Couples will be able to tie the knot in a wedding venue of their choice under plans to scrap archaic laws.

It means marriages could take place at home or outdoor spots rather than a church or a registry office.

It would also save prospective husbands and wives some hard-pressed cash as they will not have to fork out for a licensed premises hire.

The Government has launched a two-year review on how and where marriages can take place.

At the moment they must be carried out in a licensed venue by a registrar or licensed minister for them to be legally binding.

A church is considered a traditional place to get married


That means couples who want an outdoor wedding – currently only permitted in Scotland – have to have two events, one legal and the other ceremonial.

Religious chiefs insists a church is still “the best place” for a wedding.

But the Wedding Celebrancy Commission welcomed the review.

Member Anne Barber said: “There is a huge demand from couples who say they don’t want to go the to the registry office before. They want to do it at the same time.”

And National Association of Wedding Professionals director Siobhan Craven-Robins added: “This eliminates the hire cost of booking a licensed venue. It creates more opportunity for people who are on a tighter budget.”

Theresa May said: “We can do more to bring the laws on marriage ­ceremonies up to date.”

But Humanists UK argue the reforms should go further to join Scotland and the Ireland in allowing ­celebrants to perform legally binding ceremonies.

Couples looking to marry outdoors would have far more scope to do so


The laws, many of which date back to the 19th century, will be reviewed by the Law Commission, which will consult with faith groups.

Any new venues would have to meet the existing test of solemnity.

But the Church of England said research shows being “married in a place that has meaning is still important”.

Reverend Canon Dr Sandra Millar, who heads the CofE’s work on weddings, said: “The moments of waiting to walk down the aisle, standing at the steps and exchanging timeless vows that can only be said in a church, and turning to walk out of the church as a
newly-married couple, are cherished.”

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