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Get married outside – new rules for 2022

By April 9, 2022April 12th, 2022elopement wedding

Legal weddings

For years the only places to get legally married were in a religious building (church, synagogue etc) or in a Registry Office.   In 2005 the rules changed to allow couples to get married at licensed venues other than religious buildings or council offices.   Every licensed venue could only allow weddings to take place under a ‘permanent covered structure’.   That’s why you sometimes see odd band stand like structures in gardens – that’s the permanent covered structure and that’s the only place couples could get legally married at a licensed venue.

But you still couldn’t get married outside or outdoors.

Outdoor weddings for covid

Last year during Covid the Government temporarily allowed wedding ceremonies to take place outdoors at licensed venues because they were encouraging events to take place outside rather than indoors.  This temporary change was put in place until this month with a review set for April 2022.

And we’ve had the result of the review.  The Government has just announced that the temporary arrangement is now permanent.   From now on you will be able to get married outdoors at a licensed wedding venue.

New rules for outdoor weddings from 2022

We’re not quite sure what that will mean.   Our wedding licence is issued by Devon Registrars which are part of Devon County Council.  The Council have written to us to say they’re still waiting for guidance to be issued about what ‘outdoors’ means.  Will there be any restrictions?  Will it be up to local councils to decide what rules they put in place.   We don’t know whether the Registrars are required to ask for risk assessments to be be carried out for areas outside the permanent covered structure.

Outdoor wedding ceremonies at Ever After

We’ve had outdoor ceremonies here at Ever After over the years.   They haven’t been legal weddings because that has not been allowed until now.   Those outdoor ceremonies have been for couples who are already legally married or who are getting legally married elsewhere and their ceremonies were conducted by wedding celebrants.

Here’s a selection of our outdoor ceremonies around the Ever After grounds:

This was Kiley & Martin in the orchard.  Photography: Naomi Kenton

Ceremony set up in the orchard for Georgie & Mani:

wedding ceremony set up in a Devon orchard with colourful flower arbour ribbons and ghost chairs

Ribbons in the trees and flowers on the arch for this colourful outdoor wedding. Photography: Clare Kinchin

Ceremony set up on the edge of the glade walk on the lower lawns for Jen & Andy. Photography:  Dan Ward.   Flowers:  Flowers et al

Chuppah constructed outside the wedding barn for Penny & Pete.  Photography:  Ben Selway.

A wedding in the orchard with hand fasting for Zoe & Ben.  Photography:  Moon Gazey Hare

Download our elopement brochure and get all the details of our elopement package for your outdoor wedding – click here.