Step into the New Wedding Season!

As April showers bring the darling buds of May, an explosion of wedding bookings could mean a bumper year for the UK wedding industry if the proposed ease of Lockdown continues as planned. Maeve de Burgh explains:

A spring wedding can be a beautiful affair, blossom on the trees, spring flowers in abundance and that beautiful young green mantle Britain wears as she leaves winter hibernation. From 12th April 2021, the number of attendees is legally limited to 15, including the Bride and Groom.  This figure jumps to 30 after 17th May 2021. It may be worth waiting till after 21st June 2021 when restrictions on numbers could be lifted completely, if pilot trials of enhanced testing for large groups proves successful.

Registrars are inundated, so book early and have alternative dates available to avoid disappointment. 
Notice can be given 1 year ahead or no later than 28 days before the wedding, the cost is £35 each, and if the date changes, this fee must be paid again.

What Else is Changing?
The Law Commission’s reform proposals go before Government later this year.  These claim to simplify the process and make it possible for couples to marry where they want rather than the current religious or approved premises. Alternatives such as Humanist weddings can take place anywhere, but are not legally recognized in England or Wales, although they are in Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Couples need to complete the formalities in a Register Office before or after their ceremony.

The Formalities
Today, you start by giving notice, this is the formal declaration that you wish to marry or enter into a Civil Partnership and has to be displayed in the Register Office 28 days before permission is granted. At a private appointment with a Registrar, you will discuss your date, venue and personal details, both parties must give notice.  You will need to provide ID, proof of residency, marital status and any change of name.  Some C of E churches ask you to prove residency for 7 days before if it is not your usual place of worship, but as the clergy are authorized Registrars, you do not need to give notice. For other denominations, you may have to give notice at a Register Office and book a Registrar to attend the wedding with the register. There are certain regulations which must be observed, such as the requirement for two witnesses, two Registrars, the Prescribed Words (declaration that you are free to marry) from The Marriage Act of 1949 must be said.  Finally, the doors must be open during the ceremony.

Whatever you plan, Wedding Whispers wishes you a happy and safe day and a heartfelt toast to absent friends. 




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