Reform of Wedding Laws in England and Wales

Reform of Wedding Laws in England and Wales

I have written before about the urgent need for our wedding laws to be changed on the basis that they are simply not fit for purpose. To recap, the key issues are;

~ Only choice is between a religious or a civil ceremony, with other beliefs not reflected

~ Other than a few exceptions, marriages have to take place either at certain places of worship or a licenced secular venue

~ Marriages cannot take place outdoors

Other problems include how marriages are registered, what paperwork a couple must complete before their wedding takes place and who can conduct marriages

The good news is that after an initial scoping project by the Law Commission, they are now leading a project to review the current wedding laws in England and Wales. There are 5 principles guiding this work;

~ 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.

The review is obviously very welcome, although it is currently expected to take a couple of years to complete. Nevertheless, there does seem reason for optimism that in the future couples who decide to make this commitment can address both the legal and the spiritual, cultural and personal aspects of such a union.

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