UK Marriage Laws Might Be Changing

Change is in the air

Times are changing…hopefully. The UK government has started a review of current marriage laws and I am very excited by the possibilities. The two-year review (yes, that does unfortunately mean we will have to wait for change) will be looking at where and how marriages can take place.

With more and more couples choosing to do things their own way, wanting grounded experiences and a connected and meaningful ceremony, it’s about time our laws were changed to make choice more accessible. 

Places

I’m passionate about the idea of weddings being about more than just pretty flowers and a white dress. In fact I love working with couples, like you, who value the idea of ‘people and places’. 

This review of the UK marriage laws could really open up choice, allowing you to choose a venue that holds meaning to you both. Gone would be the days of only being able to marry in a religious or civil ceremony, with strict limits to venue, instead you would be free to create the most magical moment of your lives together…almost anywhere your hearts desired.

How wonderful would it be to legally marry at your family home, in a woodland setting, or on coastal cliff tops? 

Blank canvas venues give you the creative freedom to choose every aspect of your wedding day. You can select suppliers who understand your values and lifestyle, rather than sticking to a one-size-fits-all package. Everything from tents and overnight glamping to street food and even horsebox bars…you can have it all!

If the government allow ceremonies to be legally held in places such as your garden or favourite restaurant, it could lower the costs involved in getting married. Not only would you be able to choose a venue that is cheaper to hire, or even doesn’t charge at all (hello Aunt Marie, with your hectare of farmland) – but you would also be able to host both your ceremony and celebration in one place, removing the need to hire two venues. 

People

Currently in England and Wales only religious and civil ceremonies are recognised legally. This forces a lot of couples to compromise their values or have a ceremony that doesn’t feel right for them. More couples are choosing to have both a legal civil ceremony (to conform to the law) and a humanist ceremony. However this means paying for two ceremonies and two venues, making the option out of reach for many. 

A humanist ceremony is personal and meaningful. It’s conducted by a humanist celebrant and is centred on the beliefs and values of you both as a couple. There are no limitations or restrictions on wording – so you can create heartfelt vows you’ll treasure forever. The ceremony becomes an extension of your celebration of marriage rather than a box to tick for the law. 

Humanist ceremonies are already recognised in Scotland and Northern Ireland. If changes to the UK marriage laws come into place then they might also be legal in England and Wales. Couples will be able to choose a celebrant who they feel completely understands them. 

This might have implications for registrars – as couples start choosing humanist ceremonies over a registry office or licensed civil ceremony. It will be a breath of fresh of air, however, for those seeking an honest and personalised commitment to one another.

We wait with anticipation

There is so much scope within this review to bring about some incredible changes. Couples will have greater choice. They won’t feel forced to pay high fees for licensed venues. They will be able to pick services free from any preferred supplier lists and choose a celebrant who connects with them on a deeper, more personal, level.

I’m imagining fabulous ceremonies in tipis, or under the stars, with a fire pit and an abundance of lights. Private homes with awesome views. Back-garden gatherings of your most loved friends and family, and intimate ceremonies with people you trust. 

The marriage law reforms could be good news for couples who feel more connected to particular places and people, and those who don’t have a bottomless wallet alike.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss how I can help make your connected and life-affirming wedding ideas a reality, within the current UK marriage laws, then get in touch {insert link}. You can also read what there is to love about UK weddings in my post ‘Heartfelt Weddings In The UK.

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