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Outdoor Weddings: Everything You Need To Know About Getting Married Outside

Weddings – 18.06.20


Getting married outside is a unique and vibrant experience that we are proud to offer at our magical Cheshire wedding venue, Combermere Abbey. Throughout the pandemic, special rules were created that allowed couples to tie the knot in the great outdoors. And the great news is these rules are here to stay. In this article, we’ll break down the new legalities surrounding outdoor ceremonies as well as offer some inspiration and tips for an outdoor wedding to remember.



Parts of our ancient wedding laws date back to the 1830s, so it’s no wonder they don’t reflect the needs of society today. Whilst they’ve been incrementally updated throughout the years, they can still be difficult to navigate and complex to understand.

Under previous laws, couples could legally marry in any licensed venue. The majority of the ceremony could be completed in an open space, however, the signing of the register had to take place indoors or under a structure.

COVID changes become permanent

In July 2021, temporary measures were introduced that allowed couples to wed outdoors in a wider range of venues. This was originally to help stop the spread of COVID-19 but it also tied in with a long-running review into the buildings-based system for civil weddings.

The temporary measures were due to expire in April 2022, but following public consultation, they have now been made permanent. Religious venues will also be able to open up their outdoor spaces for legally binding weddings.

This means that any wedding venue that is already able to legally hold wedding ceremonies can hold ceremonies outside as well without a separate civil ceremony licence.

To find out more about the legalities of outdoor weddings, take a look at the government guidance here.

Outdoor weddings at Combermere

Here at Combermere, we’re well-versed in hosting the most beautiful weddings both inside and out. And our outdoor weddings are one of the things that makes a wedding at Combermere Abbey so special.

Many of our couples choose to make use of our lovingly restored walled gardens which are exclusively yours for your wedding day. You’ll be surrounded by the romance and charm of nature and the stunning gardens making the perfect backdrop to your day.

Many couples choose to get married in the Edwardian Glasshouse, surrounded by the enchanting fruit tree maze that stretches for half a mile. In fact, many of our couples choose to get married inside the Glasshouse with the doors open, gazing out into the maze and surrounding gardens.

Benefits of an outdoor wedding

Natural décor
Outdoor weddings are uniquely charming in many ways. Picture this, your wedding day surrounded by luscious greens, a dreamy sunset with a soft breeze around you whilst you exchange your vows. That sounds perfect, right? Outdoor ceremonies draw on the natural beauty of the outdoors without you having to stress about coordinating perfect décor.

Whether you keep things natural and minimal, or bring in colours from bright spring flowers or warm autumnal hues, you’re sure to have a stunning wedding.

Fantastic photo opportunities

Outdoor weddings also mean that you can have unique photography that focuses on the beautiful scenery of your wedding day. The photographer will be able to take limitless shots filled with natural sunlight and effortless scenery.

Outdoor weddings also provide so much more space for photographers and videographers to move around and capture the best shots of your big day.

Full of opportunity

With outdoor wedding comes the opportunity to create an intimate and romantic day with just your nearest and dearest around you. Equally, if you’re wanting to throw the party of the year, the right venue can provide the perfect setting.

Outdoor weddings combine the perfect combination of fresh air, scenic views and plenty of space to dance the night away.


What is the best season for outdoor weddings in the UK?

We host a plethora of outdoor weddings here at Combermere Abbey, and they’re always distinctly beautiful throughout every season.

The obvious choice for a season for an outdoor wedding is summer, of course! The weather is warmer, our stunning gardens are in full bloom and you’re more likely to get sunshine (although it’s never guaranteed here in the UK!).

Outdoor spring weddings also bring the promise of blossoms and birdsong, creating a gorgeous natural backdrop for exchanging your vows and summer brings us rich colours in the gardens and fantastic clear blue skies.

However, autumn weddings can also be fairly mild and on a clear day the warm hues can really add a beautiful backdrop to your wedding day. You can always provide your guests with some cosy blankets to snuggle up with whilst they watch you tie the knot.

And although you may not want to brave the outdoors in the winter, our Glasshouse means that you’ll always feel as though you’re surrounded by nature and fantastic garden backdrops, no matter how cold it is outside.

Learn more about outdoor weddings
at Combermere Abbey

If the idea of an outdoor wedding has got your heart racing, why not contact a member of our team to find out more. We can always make your day bespoke to you and tailor each detail perfectly to make sure you have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.