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Outdoor civil weddings and civil partnerships made permanent

Outdoor weddings at licensed venues in England and Wales will be legalised permanently after the change received overwhelming support from the public, faith groups and the wedding industry.

It will mean that marrying couples will continue to have greater choice in how they celebrate their wedding. Temporary legislation allowing outdoor civil weddings and partnerships for the first time has been in place since last summer.

A government consultation found that 96 per cent of respondents backed making this change permanent, while 93 per cent supported extending it to religious weddings. Ministers have laid the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 which legalises outdoor civil weddings and partnerships indefinitely. Reforms to religious ceremonies will be made in due course after the consultation found every major faith group supported the move.

Prior to last summer, civil ceremonies at a licensed wedding venue had to take place indoors or within a permanent outdoor structure, such as a bandstand.

Couples can now have the whole ceremony outside in the venue's grounds – providing them with greater flexibility and choice, as well as boosting the recovery of the wedding sector which saw many ceremonies postponed during the pandemic.

For the announcement, click here. For the legislation, click here. For the consultation outcome, click here.

17/3/22