When most couples start planning a wedding, they excitedly think about the day itself – what they will wear, who they will invite and of course, where they want to get married.

However, what most don’t realise is just how tightly regulated the 'where' and 'how' actually is.

The need for reform is clear. Our marriage laws date from a time when religion, and indeed, Christianity specifically, was a fundamental part of life in England and where marriage outside of a church was unthinkable for the majority of the population. 

On 3 September 2020, the Law Commission released a consultation paper aimed at addressing some of the issues that couples face. Entitled ‘Getting Married: A Consultation Paper on Weddings Law’, the paper launches a three-month consultation process to gather information about experiences of getting married in England and any issues that people have encountered, before inviting responses to the proposals made in the paper.

Jemma Pollock outlines the Law Commission proposed changes and illustrates the current system's flaws in The Law Society Gazette. 

Law Commission's consultation on marriage reforms is free to read on the Law Society Gazette website.

Jemma is a senior associate solicitor in the family team.

Jemma advises clients on a broad range of family matters including divorce and financial matters following separation and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. She has significant experience of cohabitation and property disputes between both separating couples and family members, as well as in private law children matters including international relocation cases.