Post It Notes – 1st July 2011: Legalities & Publicity

July 1, 2011

Photography Credit: Assassynation (full wedding coming up on the blog next week!)

I recieved this email from newly-engaged Lisa and thought I’d share my answer with you all becuase I’m sure she’s not the only bride-to-be wondering this…

Hi Kat,
My fiancé and I are looking to get married at Polhawn Fort in Cornwall (after seeing a wedding held there featured on your blog, funnily enough!) We’re complete novices when it comes to non-church wedding practises, and we really liked the idea of having one of our friends perform the ceremony for us. Do you, or any of your readers know if this is something that is possible in the UK? Thank you so much in advance for your help!

Hi Lisa
Unfortunately, right now in England you can only be legally married in a specially sanctioned place – ie church, register office or a hotel/venue with a license. The venue has to have a roof and be moored to it’s foundations (ie it can’t be a boat!) The ceremony must take place between 8am – 6pm and must be performed by someone legally ordained to do so like a priest or registrar.

However there is nothing to stop you going to the register office and doing the ‘legal’ bit – ie signing the papers in a quick 5 min ceremony then having a ‘fake’ (for lack of a better word) ceremony wherever you like and performed by whoever you like and classing that as your wedding ceremony.

My friends Emma & Pete did exactly this and it was amazing! Good luck with the planning.

As a side note, The Any Campaign are tirelessness petitioning to get these strict laws in the England changed. You can keep up with their plans on their website here.

♥  ♥  ♥

If you have any wedding planning questions why not drop me an email and I’ll try to answer them in a future edition of Post It Notes?

While I don’t agree with being controversial just for the sake of it, always remember than having an opinion that sparks a little debate is never a bad thing. The response to Monday’s ‘How to Pose’ article was incredible (although I can honestly say I was surprised that it was even seen as a controversial topic. The point of the post was to inspire and give confidence to the brides that read my site, certainly not to take anything away from professional photographers!)

The positive and negative commnets streamed in (and are still coming through thick and fast.) While initially some people in my position may have been upset by the negative responses, I revelled in all the attention on my little blog… and lo and behold, on Monday I recieved the highest unique number of visitors (including a lot of brand new visitors that have never seen the site before) the blog has ever had!

There is no such thing as bad publicity…but you might just have to be a bit thick skinned to get through it sometimes!


  1. Laura

    Going to check out our first venue today – armed with a bunch of questions…bring it on!

  2. “@JackiBruniquel – Make sure there is lots of pretty ambient light for your reception photographs ie fairy lights or up-lighting. Find out if these are included.”

    As a wedding photographer, I can agree that this is some of the best advice regarding venues – plenty of clean, pretty light can add a whole extra dimension to your images.

  3. Thanks for featuring my tip Kat, I wholeheartedly agree with every sentiment in this article.

    On the business note: I do sometimes have a wobble about my business and brand, worrying that I may exclude some people….but by staying true to myself, and not being too mainstream I am hoping to attract like-minded readers and of course clients. And I guess this will shine through to those who do follow and choose to work with me. xx

  4. BeatleBride

    I can vouch for how stressful looking for a venue can be. After choosing a beautiful Victorian hotel for our wedding the cancelled on us six months before the date! We then thought outside the box and found a youth hostel which was rustic and beautiful and perfect for our 1950s Christmas themed wedding. now, four months before the wedding this venue has also cancelled! Now we are really having to think outside of the box and your advice is really useful. Thanks!

  5. Rebecca

    Thanks for this. My fiancé & I are still struggling to make a decision on our venue, it’s just so scary, so much to think of, especially when our current favourite is just a field!

  6. Leila

    Defo recommend pubs for your reception! I’ve booked one for mine, got the whole pub, two floors and a beer garden, with no hire fee, just a minimum spend! Acers! 🙂 xxx

  7. Rebecca, go for a field! If that’s what you want?! We did it and I know other couples who did it! Get some tents too in case it lashes down. Speak to local land owners or campsites. esp farms that hold mini festivals or markets, they may have some good contacts and ideas re tents, parking, catering, all the bits you need for an outdoor event. Good luck x


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