Pandemic sparks surge in outdoor weddings as temporary measures made permanent

Almost 40 per cent of engaged couples are looking for outdoor wedding venues, finds report

Olivia Petter
Monday 04 April 2022 10:19 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

More couples are looking to get married in the open air following the announcement that outdoor weddings at licensed venues in England and Wales would be legalised permanently after temporary legisliation introduced during the pandemic.

Previously, civil weddings and ceremonies at a licensed wedding venue had to take place indoors or inside a permanent outdoor structure, like a bandstand.

However, during the pandemic, such restrictions were eased to allow safe, covid-friendly weddings in outdoor spaces.

Now, though, following the announcement from the Ministry of Justice, couples have the option to get married anywhere within a licensed premise’s grounds, including outside.

According to wedding planning app Bridebook, which helped to consult on the new legislation, the change reflects a growing trend among engaged couples seeking to plan outdoor weddings.

Searches for wedding venues with outdoor space have surged, up by 42 per cent compared to last year and 850 per cent on the year before.

The app also found that almost 40 per cent of couples now want to get married at venues with outside space, while five per cent are looking for venues that are entirely outdoors.

Bridebook CEO Hamish Shephard commented: “This is fantastic news for both couples and the wedding industry.

“The freedom that this reform will give couples is long overdue, while wedding venues will welcome the opportunity to make use of all their facilities.

“Here at Bridebook, we’re thrilled to have been a part of pushing this legislation through and look forward to seeing the impact on weddings for years to come.”

In 2020, roughly 264,000 weddings were postponed as a result of the pandemic, according to the UK Weddings Taskforce, meaning the majority of planned nuptials could not take place.

As a result, 2022 has been predicted to be a major year for weddings, with The Wedding Group reporting that it will the highest number of nuptials to take place in one year since 1984.

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