Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies 

In April 2022, following a robust campaign by members of the wedding industry, interfaith community and wider public, the UK Government permanently legalised civil outdoor wedding ceremonies and partnerships at licensed venues in England and Wales.

This was exciting news for the wedding industry and opened the door for couples to plan their dream outdoor wedding.

Outdoor wedding
© Emma Stoner

What does this mean for couples?

Couples are often looking for more meaningful ways to personalise their wedding and this change has given them greater choice and freedom to create a more authentic wedding ceremony.  Your outdoor wedding ceremony will still need to take place in an Approved Premises.  This is a venue approved by their local authority to host wedding ceremonies.  The new change means that small, licensed venues with limited space but large outdoor grounds can offer couples the opportunity to have a larger outdoor wedding in a temporary structure such as a tipi.    

Couples planning a Summer festival-style wedding or romantic garden party will be dreaming of a warm, sunshine-filled day.  The new legislation means that you can now be married inside a temporary structure such as a tipi which means if the weather is not quite as you planned you can still be married in comfort and style.  

Our tipis can be completely enclosed or we can lift their sides to enable you to enjoy the surrounds.  We also offer tipi walls with windows to enable you to stay warm and cosy inside whilst still enjoying the view outside.  

The tipis create a striking vision from the outside but are also incredibly impressive on the inside.  At a height of 7.5m and a diameter of over 10m they provide a strong sense of space.  You definitely do not feel cramped.  The curved walls and conical shape are also comforting and the light coloured canvas allows natural light to filter inside making them a bright and welcoming space.

outdoor wedding
© Venetia Norrington

The ivory white canvas and the natural wooden structure create a perfect blank canvas for you to style and create a unique venue for your wedding day.  

Our tipis can be installed almost anywhere which allows you to explore all outdoor areas; by a lakeside, in a woodland, on a beach or in a garden.  

A legal marriage ceremony must be officiated by a Registrar and you will need to contact the local Registry Office to book a Registrar.  You will also be required to give at least 29 days notice of your intention to marry in person at your local Registry Office and will be asked to provide identification documents. The ceremony must also include specific vows and be free of any religious influence.     

If you are already legally married then you may want to hold a symbolic marriage or partnership ceremony.  This can be officiated by a celebrant chosen by you and you can design it to be personal to you with any words or music.

outdoor wedding
© Venetia Norrington

Future Wedding Law Reform.

This change in law is also encouraging for those of us hoping for wider reforms to the Marriage Act.  The Law Commission published their report this Summer recommending a ‘new weddings law that gives couples greater choice within a simple legal framework to support and celebrate marriage.’**

This reform is expected to remove more unnecessary regulations and increase choice for couples.  This could mean less bureaucracy, freedom to marry in unlicensed venues such as your own home, a ceremony conducted by a person appointed by yourselves rather than the local council and vows written by you.  

The anticipation is that a reform will offer couples more freedom and inclusivity than ever before to choose how and where they conduct their marriage or partnership ceremonies:

  • Instead of venues being licensed, an officiate could be registered with the Local Authority.  This could be a humanist or independent celebrant, church minister or civil servant who can meet certain stipulations.  A similar officiate system is already in place in Australia and New Zealand.  
  • Couples could be able to choose a meaningful place to conduct their ceremony rather than an approved venue.  This could be anywhere; at home, on a beach or in a church.  
  • Couples could be able to decide a style of ceremony that reflects them and not the state or church and choose authentic words, personal to them. 
  • Couples could also have the opportunity to combine a secular ceremony with a religious ritual.  This would be an important and inclusive change in our multi-faith society.  Families become joined through marriage which can often create complications if each family has a different faith or belief.  
  • This reform may also help make weddings more affordable as couples are saved the cost of hiring an approved venue.  
outdoor wedding

Whatever happens Tipi Spaces are here to help you celebrate your wedding day wherever and however you choose to marry.  If you have any queries or questions about any part of your wedding ceremony or wedding day then please do get in touch.  Our Director Charlotte has been planning events for over 20 years and has plenty of advice to help you plan the perfect wedding.   

For more information visit:

*https://www.gov.uk/government/news/outdoor-civil-weddings-and-civil-partnerships-made-permanent  

** https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/weddings/