This blog is dedicated to sharing news of a progressive pilot scheme I have recently heard about, which could revolutionise the way that wedding ceremonies are conducted and lead to far increased opportunities for venues to welcome more weddings.
This initiative is particularly exciting for tapping into the trend for more personal bespoke ceremonies conducted by independent celebrants and the surge in demand for ceremonies in outside places and spaces which currently fall outside of the law for a legal wedding.
Staffordshire County Council, working in partnership with Civil Ceremonies Ltd, has announced that couples marrying in the county are now able to have a ‘Combined Wedding Ceremony’ under a new pilot scheme. The scheme will, for the first time, allow marrying couples the opportunity to have their legal formalities conducted within their celebrant-led ceremony.
By working in partnership with celebrants, couples will have the option of having their celebrant-led ceremony AND their legal ceremony at the same time, meaning that they will not have to go to the register office at a different time or date to do the legal formalities. There will be much more scope for using the outdoors for the bulk of the ceremony whilst still keeping within the legal framework (and the permanent roof structure) for the required parts.
Adam Cooper, Registration Team Leader at Staffordshire says, “Whilst Registrars must still conduct the legal marriage ceremony in an approved venue, the initiative to work alongside celebrants in the area, must surely create a great new option for couples. It will enable them to have everything in one place and we are delighted to be involved in the scheme”.
Venues wishing to find out more about this new and exciting pilot scheme and how it could potentially be run in different registration districts should, in the first instance, contact Anne Barber (Managing Director of Civil Ceremonies) who is coordinating the scheme on firstname.lastname@example.org.
By getting in touch and exploring being an early adopter of this scheme in your area, you are putting your venue front and centre for growing trends in the market and are in a position to guide and advise your couples on that something different and often more fitting to their informal and personal wedding needs and vision. Independent wedding planners are reporting that year on year more of their couples are seeking highly-personalised bespoke ceremony options (outside of the remit of the Registrar-led ceremony) and this is set to increase across the mainstream market over the coming years.
If you aren’t so familiar with the role of independent celebrants and how this differs from a civil ceremony, you may find this post we wrote last year useful, click here.
And thank you to wonderful independent celebrant Jenny Knight of Knight Ceremonies and her clients for the use of the many images of the beautiful and bespoke ceremonies that illustrate this post.
Would you like to know more about key wedding trends and how your venue can be the best version of itself?
Our autumn in-person SHINE training dates for venues are booking up fast – do take a look HERE for all the details on what you can gain and what we cover. Sessions run on 2nd November and 23rd November in London and always sell out early.
1. IMAGE: Kristy & James (Family Home in Surrey) Family-centred ceremony
PHOTOGRAPHER: Lynsey Grace // 2. IMAGE: NICOLE & CHRIS, PLANNER: Louise Perry Weddings, VENUE: Lancaster House, PHOTOGRAPHER: Paul White Weddings // 3. IMAGE: Amanda & Emerson – ceremony across the lake from their guests. VENUE: Waddesdon (Dairy), PHOTOGRAPHER: Adam Riley // 4. IMAGE: Lisa & Luke (Lord of the Rings themed woodland ceremony), VENUE: Lismoyne Hotel (Hampshire), PHOTOGRAPHER: Dan Marshal (DM Photography) // 5. IMAGE: Jenny & Dan, VENUE: Newton Park Barn (Bucks), PHOTOGRAPHER: Paul Mockford // 6. IMAGE: Amrit & Shamil (Hindu/Sikh wedding), VENUE: Millbridge Court (Farnham), PHOTOGRAPHER: supplied by the couple – photographer unknown // 7. IMAGE: Holly & Ben (handfasting), VENUE: Green Barn Estate (Newdigate), PHOTOGRAPHER: Charlie Campey. // 8. IMAGE: Thushani & Tim (Sri Lankan Lamp Lighting ceremony), VENUE: Gildings Barn, PHOTOGRAPHER: Studio without walls. // 9. IMAGE: Phil and Amy, VENUE: Rivervale Barn, PHOTOGRAPHER: Senior Mac, IMAGE: Tom and James (Gildings Barn)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Lisa Devlin.