If you have considered getting married on New Years Eve, or any other evening come to that, you might not be aware that there are strict rules in place prohibiting this.
The Marriage Act of 1836, prevents marriages taking place outside the hours of 8am and 6pm every day. The law dates back to before the age of artificial lighting and was in place to ensure that vicars could confirm the marrying couple’s identity.
However, as a result of public pressure, the Government have announced as part of The Protection of Freedoms Bill they will relax the rules which will enable marriage venues to offer evening weddings for the first time. The Church of England however have said they will not change their own rules unless it is approved by the General Synod. They haven’t ruled out the possibility of evening weddings in Churches but it is thought there will be overwhelming resistance within the CoE to any change.
So, for the foreseeable future, you will be able to arrange an evening wedding but only at licensed wedding venue as part of a Civil Marriage Ceremony.
Although it is unlikely there will be a huge demand for evening weddings one possible benefit is that regular venues may be able to hold more ceremonies during a single day at busy times of the year. This will be welcomed by some of the most popular venues which get booked up very quickly due to restrictions.