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  • bkirkham79

Are outdoor weddings legal in the UK?

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Short answer, yes! Slightly longer answer….hmm, well maybe, it depends on what you are planning and where you are thinking of holding it.


‘But the laws changed earlier this year, allowing outdoor ceremonies’ I hear you cry….


That’s true, some of the temporary rulings put in place as a result of Covid were made permanent earlier this year. However, the law only allows outdoor civil ceremonies in the grounds of venues which already hold a licence for their indoor venue.


So, if you would like to hold your legal ceremony at a licensed wedding venue that has a permanent structure onsite (and have a registrar conduct it, with the required legal format and wording) then hurrah!! However, if you have something altogether more unique in mind then you may have to think more creatively (but I suspect you are quite creative anyway!).


If you love the idea of having your wedding ceremony:



  • In your garden

  • On the beach

  • In a woodland

  • In a field

  • In a teepee or marquee

  • Or possibly at the top of a mountain (I’d REALLY love to conduct one at the top of a mountain, just saying!)

then you’ll want to find yourself a celebrant and separate the legal signing from your wedding ceremony.

If this sounds odd, just think on this for a moment…we don’t sign the legal papers to register a birth at the same time as actually giving birth (thank goodness!) and nor do you register a death during a funeral. These are significant life moments where we are all very used to separating the ceremonial events and the legal elements, so a wedding can be exactly the same.

You will need to contact your local registry office to book a suitable time for you to go and sign your legal documentation (in Sussex this is usually called a 2+2 service) and then you can plan your perfect bespoke celebrant-led wedding ceremony wherever you dream of it!


And there are a few added bonuses too:


  • You will be able to pick the time of day and duration that suit you

  • You will be able to personalise the content of your ceremony in any way you wish - including children or pets, symbolic elements, a sing-along, elements of faith perhaps even a little tipple....anything is possible!

  • And possibly the best part of all....you get to choose the person who conducts your service (this just isn’t an option with a registrar). Someone who you will get to know as you plan your ceremony and who will feel like a friend by the time they stand up in front of your chosen guests....how great is that?!

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about gorgeous outdoor ceremonies in Sussex (and the surrounding areas), I’d love to chat!




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