Outdoor weddings in England and Wales: the truth behind the headlines

The MoJ has announced a time-limited relaxation to allow civil weddings on approved premises to be held out of doors. In a piece cross-posted from his website, Russell Sandberg explains the limitations of the change.

The Government’s announcement over the weekend that civil weddings outdoors are to be legalised on a temporary basis might, at first glance, appear to be a major development in marriage law and a massive support to the weddings industry following COVID. However, while this is a welcome change, it is also a modest and limited one. It does not answer the now deafening call for fuller reform of marriage law and there is a risk that this change might be wrongly seen as the “fix”.

The Marriage Act 1949 distinguishes between marriages according to the rites of the Church of England / Church in Wales and marriages otherwise solemnised. Marriages can be otherwise solemnised in four ways: Continue reading