Outdoor weddings could get the green light – will you hold yours under canvas?

The government is considering giving the green light to non-religious wedding ceremonies, meaning that they could be held anywhere from the top of a mountain to under the canvas of your very own amazing tent.

In a recent Ministry of Justice consultation paper, a proposal has been put forward which could create a whole new category of weddings – called ‘belief marriages’. These are weddings for people who aren’t part of a religious movement and as such, don’t have their own designated buildings (such as churches) to get married in. Both Scotland and Ireland have already legalised a similar kind of wedding, but England and Wales could soon follow.

If approved, the new plans could mean that humanists, ecological groups, Freemasons and even existentialists could have the green light to hold legal weddings anywhere they like. According to the Daily Telegraph, this could be “anywhere meaningful to the couple, including outdoors”.

To counter concerns about ‘jedi’ weddings and ceremonies from other more unusual groups, there are plans to draw up a few rules and restrictions to go along with the new laws.

Where will you hold your ‘belief wedding’?

The proposals haven’t become law yet, and may not for some time, but those wanting to get married in this kind of ceremony might want to start looking at locations. As couples will not be confined to a traditional building such as a church, there are a huge number of different options to choose from.

Here are a few ideas:

Event tents! An outdoor wedding is a great idea on paper, but the great British weather may have other ideas on your big day. If it’s windy or rainy, having a shelter like a marquee or tent is a lifesaver – sheltering everyone from the elements whilst being a unique and fun venue in which to hold your ceremony and reception. Go for a large event tent and you can design your very own bespoke wedding venue, adding in bars, dance floors, dining and seating areas.


On the beach. If you want something simple, relaxed and beautiful for your wedding, the beach is the perfect spot. Invite a few close family and friends, light a few candles and say your vows with the waves lapping in the background. You don’t have to head abroad either, as there are many lovely coastal destinations with fantastic beaches right here in the UK. The weather can’t always be relied upon, so it might be a good idea to have a backup plan (i.e. an undercover venue for the reception) in place just in case it pours down.


In the forest. A forest wedding, under the canopy of lush, leafy trees, can be a truly magical experience. You can create your own forest wonderland, complete with candle-lit forest trails and music and dancing under the large marquee at night – all in a location so quiet and rural that you’ll feel like there’s no one else around for miles.


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