With the law that governs marriage set about in 1836, it defines what we know today about marriage and the ceremony of a wedding. Fast forward to modern day society, these tight regulations around marriage and weddings has failed to keep pace with modern times. How and where marriages can take place varies depending on the ‘type’ of wedding and at present there are only two types of ceremonies, religious and civil.

If a couple do not comply with the regulations that are in place, which may be the case with some religious ceremonies, their marriage will not be legally recognised. In turn, this can become a huge issue in the future, if the relationship ends either on a separation or death. Due to the marriage not complying with the law, there will be no legal protection for either parties which can result in a ‘messy’ separation or a difficult bereavement process.

A body for the law commission has called for an overhaul of ‘’confusing, out of date and restrictive’’ marriage laws as the existing laws in England and Wales are ‘’stuck in time’’. The reform could see couples able to hold a ceremony in places that are special to them, in a location that reflects their religion and beliefs, as well as a much wider variety of locations, including:

  • In a place that is not connected to any building, such as a forest, a local park or on a beach;
  • Affordable local venues, such as community centers and even their own homes;
  • In international waters on cruise ships that are registered in the UK

This brief summary of what could be to come regarding wedding ceremonies is an exciting change to what it already in place. It provides the capability to have a humanist wedding and provides couples a wider variety of choice on their big day.