Bespoke Wedding Ceremonies in Cambridgeshire

In September 2020 The Law Commission undertook a consultation to overhaul the decades old legislation around UK marriage laws. Most of these laws were written in the 1940s and focused around how and where couples could wed. Many faith groups were consulted to inform the proposed updates including the Pagan Federation.

The Pagan Federation worked tirelessly on behalf of the Pagan community who wished for handfasting ceremonies to be viewed with the same legitimacy as a civil service (providing the paperwork is in order). Specifically, that our places of worship are usually outside, and that having to choose a venue from a prescribed list (often related to another faith, or none) is detrimental to the celebration of our faiths wedding ceremonies.

Through the bittersweet coincidence of the consultation occurring mid-pandemic, the government temporarily allowed ceremonies outside, which inadvertently acted as a trial period for our requests.

In September 2022 the Law Commission published their findings and the regulations were updated accordingly. These now focus on the officiant, and not the location. Thus allowing ceremonies to take place in woodlands, groves, and stone circles. Additionally, extra measures were brought in to provide protections against forced, or sham marriages.

We are thrilled to see Cambridgeshire County Council has been proactive in promoting this; announcing that its celebrants can now officiate at handfasting’s anywhere in the county. They report that they have already had “around half a dozen bookings” so far. This is a huge step forward in The Pagan Federations mission to ensure that Pagans have equal rights to those of other faiths.