We’ve all seen it in movies and on TV – the happy couple say their vows in a cool museum (The Vow) or in a low-key fashion in a park (Five Year Engagement), or even in their own home (Gossip Girl), and you scoff and think ‘yeah, right, like that’d ever happen here’.
Read more: How to write your own wedding vows
But this could all be about to change! In the biggest reform proposed to England’s marriage ceremony law, the government’s legal advisors have recommended that couples be allowed to marry in whatever outdoor location they choose.
The report, being published today, would allow couples to have ‘more freedom to choose where they marry’. This is not only more freeing in normal life, but in the event of another pandemic, would allow weddings to still safely take place at home, via video conference link.
“This move has been a long time coming,” explains Zoe Burke, wedding expert and editor of Confetti.co.uk. “There will always be a place for a church wedding ceremony, or a civil service in a licensed building, but by allowing couples to say their vows meaningfully in their own garden or at the restaurant where they had their first date, you’re opening up weddings in a whole new way and making them much more personal.”
Family lawyer Sebastian Burrows, a managing partner at Stowe Family Law, had the following to say about the report: “The arguments that will flow from this report will be varied but the Law Commission seeks clearly to push towards a secularisation of weddings, providing couples with greater flexibility.
“While a change in the law might be seen by some as a move towards more extravagant or soulless Vegas-style ceremonies, it may also provide a boost to the wedding industry in these hard times. Certainly, the opportunity to have a video link wedding may be attractive to those keen to marry but fearful of the Covid-19 risk.
“In terms of matrimonial law, such a change would match with the principle of making the legal union of couples open to all and something to be welcomed rather than restricted. Divorce is being made humane and modern. Perhaps marriage needs to catch up?”
Would you consider marrying outdoors, in a special location to you both or even at home? It’s definitely an easy way to personalise your wedding.