The Fundamentals Of A Wedding
The happy couple – there wouldn’t be a wedding without them. In the UK, the only major requirements for exchanging wedding rings are that both people are aged over 18 (16 with parental consent) and that they’re not already married. There’s also a list of prohibited unions which prevents family members marrying each other, as well as a law which states that the couple must be of different sex at birth – and that includes those people who’ve had gender modification surgery.
The officiator – the person conducting the ceremony must be an authorised agent of the state. In the UK, authorised agents may only be able to conduct ceremonies in certain local government districts and regions, so it’s important to ensure that whoever conducts your ceremony is legally permitted to do so in the region where you intend to marry.
The venue – since the loosening of restrictions a few years ago, the choice of venue has grown massively, but it’s still not a case of being able to get married wherever you please. The venue needs to be licensed to hold legal wedding ceremonies. If you choose to exchange wedding rings in a place not sanctioned by law, then your marriage may not be recognised.
The register – no marriage is official until both parties have signed the wedding register, along with their witnesses and the officiant. Providing that a public notice of intent to marry was posted in the weeks prior to the wedding, then once the register has been signed and all other procedural formalities have been followed, then the exchange of wedding rings is legal and the marriage stands.
The wedding rings – contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to exchange wedding rings at a wedding. Platinum wedding rings are purely symbolic in their significance, and although a very popular and traditional gesture, there’s no law in any region in the UK which states that wedding rings are a legal requirement at the wedding ceremony or thereafter.