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Wedding Forum - Marriage Law in England and Wales May Be...

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    • MarkYourOccasion
      CommentAuthorMarkYourOccasion
      Got married 4 years ago
      Posted: Sep 3rd 2020
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
      edited
     
    Hi all,

    This morning, it was announced that the Law Commission has put forward several proposals that would loosen the restrictions on where couples are allowed to legally marry in England and Wales. These proposed laws on marriage will be under consultation until 3 December, with a report set to be published by the end of next year.

    Here's a basic summary of the proposed changes:

    ---

    PRELIMINARY LEGALITIES

    The current law:
    A person must give notice that they intend to get married in person at their local registry office, where they must have lived for seven days. This notice is posted at the local register office.

    The proposed law:
    A person will be able to give notice that they intend to marry remotely, and can choose their district. This notice will be published online and available to the wider public.

    ---

    TYPES OF WEDDING

    The current law:
    Couples must choose between a religious and a civil ceremony. There is no option for a legal ceremony to cater for couples with differing beliefs, or beliefs that are non-religious.

    The proposed law:
    The proposed changes would allow weddings conducted by non-religious organisations such as Humanists or by independent celebrants to be legally binding.

    ---

    LOCATION

    The current law:
    All couples must be legally married in a place of worship or a licensed secular venue. They are unable to get legally married outdoors, even in the garden of any aforementioned venue.

    The proposed law:
    Legal weddings will be allowed to take place anywhere the couple chooses, including outdoors and in their own homes.

    ---

    CEREMONIES

    The current law:
    Civil weddings and some religious weddings must involve certain prescribed words. Religious elements are not allowed to be included in civil ceremonies.

    The proposed law:
    There will be no prescribed words, allowing couples to have more flexibility deciding what form their ceremony will take. Civil ceremonies will be able to have religious elements in them if the couple desires.

    ---

    These are BIG CHANGES and may mean that if you want a wedding with a celebrant, or a wedding outside, or a wedding from inside your own home, from 2021 it might be possible to do the legal bit as well, without having to go to a registry office beforehand.

    I'm a celebrant myself, so do feel free to get in touch if you want any more information. The original post is on my website here .. LINK REMOVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH FORUM RULES

    Hope this is helpful!
 
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