Post # 1
There is no UK law. There never has been. The Scottish legal system is completely different from the legal system of England and Wales and that of Northern Ireland.
In particular, Scotland has VERY different marriage laws from England. It always has. Even in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice there is passing comment regarding it (mention that Lydia and Wickham are heading to Gretna to marry).
I’m happy to go into further detail, but please stop referring to restrictions on marriage in the UK when you really mean in England.
Post # 3
As an American bee, I am ignorant of UK laws…but I know in some countries (not sure if it’s England or where) that there are time restrictions as to WHEN you get married. Is this true, even if you don’t get married by a church/religious body? I will admit I know the difference between the countries but not the difference in wedding laws and customs! I appreciate this post… a very important geographical distinction.
Post # 4
@love108: The time restrictions on weddings were lifted in Scotland about ten years ago and in England and Wales last year. Civil registrars are often still time restricted but that it’s a more a bureaucracy thing than the law, I believe.
There is also a big difference in who can perform the ceremony between the different systems and where the ceremony can take place.
Post # 5
I know that in Northern Ireland they still have the remnants of a “posting the banns” sort of thing, where you have to declare your intent to marry at least 14 days before the ceremony, and you can only have your ceremony at a registered venue if you want it to be legally binding. So you can’t get married in your own backyard unless you register it as a venue! It all seems a bit archaic (and inconvenient!) to me.
Post # 6
I keep coming across this thread and meaning to post…
Sorry OP… I do this all the time. It’s just easier to use “UK” as shorthand than to say “England and Wales” all the time.
But obviously I can see how this could be very frustrating, especially to Scottish nationalists.
Post # 7
@Rachel631: It’s not that I’m a nationalist, at least not in the sense of being in favour of separation (as I’m firmly undecided on that), but there are at least three very separate legislative systems in the UK and the differences between them are such that really you can’t refer to anything as “UK law”.
It’s not like it’s just minor differences here or there, or that they came about with devolution, the UK has never had a unified legal system and there are quite distinct differences between the three jurisdictions (with Scots law being more unlike English/Welsh and Northern Irish law than the other two are distinct from each other).
Post # 8
@SpecialSundae: No, you’re absolutely right. As I said, I just use it as shorthand because it’s simpler to say that than “England and Wales”. Takes less time etc. But, of course, you are 100% correct!