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Government launches outdoor wedding consultation

By 4 April 2022News

The government has launched a public consultation on plans to continuing allowing outdoor weddings on approved premises.

Couples tying the knot in the UK have only been able to hold civil wedding and partnership ceremonies outdoors, at approved venues, since July last year. Before that, weddings could only take place indoors.

The change was introduced by a temporary statutory instrument (government order) in order to boost the weddings industry. But this is due to expire on 5 April. The new public consultation proposes making the change a permanent one via the issuing of a further statutory instrument.

The government is also proposing separate legislation that would extend this principle to religious weddings, allowing these to take place outdoors at officially designated places of worship.

The planned changes would, the government says, provide greater flexibility for both couples and venues, and “act as a stepping-stone towards later and more comprehensive and durable reform following the Law Commission’s recommendations, should the Government decide to undertake such reform.”

The Law Commission is an independent statutory body which reviews legislation and proposes amendments, which the government is free to accept or reject. The Commission is currently undertaking a review of marriage law in England and Wales.

Responses to the consultation are invited from people with “views or experiences on how the civil ceremony changes made in July 2021 have been working, as well as any other views on…the proposal to continue the provision for outdoor civil marriages and civil partnerships on approved premises.”

Views can be submitted here. The consultation closed at midnight on January 24.