Changes to Weddings and Partnership Ceremonies

Rules for weddings due to change April 2022 in England and Wales

The Government announcement that in England and Wales, from April 2022,civil wedding ceremonies and partnerships conducted by a Registrar now do not need to be held under a permanent structure in an outdoor licensed wedding venue.

Having been interviewed on BBC Radio Somerset 15.3.22 about this latest announcement, this article looks at:

·        Why is this announcement welcomed?

·        What more can the Government do to allow couples to have further choice in their wedding?

·        Summary Plus Link to Hear Interview

·        Link to Advantages-v- Disadvantages of having an outdoor wedding article

This news is welcomed in the wedding industry, as part of what is hoped as the first steps to bring personal choice to couples.   With our archaic wedding law, this news that couples who want to have their wedding conducted by a Registrar outdoors, means their voices are started to be heard.

It is hoped that the Government will lift more restrictions for marriages, as these changes announced 15.3.22 only relate to licensed wedding venues; these venues having to pay the councils for these licenses after meeting their criteria (with no doubt those costs being recouped from the wedding couples).

But what more could the Government do to allow further personal choice for weddings in England and Wales?

Here are just a few suggestions that they could consider:-

1.Further changes are hoped to come into force, such as religious weddings to be held outside by ministers so not just restricted inside a Church or Church building to give couples choice who want a religious wedding ceremony.

2.Currently the on trend personal choice is what Independent Celebrants and Humanists provide to wedding couples,as they are not restricted to conducting just in licensed venues as they can go to any non-licensed venues as well ie any location, even a beach.   This would support the surge of non-licensed wedding venues’ economy.   Within the Marriage Legislation Review, the Government have been asked to consider giving Celebrants and Humanists the ability to provide the legality side of a wedding ceremony like they can in other countries.  

{currently couples opting for a celebrant-led wedding ceremony, must go to the Registry Office and choose a basic statutory short ceremony) to obtain their marriage certificate,while the celebrant writes a personalised wedding which a registrar isn’t able to provide as their content is pre-written}

With registrars only allowed to conduct a wedding in a licensed venue, allowing celebrants to also conduct legal weddings; surely must be seen as a positive suggestion and allow couples to choose dates and all venues/locations, which would lessen the pressure off the Registrars Office.    The Wedding Celebrancy Commission states“The wedding industry has been dealt a particularly devastating blow by the restrictions of lockdown. Allowing independent celebrants to officiate legal marriages would jump start the industry and allow the many tens of thousands of couples who had to cancel their plans last year to celebrate their love and get married. It would also secure tens of thousands of jobs in the wedding industry and reduce the burden on the treasury.”


With thousands of couples having to cancel or postpone their wedding during the last few years, these changes will bring joy to many.   It shows confidence in weddings being safe, which will encourage couples to book their day.  We know this, as 2022 is set to be the busiest year for weddings for a very longtime.   But it changes need to go further, so that every couple isn’t discriminated against their wishes how to celebrate their magical day.  So for now, it certainly brings an awareness raising of what options are available.

If you wish to hear the author being interviewed on BBC Radio Somerset on this subject, its available for 30 days from 15.3.22 join Matt Faulkner during his programme at 5.46pm

What Next?

Click to read about pros and cons of outdoor weddings

Written by
Amanda-Louise Knight

Amanda-Louise is the creative director of her UK award winning business, Amanda-Louise Knight Weddings Proposals & Events. She provides advice to modern couples who want unforgettable weddings that set the tone about their celebrations and love.

Amanda-Louise is a current celebrant, and has been involved in the events industry for over 30 years. Her love for logistics, she is wedding and marriage proposal planner in the South West of England. A dog lover herself, she is owner of Somerset Wedding Day Dog Chaperone Service ensuring furry babies are included or cared for by her team.

She is mentor to other celebrants and venue consultant to her corporate business clients dedicating her time to helping them grow their own businesses.

And it all starts with making a date with Amanda-Louise!

‍Blog Disclaimer - the article is opinion based by the author only, the content is for information purposes only, and as such is not guaranteed. Whilst its intended to be accurate there may be some unintentional errors, mistakes or omissions and therefore may be subject of updating. In accordance with any advice articles should the reader wish to rely on this information, they do so at their own risk. Any prices quoted are accurate at time of writing content.;;

get in touch with me


Thank you! Your request has been sent.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Don't forget the required fields.

Book a Zoom Call

Please use the form above to contact me or alternatively click on the link below to book a free 30 minute Zoom chat about how I can help you enjoy every moment of your special event or party