What are the legalities of marrying outdoors?

The legalities of marrying outdoors.

With wedding season already well underway, the beauty of every inch of the wedding venues that form part of the Country House Weddings collection can really be appreciated. Our venues are, after all, beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside, with the stunning scenery on offer throughout our grounds certain to be loved by all, including engaged couples and their wedding guests.

Our grounds can be called upon to help couples tying the knot during the warmer months say “I do” a little differently. From Clearwell Castle’s fairy-tale bandstand to The Great Tower at Leez Priory, our venues provide a long list of beautiful outdoor ceremony settings to choose from. So, what are the legalities of marrying outdoors in the UK?

What are the benefits of hosting an outdoor ceremony?

Outdoor ceremonies have always been great choices, but their popularity rose to new heights during the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as enabling couples to take their weddings outdoors and finally get married after months of restrictions, an outdoor wedding ceremony unlocks several perks post-Covid.

From the beautiful, natural scenery and lighting on offer (which require minimal embellishment to look picture-perfect) to the accommodation of larger parties, saying those vows outdoors makes sense for so many reasons.

WeddingVibe shares another reason why many marrying couples choose to host their ceremonies in the great outdoors:

“It doesn’t matter how cool and calm you are most days, you will experience significant wedding day stress that could make your big day feel too much to deal with. But, outdoor weddings are often more informal and therefore more relaxed. There will still be some worries… the outdoor environment can ease some of this stress, and if you have a reliable wedding party, you shouldn’t need to worry too much about yourself.”

Can you get married anywhere outdoors?

The rules for outdoor wedding ceremonies may have been relaxed due to their popularity during the pandemic, meaning more freedom and flexibility for couples wishing to tie the knot outdoors. However, you still can’t get married anywhere outdoors in England.

You no longer have to conduct your ceremony indoors or within a permanently sheltered and partially enclosed structure outdoors. Yet outdoor wedding ceremonies are still only legal if they are conducted at approved premises.

Are these rules the same across the UK?

The same rule doesn’t apply to weddings held in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, wedding ceremonies can be conducted anywhere with the permission of the registrar or approved officiant. This includes civil and religious ceremonies.

In Northern Ireland, the rules on outdoor civil ceremonies are similar to those in place in England and Wales. The venue must be approved by the council to host an outdoor civil ceremony. Humanist and religious ceremonies however only require permission from the approved officiant and the land/premises owner to be held outdoors.

Hosting an outdoor ceremony in picturesque, leafy surroundings isn’t the only reason to choose one of our stunning country wedding venues. Discover why you should head to the country during your venue search.

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