Marriage / civil ceremony licences – proposed changes

30 Oct

In England & Wales, premises are able to obtain a licence from the Local Authority allowing them to hold marriages and civil ceremonies.

Currently, premises for the purposes of these licences “means a permanently immovable structure comprising at least a room, or any boat or other vessel which is permanently moored”.

Al fresco locations are therefore rather rare for such licences and generally are limited to permanent outdoor structures such as gazebos and similar.

Following yesterday’s budget, a review will be undertaken as to whether to lift these restrictions so that ceremonies could take place in temporary structures or outside generally – in gardens and on beaches etc. This would bring the system much more in line with how Scotland deals with these matters.

Such changes are intended to make it both cheaper and simpler for couples to get married and also boost the hospitality industry generally.

Law correct at the date of publication.
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