Your Cheshire and Merseyside Wedding - May/June 2022 (Issue 63)

BEACHY VOWS We’ve got our hearts set on saying “I do” on our favourite beach, it’s somewhere that means a lot to us. But we aren’t sure of the legalities now that more outdoor ceremony spaces are licensed. What does it all mean and can we do this? Let me first assure you that yes, you can absolutely have your wedding ceremony on a beach. In the UK, you can easily make this dream a reality. Once you’ve completed the statutory marriage at your local registry office, you’re free to have a celebrant-led wedding anywhere you like. The sky really is the limit when it comes to celebrant-led weddings. Whether you’re planning a ceremony by the sea, in the mountains or even in your own backyard, the options are endless. The recent changes to the law around marriages outside only apply at licensed venues. Although the UK government is considering recommendations from the Law Commission’s review of marriage laws, whereby celebrants will hopefully be able to legally marry couples in outdoor locations other than licensed venues. So, we can’t wait to see all the beautiful weddings that will be taking place in the months and years to come. Sheila Duncan | PLEASE BE SEATED I’ve been putting off the seating plan as the thought terrifies me! Do you have any advice on making it work? Though difficult to arrange, a formal seating chart can make things much simpler on the day, especially when it comes to serving your guests the right food. So, where do you start? First, check the tables and their arrangement. Most venues provide circular dining tables, but they do differ in size and capacity, so this will ultimately dictate your seating arrangement. From here, you can begin grouping your guest list. Our advice would be to keep mixing to a minimum here. For example, if you have a group of friends from university, seat them together. Although you want people to mix and mingle, guests will feel much more comfortable if they’re sat with at least a few familiar faces. As far as positioning goes, etiquette states that you place close friends and family as near to the main wedding party table as possible. This is a way to show their importance and significance and will help special guests feel like a big part of your day. When creating your seating plan we can’t recommend a digital chart enough. Apps like WeddingWire, Wedding Mapper and AllSeated make it easy to plot your wedding breakfast with drag-and-drop functionality to rearrange guests until you’ve cracked it. Natalie Norman | Getty Images 64