A question I often get asked is “Can we get married in the tipis”? I would love to be able to give a straight forward yes, but English marriage laws permit me from the easy answer!! There really is nothing more beautiful than an outdoor English wedding ceremony, but unfortunately there are a few legal limitations to this. Hopefully these will change but at the moment the Home Office rules state that a suitable roofed structure must be licensed by the relevant County Registrar and approved by the Fire Officer. In short, this means no to a tipi or marquee. However a lot of venues are getting around this ruling by having approved summer houses, gazebo and even bandstands. But still for some couples this still is not quite enough and having the freedom to be in a field celebrating with your family is something quite liberating.
A lot of couples are now choosing to hold an outdoor blessing or humanist ceremony so having the freedom to have their wedding where they want. So the location can be in the field you always walk the dog in or the tipis you have fallen in love with. Unfortunately though these aren’t technically legal, so it requires the couple to do what I like to call ‘the paperwork’. Couples I have worked with have turned up in their jeans a few days before (or even after) their actual wedding date, to complete the paper work at the registry office, almost like the signing of the contract and it has hold no more importance to them than just making it legal. A few days later they have then been able to hold their outdoor ceremony the way that they choose to, reflecting their own beliefs and style. With the great British weather it is always advisable to have a contingency plan. If it is a rainy day, it will not last the whole day, and you may be able to hang on a short time to wait for the storm to pass, but failing this you could relocate your wedding in to your tipi. Having your ceremony conducted by a Humanist means that you have the freedom to express your vows to each other in your own words, and choose readings and music which mean something to you as a couple. If you would like to discuss the possibilities of having a tipi wedding further, please get in touch I am always happy to talk weddings and tipis.