Chancellor expected to announce a review into weddings in his Budget statement

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

I thee wed: current rules around weddings mean the ceremony needs to take place in a specific room
I thee wed: current rules around weddings mean the ceremony needs to take place in a specific room
Pubs, restaurants and hotels will find it easier to host weddings if Chancellor Philip Hammond's proposals are adopted.

Hammond is expected to say in today's Budget (29th October) that he wants to simplify the rules around wedding venues and reduce the red tape, in a bid to cut the cost of getting married.

The Money Advice Service ​estimated the average cost of a wedding is £27,161 (according to a survey of 4,000 brides by wedding website Hitched​). Treasury officials said if the restrictions were relaxed, making getting married cheaper and more simple, it would encourage more to get wed.

Current rules

Current rules around wedding venues include having to dedicate a specific room for the ceremony and one that needs to be part of a building – not in the open air or under a marquee.

This change means pubs would be able to host weddings either inside the venue or in the pub’s beer garden.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Measures that reduce costs and the red-tape burden on pubs are a welcome change, but the most direct way the Chancellor can help pubs is by cutting beer duty.

“Let’s hope happy couples and publicans are given even more cheer from the Chancellor when he announces the Budget.”

At present, wedding licence holders must also ensure no food or alcoholic drinks are sold or consumed in the specific ceremony area for an hour before and during proceedings.

Red tape

Treasury officials said this red tape deters small business owners from seeking to get a licence to host weddings.

The move to reduce this red tape will be highlighted as a boost to the hospitality trade as it opens doors for venues in the sector to hold weddings.

According to The Guardian​, a Treasury spokesperson said that laws on where and how marriages must be held had stayed “largely unchanged” since 1836 and the review will help the law keep pace with modern Britain while helping keep the cost of living down.

The review of laws on civil ceremonies in England and Wales will be conducted by the Law Commission.

Related topics: Legislation

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