What’s that you say? A rule in the UK being relaxed? To allow for people to be more independent than they were before? I must be getting muddled with somewhere else. But let’s not get political.
However, this article from 2018 suggests that there will shortly be a change in the law which means that weddings can be held in places other than licensed buildings or places of worship. This (literally) Victorian rule is currently under review and is potentially going to be repealed.
This means you can get married legally wherever you want - hurray! But there’s more to it. There always is, right?
These potential changes have numerous implications. Firstly, they remove the stranglehold that licensed venues and churches have on the industry. Think about it - EVERY SINGLE WEDDING in the UK currently has to take place in a handful of venues. Which could be construed as a monopoly. You’re allowed to have the reception at another place in exactly the way you want, but this is in addition to the ‘official’ ceremony either taking place on the same day or another time.
I’ve lost count of the number of Terrapin clients who have had to rush around on the morning of the wedding they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to organise just so that they can have the ceremony which qualifies them as married in the eyes of the law.
That costs money. And time. It’s a strange thing and not even close to fair.
The review was mentioned again in mid-2019 and more here on the UK Government website which mentions that venues still have to pass a ‘solemnity and dignity’ test. This presumably implies some kind of license while subscribing to an external moral compass about who should and should not be allowed to marry.
Do I sound suspicious? I guess I am. We could get into theorising the reasons (timing, ideological preference) but none of these things is really important.
The point is it might be happening, and that’s happy news!
This is really, really great for those people who want to tie the knot in the way they want to tie it. These changes may reduce the hassle and costs that have traditionally been associated with weddings and also further allow people to marry whomever they want to marry.
Legislation to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales was passed in July 2013 and the first same-sex marriages took place on 29 March 2014.
Same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland has been legal since 16 November 2015. A referendum on 22 May 2015 amended the Constitution of Ireland to provide that marriage is recognised irrespective of the sex of the partners, which is another step forward for those people who do not identify as cisgender.
Since starting this company, I’ve been lucky enough to facilitate the wedding receptions of a lot of couples. Hetero and same-sex couples, non-binary, as well as those of different nationalities and races. Elise and I will continue to be friendly allies in any way we can to those couples and people.
Love is love.
Whatever the motivation behind this decision (assuming it actually happens!), another benefit is that this is a chance for those people who sometimes feel marginalised to feel less so. If having your marriage validated by the state is something that brings you happiness, then congratulations! You can get married in a place where you feel comfortable rather than somewhere with which you don’t necessarily resonate.
I'd be really keen to hear the thoughts of anyone this affects, positively or negatively. You know where we are. As ever, we're also keen to discuss how this might affect specific plans for your exciting day!