Professor Nick Hopkins, Family Law Commissioner at the Law Commission, said of the proposed changes: “A couple’s wedding day is one of the most important events in their lives, yet the 19th century laws are not fit for purpose and stop many couples having a wedding that is meaningful and personal to them. 
“Our proposals would give couples the freedom to choose the wedding venue they want and a ceremony that is meaningful for them. By doing so, we hope to make the laws that govern weddings reflect the wishes and needs of today’s society.”
As part of its proposals, The Law Commission is also recommending that the government should have the power to allow virtual weddings "during any future national emergency, such as another pandemic".

Research has found that more than three-quarters of couples decided to reschedule their weddings as the UK went into lockdown earlier this year.

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