Marriage Laws in England and Wales are Changing

Marriage Laws in England and Wales are centuries old, steeped in history and tradition. Amendments to these laws have been made, however they remain fairly unchanged since the Marriage Act of 1836.  In 2021 we have already seen the removal of the traditional handwritten certificate replaced with an electronic certificate.  On Thursday 1st July 2021 Approved venues will be permitted for a temporary period to hold outdoor wedding ceremonies without the need for a permanent structure.

So what do these changes mean for couples, their ceremonies and the venue…

Black and White Photograph of Sarah, Wedding Planner at Elizabeth Grace Weddings

Hello

I am not sure if we have meet so a quick hello from me.

Hi I’m Sarah the planner behind Elizabeth Grace Weddings. I help couples with busy lives turn their wedding dreams into a reality. With a career in weddings and events spanning over 15 years, during which time I have had the honour to create some amazing events including celebrities and royalty. However my heart lies with Wedding Planning and I have had the privilege to help couples plan their weddings each unique and individual to them. I am passionate about what I do and turning dreams into reality.

Marriage Laws in England and Wales

Civil Weddings and Partnerships ceremonies currently can only take place at an approved premises such as a hotel, Stately Home or other permanent structure. Outdoor weddings are permitted if there is a permanent structure at the venue, with a roof. This structure must also be licensed for Wedding Ceremonies, the same as rooms within a hotel or Stately Home would be. Religious ceremonies in England and Wales must take place in Certified Places of Worship registered for marriage. Including Churches and chapels of the Church of England and Church of Wales.

Marriage Laws in England & Wales Change on 1st July 2021

On Thursday 1st July 2021 Outdoor Civil Weddings and Partnerships will be legal. The venue must be Approved to hold Civil Weddings and Partnerships. This means that ceremonies can now take place fully outside without the need for a permeant structure. The location of the ceremony will be assessed before the ceremony. Location needs to be a seemly and dignified place for a ceremony to take place. Under previous law the ceremony had to take place within a permeant structure with a roof and would be licensed to hold ceremonies. This change is only temporary until April 2022.

Why is it only a Temporary Change?

It is only temporary to help with the current restrictions and giving couples more choice on their ceremony. There is due to be a review and Consultation in Autumn 2021 about the practical impacts of this policy, which may mean a change to the law which is not time limited.

To explain more as to how this change has come about, although the temporary change is due to COVID, this was already part of a wider review. The Government launched a review into the Marriage Laws in England and Wales in June 2019. The review was due to take 2 years, we all know what happened and the timetable has gone slightly adrift. This is the first time ever there has been a review of our wedding laws in England and Wales most of which date back to the 19th Century. The review of our overall wedding laws is being carried out by the Law Commission. You can find out more about this temporary change from this link .gov

FAQ’s

Can I have a legal ceremony in my Garden?

At present you can not have a legal wedding ceremony at home. The Temporary change only applies to current Approved Venues

Can my celebrant perform the legal ceremony?

At the moment in England and Wales a celebrant is not able to legally register your marriage. In England and Wales it is places not people who are licensed for Marriages.

Can I have my Church Service Outside?

Religious weddings will continue to take place within certified places of Worship, that are registered for marriage, and Churches and chapels of the Church of England or Church of Wales. However the good news is that this is planned to change as part of the overall review. The exception to this rule is Jewish and Quaker weddings which for historic reason can take place outside.

Lets Talk

Want to find out more about planning your outdoor ceremony or other aspects of your wedding planning. You can book a Half an Hour Discovery Call with me click the link to book .

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Planning An Intimate Marquee Wedding

Its not secret that I love a marquee wedding. My first wedding of 2021 was an intimate marquee wedding. Now we usually associate a marquee wedding as a large wedding with lots of guests. Not at all I have helped plan smaller intimate weddings and parties in marquees and they have been amazing. In this blog I will talk about planning an intimate wedding and why a marquee is perfect for intimate weddings.

Black and White Photograph of Sarah, Wedding Planner at Elizabeth Grace Weddings

Meet the Author

Have we met yet? Let me introduce myself I am Sarah the planner behind Elizabeth Grace Weddings. Having been part of the world of weddings for over 15 years and have had the privilege to have helped plan and be part of many weddings each individual and unique. I am passionate about what I do and creating your perfect day.

Marquees for Intimate Weddings

Marquees are the perfect structure for a small gathering. Unlike a venue, they can be designed to suit the number of guests. Indoor Wedding Venues like hotels and stately homes often are designed accommodate larger numbers of guests generally 80 plus for a wedding breakfast, however if you are planning a smaller guest list you may feel that you have to fill this space or that it is too large for you. Marquees are built for your wedding making it bespoke to you.

Keeping Everyone Together

Eating on big dining tables, really gives the feel of large family meals. If you would like to eat on one table with your guests this can be accommodated in a marquee. With a marquee everyone is together, rather than inside a venue which may have lounge areas and separate bars, all of your guests are together. We can design your marquee to include a bar and lounge area still keeping everyone together, so you do not ‘lose’ guests or it feels you are too spread out.

Make it Personal

Marquees are the Perfect Blank Canvas Venue to style as you wish. Intimate weddings mean couples have the opportunity to include lots or personal touches to the day. With a marquee you will have limited restrictions and can bring your vision to life. If you would like to have suspended flowers from the ceiling this is possible in a marquee, not so easy in venue.

Let’s Talk

To find out more about planning your intimate marquee wedding, book a 30 minute call with me and find out more about planning your wedding with me. Diary Link

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Looking After You on Your Wedding Day

You may think this is an odd topic for a blog, ‘Looking After You on Your Wedding Day.’ You are probably thinking, everyone will be looking after me on my day. Yes you are right everyone will be looking after you but this blog is about making sure you take care of yourself during the day and having time to take it all in and enjoy the day. Read on to find out somethings you may not have thought about on your Wedding Day

Black and White Photograph of Sarah, Wedding Planner at Elizabeth Grace Weddings

Meet the Author

I don’t know if we have met yet, I am Sarah the planner behind Elizabeth Grace Weddings. I have been part of the world of weddings for over 15 years. Having planned and been part of hundreds of weddings each one individual and unique. I am passionate about what I do and creating your perfect day.

Keeping Hydrated

We are told that we need to drink plenty of water each day around 2 litres a day. On your wedding it is important to keep hydrated, and drink plenty of water. Everyone will be offering you a glass of something from when you start getting ready right through the day and evening. One of the other concerns brides particularly have is having to go to the loo in your dress, don’t worry we already know you will need helpers with the dress.

Don’t Forget to Eat

You will have an early start on your wedding day and although you will be nervous and don’t feel like anything to eat. A slice of toast is better than nothing. Remember your wedding day is going to be long. Make sure your venue or caterer has canapes for you both. I ask for my couples to have there’s on a plate where they can grab 5 minutes together, have something to eat and drink. Have some snacks with you. I will come onto this shortly.

Take 5 Minutes

One of the things I makes sure my couples get is a few minutes alone during the day. Your wedding day will be busy with lots of people around. You want to make sure that you have time to stop and take everything in but also time for just the both of you. Don’t worry if you think you need to be present all day, you won’t be gone long and will be back before your missed.

Keep Cool In the Heat

Every couple wants fab weather on their wedding day. But not too hot. If you venue doesn’t have air conditioning, ask them about keeping the room cool. If you have a marquee ask if the sides can come off. Have some hand held fans, keep in the shade when you are outside, Grooms think about your suits. Tweed Suits look great but I wouldn’t recommend them for a July Wedding.

Pack a Bag

You are probably thinking I have gone mad, I promise I haven’t. I recommend that my couples have a bag that they have snacks and bottles of water in, make up, perfume, aftershave, change of shoes, pashmina or light cover for the evening to keep warm in the evening. If your venue and ceremony are in different locations take it with you in the car. Don’t pack anything valuable, think of it as a day out bag.

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Book a Zoom Call with me Click Here

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Marquee Wedding Planning

I love a marquee wedding and my own wedding reception was in a marquee. Marquees are the ultimate blank canvas wedding venue, allowing you the freedom to decorate and style to your own preferences, choose your own suppliers and really put a personal stamp on the day. If you are considering a marquee wedding or have planned your marquee wedding I have few key points that are sometimes over looked. These are key things I always consider when planning my clients marquee wedding.

Black and White Photograph of Sarah, Wedding Planner at Elizabeth Grace Weddings

Meet the Author

I don’t know if we have met yet, I am Sarah the planner behind Elizabeth Grace Weddings. I have been part of the world of weddings for over 15 years. Having planned and been part of hundreds of weddings each one individual and unique. I am passionate about what I do and creating your perfect day.

Marquee Power Requirements

You need to make sure that you have enough power for your day. We all know how annoying it is when we have a power cut at home, a few pointers to consider when planning your marquee wedding and generator requirements. It would be unusual for your venue to have enough outdoor power for your wedding but it can happen. Most marquee weddings will have a generator for power.

When talking to your marquee company about the number of sockets you will need and the size, talk to all of your suppliers first. The caterers will require power for Fridges, possibly freezers, hot cupboards, hot lights, Hot Water Urns, Coffee machines, smaller kitchen utensils, good lighting. Plus other items specific to your menu. Entertainment, are you having a band or DJ ask them how many sockets they need and how much power they will require. The bar, will require fridges, lighting, possibly till systems. Something that is often overlooked is toilets these will plug in, the hire company will be able to tell you how much power they will draw. You will need a bigger generator than you think and possibly may need two.

Exterior Lighting

Marquee Wedding Planning - Lit walkway leading to a gateway and marquee entrance

You may be wondering why I have said exterior lighting is important with a marquee, although it may not get dark until 10. We don’t want to lose guests or small people in the dark. Having clear walkways makes it easier for guests

You may have thought about having candles and storm lanterns but not actual lights. Candles are brilliant and look beautiful lining walkways but they can go out.

Festoon lighting and fairy lights create a beautiful feel outside, use these with a mix of candles to show the way to the toilets, car park or taxi point.

Don’t just think about lighting the walkways also consider the access to the toilets. Also if you have evening guests arriving make sure they can find the car park but also the way to the party.

Signage

This may start from the road, particularly if your venue is a field or private house without a main road sign. Once guests have arrived, make sure there are signs for car parking. I don’t leave guests wondering where the drinks reception is happening, you may get your ushers to guide guests to the reception.

Don’t forget the loos, usually hidden from sight it is important to know where the loos are.

These signs can correspond with your stationary or written in calligraphy on blackboards. I’m thinking pretty but practical.

Heating

This is a conversation I have with all of my couples who are having marquee weddings. Now this is England and we do have to consider the English Weather when planning a marquee wedding. If you are planning a winter marquee wedding definitely heating will be required, (by the way I love a winter marquee wedding). Up until the Mid to End of May and from Mid September I recommend having a heater available, usually you will be charged the hire but not for the fuel unless it has been used. I got married on the 19th September and as I said I had a marquee reception, we had a heater available although we didn’t use it in the end.

Marquees tend to be in open areas or by the coast and although it may have been hot during the day particularly in late spring, early summer and the start of autumn the evenings can get quiet chilly. Having heating as an available is perfect for those times, when the evening temperature has dropped.

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How Can a Wedding Planner Help You

Many couples are unsure about how a wedding planner can help. It is often thought that a wedding planner is only for the rich and celebrities. The answer to this is no you don’t have to be rich or a celebrity to work with a wedding planner. Couples are now choosing to engage a wedding planner to help plan their weddings, this could be to plan the whole day, specific elements of the day or they want an On The Day Planner, particularly if you are at a dry hire venue or a marquee.

Black and White Photograph of Sarah, Wedding Planner at Elizabeth Grace Weddings

Meet the Author

I don’t know if we have met yet, I am Sarah the planner behind Elizabeth Grace Weddings. I have been part of the world of weddings for over 15 years. Having planned and been part of hundreds of weddings each one individual and unique. I am passionate about what I do and creating your perfect day.

Save Time

It takes on average 528 hours to plan a wedding (the Independent 20th February 2019) , That works out to be 13.5 weeks working 40 hours a week. So where does all this time go and how can a wedding planner save you some of this time. Much of this time goes on research, for venues, suppliers, meetings, co-ordinating all the suppliers together. As a wedding planner, all of the decisions are yours I will do the research and present venues and suppliers who will bring your vision to life.

Manage the Budget

A Wedding Planner is Queen of the Spreadsheet. I have a spreadsheet for everything. But my most important one is your budget. My Budget Spreadsheet has everything detailed and it is my job to make sure that you stick with that budget.

Bring Your Vision To Life

In our first meeting we will talk about your wedding and what your vision of your wedding day is. It is a Wedding Planners job to bring that vision to life, finding the right suppliers to create your wedding day.

First to Arrive Last to Leave

As the Wedding Planner I will be the first person onsite on your wedding day and the last to leave, if you are having a marquee wedding I will be there for set-up and de-rig. oversee the arrival and departure of all the suppliers, manage the timeline and co-ordinate the running of the day

Relax and Enjoy

Having a Wedding Planner on board will give you the time to enjoy your engagement, the lead up to Your Wedding and the on the day relaxing and spending time with your family and friends. Seeing your vision come to life.

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Month of Wedding Planner

You have planned your perfect day. You want to be enjoying those final few weeks and the Wedding Day itself. We have missed so much time with our family and friends that this is one day where you want to take everything in and enjoy the time, creating those special memories.

Who will make sure that the preparations at the venue are taking place or suppliers have arrived on time?

Sarah Wedding Planner at Elizabeth Grace Weddings

Hello

I don’t know if we have met yet, I am Sarah the planner behind Elizabeth Grace Weddings. I have been part of the world of weddings for over 15 years. Having planned and been part of hundreds of weddings each one individual and unique. I am passionate about what I do and creating your perfect day.

So What is a Month of Wedding Planner

I start to work on your wedding from about 6 weeks before your Wedding Day. Giving you the time to relax and enjoy the lead up to your wedding. I will be the key point of contact for your suppliers and I will confirm any last minute changes, but most importantly I will be the first person on site on the day and the last to leave. I will know what your vision for the day is and how you want the day to run from our meetings and our detailed plans.

Month of Wedding Planner Details

  • Detailed review meeting to discuss all of your plans
  • Review of all supplier bookings and contact details
  • Contact all of your suppliers and introduce myself. Advise them of my role in the final lead up to your wedding day.
  • Attendance at final venue meeting and other key supplier meetings as required
  • I will be the point of contact for all suppliers and the venue during the final month
  • Detailed wedding schedule and on the day timeline, created with final confirmation of supplier details, access and arrival times and roles and responsibilities on the day.
  • Weekly update of progress during the final weeks, and exclusive WhatsApp group.
  • Final details meeting a week before the wedding
  • Full On the Day Co-Ordination

Investment: – £1500 Fixed Fee (if the venue is further than 1 hours drive from my home, overnight accommodation will be added)

Lets Talk

To book a call click the diary link

Sarah x

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Hello

Hello,

For the first blog on the Elizabeth Grace Website I thought I would introduce myself and my role as a wedding planner. Over the coming weeks I will give more details about all of the services that I offer and blogs of real weddings, I will also be writing about traditions, wedding etiquette, readings and fun ideas.

A brief introduction about me. My name is Sarah and I have worked within the wedding industry for over 15 years. My experience started when I worked as a waitress in a local hotel in their banqueting department. Over time I became an event manager, head of department onto become a director of an event catering company but I wanted to follow my passion, of planning and organising weddings. This passion has lead to the Launch of Elizabeth Grace Weddings.

A little about me personally. As well as a business owner, I am a wife and mum. My husband a chef who has worked at some well known establishments and a business owner. My son is a funny, gorgeous, Harry Potter and Lego mad 8 year old.

My role as a wedding planner. I offer different packages to my clients, and it very much depends on the level of support that each couple requires from me as to which services I offer and which fits best with my clients. I have experience of working at Dry Hire Venues, Marquees, Hotels and many more. Each venue requires different levels of support for couples. So does the number of suppliers on the day. I offer a full planning service, this is perfect for couples who do not have the time to dedicate to planning their ideal wedding. It also fits perfectly with couples who are planning to get married away from where they are living, for example a marquee in a parents garden, who would like to get married by the Sea but live in London. My Final Month and Wedding Management package, has been designed for couples who have planned everything themselves but who would like to hand over the final month, and co-ordination and management of the day to me. This service is popular with couples who have planned a wedding at a Dry Hire Venue, a Marquee at Home or couples who have lots going on during the day, where there may be guests to move between different venues or where a ceremony room needs to be turned around for the wedding breakfast. My Bespoke Planning Service, gives couples the opportunity to plan elements of the day themselves, but who want to have a single point of contact and someone who has been part of the planning journey, who understands there wishes can pull together all the final details.

Every wedding that I work on is personal to the couple and no one package fits all. I am always mindful of the couples wishes and plans and I understand that it is your day. I will advise and guide you through the planning journey but all decisions will be yours and no two of my weddings will ever be the same.

To arrange an initial consultation or to find out more about the services that I offer please drop me an email: sarah@elizabethgraceweddings.co.uk

Love from

Sarah x

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