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Outdoor civil weddings will be allowed in England and Wales from the 1st July

Approved venues including hotels will be allowed to host outdoor civil weddings in England and Wales the 1st of July until April 2022.

At present the law states approved premises need to host ceremonies in “an approved room or permanent structure” but will not be able to host entire events outdoors.

The change – which will also apply to civil partnerships – has been designed to allow couples to invite more guests to their big days.  If it proves both successful and popular the government will discuss making it permanent.  An extension increasingly looks like being a formality as almost 75% of weddings are now non-religious and therefore take place on approved premises rather than in churches or other buildings of religious denomination.

Robert Buckland, the Justice Secretary, believes the change will not only support couples but also the wedding and hospitality industries:

“A couple’s wedding day is one of the most special times in their lives and this change will allow them to celebrate it the way that they want. At the same time, this step will support the marriage sector by providing greater choice and helping venues to meet demand for larger ceremonies.”

At the same time indoor wedding venues will also see a slight relaxation of the current coronavirus restrictions.

From Monday 21st June (Boris Johnson’s initial target for relaxing all COVID restrictions) venues will be able to break the current 30 guest limit.

Instead, the number of guests at a wedding or civil partnership ceremony can now be based on the amount of space available, as long as social distancing measures and face covering protocols are enforced.

However, certain restrictions will remain in place with outdoor weddings in England and Wales until at least the 19th of July.  The maximum number of guests at a table will be six, receptions must be table service, congregational singing is advised against, and dancing is also inadvisable although couples can have their first dance.

The news isn’t so positive if you want to get married at home.  Ceremonies in a private home will continue to be limited to six guests until at least the 19th of July.

If you are planning to get married and would like to discuss putting a pre-nuptial agreement in place or have any other questions regarding your marriage or family, please email andaleeb.khandaker@collinshoy.com or kate.moran@collinshoy.com or call us on 020 8866 1820.