At present, couples have to hold their wedding or partnership ceremony within an approved room or permanent structure at a designated wedding venue. But from 1st July, they’ll also have the option of holding the ceremony outside at a designated wedding venue.
The law is being amended in this way to reflect “public health considerations” during the pandemic, the government said in a statement released on Sunday.
“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,” said Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland QC MP. “At the same time, this step will support the marriage sector by providing greater choice and helping venues to meet demand for larger ceremonies.”
According to the government, the change will “benefit almost 75% of all weddings in England and Wales that are non-religious and which take place on approved premises, along with civil partnerships”.
At present, outdoor weddings are only being made legal on a temporary basis, with couples able to choose this option between July 2021 and April 2022. A consultation will take place during the autumn to determine whether the change should be made permanent or not.
From Monday 21st June, couples in England can welcome more than 30 guests at a wedding “provided social distancing remains in place”. In practice, this means that wedding banquets must be table service only, dancing and singing are restricted, and masks have to be worn indoors by anyone over the age of 11 except when they are eating or drinking.
In Wales, the number of guests permitted depends on the size of the wedding venue, while in Scotland anywhere between 50 and 200 guests are permitted, depending on the region where the ceremony is being held.
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