Law Commission Marriage Review: timeline

The final report of the Law Commission on how and where people can marry in England and Wales was published on 19 July 2022. The Commission was asked by government to conduct a review of marriage in December 2014, and we have followed the progress of the initiative in a series of posts, links to which are reproduced below.  

Law Commission on reform of marriage law in England & Wales. Publication of Getting Married: A Scoping Paper by the Law Commission for England & Wales in response to Government request in December 214 for a review of the law governing how and where people can marry in England and Wales (17 December 2015).

Marriage law reform for England & Wales put on hold. Dominic Raab, the Minister of State for Justice, wrote to the Commissioner in charge of the project, Professor Nick Hopkins, to say that the Government was not taking the project forward because priority was being given to reforms to address the increase in public and private family law cases currently putting pressure on the justice system (26 October 2017).

Law Commission to conduct a full review of wedding law in England & Wales (1 November 2018).

The Government on reform of wedding law in England & Wales. House of Lords question from Baroness Cox following question Islamic Ceremony: Civil Marriage Registration (1 March 2019)

Law Commission to review wedding ceremonies in England and Wales. On 28 June, the Lord Chancellor and the Prime Minister announced a two-year project by the Law Commission to review the current laws on how and where marriages can take place – many of which date back to the 19th Century (28 June 2019).

Law Commission review of wedding law in England & Wales: Terms of Reference. (1 July 2019).

Getting Married: A Consultation Paper on Weddings Law #2. A further guest post from the Weddings Team at the Law Commission on the proposals for the reform of weddings law in England & Wales (21 October 2020).

Getting Married: A Consultation Paper on Weddings Law #1. Guest post from Professor Rebecca Probert, intended as the first in a series of blogs explaining the Law Commission’s provisional proposals for reforming weddings law (11 October 2020).

How we marry is changing, and the law needs to keep up. A guest post in which Rajnaara C Akhtar, Rebecca Probert and Sharon Blake look at the reform of weddings law in England and Wales. (4 December 2021).

Law Commission final report on reforming weddings law in England & Wales.  In Celebrating Marriage: A New Weddings Law, the Law Commission recommends a wholesale reform of the current law. The principle behind the Commission’s proposals is that, under the proposed reforms, regulation of weddings would be switched from buildings to officiants (as in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where weddings are conducted by registered celebrants). Every wedding would be overseen by an authorised officiant who would have legal responsibility for the wedding. There would also be universal rules for all weddings: with very few exceptions, the same rules would apply, meaning that the different laws for different religious groups and for civil weddings would no longer persist. (19 July 2022).


On 18 July 2022, Professor Russell Sandberg posted Preparatory Reading for the Law Commission’s Final Report on Weddings Law which includes a selection of selection of his writings and video appearances on the background to the issue and the Commission’s earlier provisional proposals.

In Déjà I Do: Some Initial Thoughts on the Law Commission’s ‘Celebrating Marriage’ Report, Professor Russell Sandberg looks at the Law Commission’s final proposals on reforming weddings law in England and Wales. He concludes “[d]espite my quibbles about the detail of some of the proposals, the Report as a whole is to be welcomed. But it seems that it will fall to the groups directly affected to really make the case for reform”.

Our summary UK marriage legislation includes links to these and other L&RUK posts covering all aspects of marriage law.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Law Commission Marriage Review: timeline" in Law & Religion UK, 18 July 2022,


Updated: 24 July at 06:12. 

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