British couples ‘will be able to get married in pubs with guests allowed to drink while they exchange vows’, under new marriage law changes
- Chancellor expected to say he wants changes to the rules on wedding venues
- Review of the laws on civil ceremonies to be conducted by the Law Commission
- It will also consider how couples can have legally binding ceremony outdoors
Couples getting married usually have to wait until the reception to raise a glass to their future.
But the opportunity to do so could come much earlier on the big day if weddings are allowed to take place in pubs under a shake-up of the rules.
Chancellor Philip Hammond will announce a review of marriage law aimed at boosting the hospitality sector.
Ministers will look at axing a swathe of restrictions including a ban on alcohol being served during proceedings and on ceremonies taking place outdoors.
Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to say he wants to make ‘outdated’ rules around wedding venues simpler by reducing red tape and will announce a review of marriage law
Mr Hammond is expected to say he wants to make ‘outdated’ rules around wedding venues simpler by reducing red tape.
The review of the laws on civil ceremonies in England and Wales would be conducted by the Law Commission.
It will also consider how to accommodate increasing demand from couples to have a legally binding ceremony outdoors, which is currently permitted only in Scotland.
To get a licence to hold weddings a venue must currently identify a specific area where the ceremony will take place.
The review of the laws on civil ceremonies in England and Wales would be conducted by the Law Commission and will also consider how to accommodate increasing demand from couples to have a legally binding ceremony outdoors
It must be part of a building rather than in the open air or a marquee.
The licence holder must also undertake that no food or alcoholic drinks are sold or consumed in the area one hour before and during the proceedings.
Ministers believe this means many small business owners are put off trying to get a licence, restricting choice and driving up the cost for couples.
Relaxing the rules could make it cheaper and simpler for couples to get married but there will be concerns about how the dignity of ceremonies will be preserved.
The Church of England last night responded to the announcement with caution. Policy adviser Rev Martin Kettle said: ‘If new proposals are made, we shall look at them from the standpoint of Christian faith and the conviction that marriage is an important institution.’