Outdated rules banning open-air marriages face reform, Theresa May announces


Couples could get married at home, at sea or in the open air under proposals to reform outdated laws around wedding venues announced by the Prime Minister.

A two-year review by the Law Commission will begin on Monday to look at making the rules in England and Wales suitable for modern Britain.

Separately, the Government will accelerate plans to allow civil weddings and civil partnerships to be held outdoors.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “As both home secretary and Prime Minister I have been proud to sponsor the legislation that created equal marriage, and to extend civil partnerships to ensure all couples are given the same choices in life.

“The vital institution of marriage is a strong symbol of wider society’s desire to celebrate commitment between partners.

“But we can do more to bring the laws on marriage ceremonies up to date and to support couples in celebrating their commitment. This review will look at how we can ensure marriage keeps pace with modern Britain.”

Any new venues would have to meet the existing test of “solemnity and dignity”, Number 10 officials said.

The Law Commission review, first promised in October’s Budget, will review the current laws on how and where marriages can take place – many of which date back to the 19th century.


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