Did you know that wedding venues in Yorkshire and the rest of the UK were not allowed to offer wedding ceremonies after 6.00pm. That is until October 2012. Finally a new law came into effect that replaced some element of the Marriage Act of 1836. One wonders what else in that Act could be ever so slightly outdated…
That’s surely some time ago. In 1836 the Marriage Act stated that people could only marry between the hours of 8.00am and 6.00pm. The reason for this was to ensure you married the right person. The thinking went that you needed to be able to see them properly to ensure that you weren’t about to get swept away by a dark and handsome stranger.
Strange it took so long. It’s an age where we are constantly bombarded with new technology, advances in medicine, scientific discoveries and more that impact on the way we live our lives. This law seems from another age. Literally.
Of course the churches are also having to change their rules in line with this. Perhaps church officials will need to be available now to marry couples after hours, so to speak. Church facilities need to be opened in the evenings and not just for praying. But why not. Like all other businesses and institutions, they will have to offer what their consumers wish for.
Seems that the UK is slow with some changes to its traditions. Only in 2002 the law was changed that allowed wedding ceremonies to be conducted outside of churches, registry offices or specifically licensed facilities.
Perhaps its a hankering we have for stability that makes us hang onto traditions that don’t make sense anymore. With electricity we don’t need to avoid evening weddings. We can see whether we are meeting up with the right person in front of the marriage officiant. Or not.
Or perhaps we are just used to believing that the law is right and can’t be pushed over to make changes for new ways of doing things. We are just so used to following the letter of the law it doesn’t occur to us that it is in our power it could be changed. And should in fact be changed to be more in line with modern trends and thinking.
It is surprising sometimes to see the UK living back in the land of its ancestors. Actually England and Wales in this case as Scotland changed their law regarding evening weddings some time ago already, It’s otherwise such a forward thinking, all inclusive society that one is fairly surprised to stumble across a law from 1836 that has only had changes made in the past year.
At the end of the day folk didn’t think the change was worth hassling over. And that’s probably it.