Claret Catering - A Dorset Family Business
Dorset WeddingsCloudy skies finally clear to make way for outdoor weddings!

Cloudy skies finally clear to make way for outdoor weddings!

It’s been 27 years since the laws allowing people to marry outside of a church or registry office were changed. Before that, you could only say your vows in a church or a registry office, but back in 1994 when the new law came in, so did the opportunities to get really creative with your venue choices – posh hotels, museums, stately homes, any permanent venues were all on the table of choice. The only place you couldn’t get married was outside – your dream of those gorgeous flower arches and rows of white fold-up chairs would only ever be a reality by getting married outside of the UK – at least until now! From July 2021, that dream of a wedding out in the glorious sunshine or perhaps even under the stars is now a real opportunity. 


1. Bring the romance of nature to your wedding 

This could be your way of making your day more personal to you. Bringing the outside into your ceremony with flower arches, petals being thrown on the grass by your beautiful flower girls and boys. Soft pinks and pastel florals with the natural greens of the trees work wonderfully together. Soft lighting above for a late afternoon ceremony casts a romantic atmosphere all around.   

2. A truly family affair

Outdoors and noisy children go so well together. If you are inviting children to your celebrations – the chance to run around and let off steam rather than fidgeting all through the ceremony and having to be carried out of the room by a red-faced parent is a win-win. Creating a chill-out area behind where the I-dos will take place will be a welcome haven for those with little ones and even have the opportunity of having your dog for the whole ceremony sitting in the shade under a tree.   

3. Choose somewhere amazing! 

Dorset offers such a wide range of venues, from the woodlands of the New Forest in the East of the county to the sea views along our Jurassic coastline, and of course, the stunning countryside that North Dorset has to offer, we are spoilt for choice. With the spectacular views that some Dorset venues have to offer now is the right time to talk to your wedding venue and chat about how to make use of this new location.  

4. Outdoor venues and alfresco menus

What could be better than the glorious British weather on your special day? Carrying the thought further and eating outside could be an option too. With Capri style tents rather than full marquees you can enjoy all the happiness of outside dining under the shade of cover if needed.   

A wedding day with lasting memories

We have a wealth of knowledge of coordinating and feeding groups of people outside, so do let us know if this is something that appeals to you and how you would like your wedding day to be. We can certainly share our experiences and work alongside you to make your day as stress-free as possible by being your caterer and bar services supplier.

As a trial period from July 2021 to April 2022 couples will be able to hold outdoor ceremonies which mean more guests can attend – which is great at a time when numbers are limited due to social distancing.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said “A couple’s wedding day is one of the most special times in their lives and this change will allow them to celebrate it the way that they want. At the same time, helping venues to meet the demand for larger ceremonies.”

Under the current rules, ceremonies being held at approved locations, such as a hotel, stately home or public venue must be inside a room or other permanent structure. The last time that marriage legislation was changed was in 1994 before then ceremonies could only take place in churches and registry offices in England and Wales.

There are hopes that if successful over the coming months then maybe private gardens, beaches and parks could be used as potential wedding venues in the future.

At Claret – we think this is great news for all couples and as Sarah Haywood from the UK wedding Taskforce group tweeted “some good news – Let’s keep it coming !“

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