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Now, UK Couples Can Marry in the Open as Govt Does Away With 180-year-old Law

Under the current rules, which have been largely unchanged since 1836, civil ceremonies in England and Wales cannot be held in the open air or under a make shift tent.

PTI

Updated:October 27, 2018, 5:11 PM IST
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Now, UK Couples Can Marry in the Open as Govt Does Away With 180-year-old Law
Image for representation. (Photo: Reuters)
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London: The UK government is set to announce an overhaul of its over 180-year-old law around wedding venues to allow couples to opt for low-cost ceremonies outdoors.

Under the current rules, which have been largely unchanged since 1836, civil ceremonies in England and Wales cannot be held in the open air or under a makeshift tent.

The formal aspect of a wedding is required to take place in registered offices or approved premises that have been licensed for the purpose by local authorities.

Hotels, pubs and restaurants which hold licences for weddings have to identify a specific room where the ceremony takes place and the licence holder must also make sure that no food or alcoholic drinks are sold or consumed in the specific area one hour before and during the ceremony.

A review of wedding venues in England and Wales will be part of UK Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget proposals on Monday.

It will look at lifting restrictions on open-air locations, such as gardens and beaches, temporary structures and even back gardens.

The UK Treasury said that more choices planned under the review would lower the average venue booking cost and boost the hospitality sector.

"Some people who want to get married are put off by the expense. Relaxing restrictions would make it cheaper and simpler for couples to get married, potentially supporting more people to get married," a Treasury spokesperson said.

"This review will help the law keep pace with modern Britain while helping people keep the cost of living down," the spokesperson said.

The cost of getting married has spiralled in Britain over the past decade, with an average wedding costing around 30,000 pounds.

The review, to be carried out by the UK's Law Commission, will examine how and where the marriages can take place.

The commission said its work on the subject had shown there was a strong demand for weddings to be "cheap and personal" and existing laws were already being "stretched" to allow more residential ceremonies.

In Scotland, the devolved government has offered couples more freedom in where they can get married for years and the new laws are aimed at bringing the rest of the country in line.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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