Outdoor weddings at licensed venues which became legal in England and Wales during the pandemic are to be legalised permanently after an overwhelmingly positive response to option.
Originally a temporary option, due to end in April, this announcement now means that couples getting married can choose to have their civil wedding or partnership ceremony outdoors.
Before the pandemic the law required an ‘indoor’ element to a ceremony. At Escot, that meant the couple often stood in the frame of the door leading outside, with guests standing on the terrace or in the gardens. Other venues have used bandstands and similar structures to meet the legal requirement.
During the pandemic this rule relaxed, and we had several ceremonies that took place entirely outdoors – in the sunshine! This was a very popular option with couples, so we’re delighted that this option can continue indefinitely.
If, of course, the heavens open, the ceremony can take place indoors. The most popular room for ceremonies is the Library with its sense of relaxed grandeur.
Currently there’s no change to the requirements as regards religious ceremonies, though there are strong indications that this may change too. The government will be setting out its plans to legalise outdoor religious weddings in due course as this requires changes to primary legislation.
Justice Minister Tom Pursglove MP said: “A wedding is one of the most important days in a person’s life and it is right that couples should have greater choice in how they celebrate their special occasion.
“These reforms will allow couples to hold more personalised ceremonies and provide a welcome boost for the wedding sector.”
All in all, this means that couples can now choose to have their wedding the way they want it. Which is just how it should be.