In recent years, the legal world has been transformed by the pandemic. Many aspects of the law, both in the UK and globally, have had to adapt to fit the demands of coronavirus. Now, as we continue to adjust to living alongside COVID-19, there has been a call for reform to the law surrounding where exactly a marriage can take place.

During the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, many events were forced to take place outdoors, including concerts, small celebrations and parties, regardless of the weather. Moreover, many weddings were also forced to take place outdoors, causing a challenge to many event organisers who grappled with Britain’s inclement climate. However, many people welcomed the freedom that having outdoor weddings brought, as it often allowed people to celebrate in places that were special to them.


Call for reform

The law dealing with weddings dates back to the 1830’s and, as such, is out of date, preventing a couple from marrying where they want or choosing the type of ceremony they wish. At present, a couple must choose either a religious or civil ceremony, ignoring the fact that many people hold other beliefs. In addition, a couple is restricted to choosing to marry in a registered building (being either a place of worship or a licensed venue. These venues are limited.

It should be noted that some religions will still require an additional civil wedding for the marriage to be recognised even after the reform, but this is down to the couple’s discretion.

Previously, this has meant that many couples who choose to be married outside the UK have to hold two separate ceremonies: one where they want to be married and one to ensure the marriage is legally binding.

In addition, many couples find the entire marriage process needlessly complicated and often inefficient, with the result that some people choose not to get married at all.


The Law Commission

The Law Commission, the body that advises the government on law reform, has now proposed a reform to weddings law, proposing that weddings should be able to take place in “any safe and dignified location”. This could be a family home, village hall, cruise ship, or as during COVID, an outdoor space such as a garden, beach, forest, or park. In addition, the changes would allow couples to have more personalised ceremonies and include non-religious beliefs within their service.

These changes have been long awaited. Not only would they ensure that the law is more inclusive and relevant, but these proposals will make weddings more accessible, easier to arrange and, with that, less expensive. In these difficult times, this will help everyone in society.


Family Law Solicitor London’s West End

At Marks Law, our seasoned family solicitors have extensive experience in various family law matters. We can provide guidance on your legal rights with regard to a civil partnership, marriage, or cohabitation.

We will assist you by fully explaining your legal rights and subsequently advising you on the best solution for your current situation.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our brilliant team today by calling 020 7123 4600, emailing or filling in this contact form.