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A New Age - Wedding Reform Laws Explained & Potential Lancashire Wedding Venues

Bride and Groom just married, guests throwing confetti
Photography: Samantha Broadley Photography

The main law that governs marriage is from 1836 - yep, that right… so out of date and not keeping up with modern society or relationships.

All weddings at the moment fall into two different categories: religious and civil with no other option for other beliefs. And these ceremonies can only be part taken in a registered and recognised place, such as a place of worship, registry office or a venue approved for civil marriages. If couples do not comply with the above, their marriage may not be legally recognised and find themselves in a difficult situation if separation or death occurs as they will not have any legal protection.

So the Government asked the Law Commission to review marriage laws and the full reform project began in 2019. As stated on the Law Commission’s website “the project seeks to provide recommendations for a reformed law of weddings that allows for greater choice within a simple, fair and consistent legal structure.

The review is guided by five principles for reform:

  • Certainty and simplicity

  • Fairness and equality

  • Protecting the state’s interest

  • Respecting individuals’ wishes and beliefs

  • Removing any unnecessary regulation, so as to increase the choice and lower the cost of wedding venues for couples.

As part of the project, the Law Commission is considering:

  • The legal preliminaries that should be required prior to a wedding.

  • Where weddings should be able to take place, considering for example weddings outdoors, at sea, and on military sites, with a view to removing restrictive regulations.

  • Who should be able to solemnize a marriage, including considering how a scheme could include weddings conducted by non-religious belief organisations and independent celebrants. The Law Commission will not, however, be making recommendations on whether as a matter of policy new groups should be allowed to conduct legally binding weddings.

  • Whether specific vows should be required during a ceremony.

  • How marriages should be registered.

  • What the consequences should be for couples who do not comply with any requirements.

An infographic showing an overview of the reform is here.

So, where could you get married in Lancashire when the reform is complete?

Blackpool Pleasure Beach for couples wanting a rollercoaster of a day on the park itself. This would be an absolute ball - and the pictures would look amazing.

Formby Beach cold give you the natural coastline backdrop you desire for your special day.

Manchester Victoria Baths since closing in 1993 is now used as an events venue - see image below of the incredible interior. However, when the reform comes in couples could get married in open swimming baths too - even in the pool. Bridal bikini anyone?

Bride and groom dancing in an empty swimming pool with a ceremony set up in the background and bunting above
Gorgeous shot by Esme Whiteside Photography

Where would you like to get married? Anywhere in the world - where would it be? Let me know!


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