The wedding industry is a sector that has really suffered over the last year of lockdowns and restrictions and many happy couples have seen their special day postponed, cancelled and re-booked – some several times over!


This is devastating for brides and grooms who have had their hearts set on getting married in 2020 or 2021, with a lot of thought, work and money going into their wedding plans which have been pulled from beneath them.


Current Wedding Rules & Restrictions


Hopefully, there is light at the end of the tunnel now, as the UK carefully follows its roadmap to lifting restrictions. So long as cases and deaths remain low and the vaccine programme continues to roll out, the current plans for weddings are as follows:


From 29th March: Marriages can take place for up to 6 people to attend (including the couple).


From 12th April: Weddings with up to 15 guests (including the couple) can take place in locations already permitted to open, with an outside reception.


From 17th May: Weddings with up to 30 guests (including the couple) can take place in locations already permitted to open, with an outside reception.


From 21st June: All restrictions aim to be removed by this date allowing weddings and wedding receptions to take place without limits on numbers.


Careful consideration needs to be given to how you will celebrate your big day. It is worth checking with your venue and suppliers what their restrictions are to avoid being disappointed or finding yourselves in breach of the rules.


These dates are guidelines only, are correct at the time of publishing this article and could be subject to change so please check for the most up-to-date information.


Considering A Pre-Nup?


Whether you have decided to continue with an intimate wedding or are postponing until all the restrictions are lifted, another consideration to make is whether you and your partner would like to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement.


Nowadays it is very common for people to get married later in life or be getting re-married for a second or third time. This can often mean that people have their own properties or have acquired their own assets, wealth, inheritance, or indeed debts, from before they met their future spouse.


Some people are keen to marry but want to keep their finances separate from their marriage. Others who have children from a previous relationship will want to ensure that certain assets are reserved for their children and some people are naturally more cautious and want to have peace of mind on how their finances will be divided should the marriage not stand the test of time.


Pre-nuptial agreements can be quite common in certain cultures and communities. For example, many farming families will use pre-nuptial agreements to ensure farming land and estates remain in the family bloodline for future generations.


Whatever your intentions, it is important to understand how a pre-nuptial arrangement works and seek advice in good time before your wedding date.


Bride to be holding save the date wedding invitations pre-nuptial agreement, prenup advice

How Do Pre-Nuptial Agreements Work?


A pre-nuptial agreement, or pre-nup, is a formal legal document which sets out what would happen to assets such as property, cash and investments should the relationship breakdown.


Whilst they are not completely legally-binding in the UK, they can be upheld by a court so long as it meets the qualifying criteria. Both parties should seek their own independent legal advice before entering into a pre-nuptial agreement and it must be drafted fairly and accurately.


A pre-nuptial agreement must be signed at least 28 days before the wedding or civil partnership takes place and both parties should agree to its contents.  So it is wise to take early advice to avoid straying into the deadline and to ensure your time is then freed up to focus on the preparations for the big day itself.


Should the relationship break down in the future, the prenup will be considered at the start of formal divorce proceedings. Where a divorce is heard by a court, they will investigate its integrity before making a judgement on financial matters.


A prenuptial agreement can be a sensible, fair, and transparent way to formalise financial matters and agree the outcome in the event of separation. The ending of a marriage is never easy, but it is important that both sides know where they stand, and a prenuptial agreement does provide that clarity and peace of mind.


Alternatives to a Pre-Nup


It is sensible to have serious discussions with a partner before getting married about what would happen if the relationship broke down in the future. Unfortunately, you cannot always rely on words exchanged during a conversation and a lot can change over the course of a relationship which may make any previous casual agreements redundant.


Many people do not like the sound of a pre-nuptial agreement and they do have some outdated views about them only being used for the rich and famous or being enforced my controlling parents who have doubts about the integrity of the relationship. However, pre-nuptial agreements are becoming more and more popular as a useful planning tool.


It is also possible to enter into a post-nuptial agreement, which is very similar to a pre-nuptial agreement. This can be useful for couples who have missed the timeframe to enter into a prenuptial agreement or whose circumstances have changed and now require some planning.


For all couples, married or not, it is a good idea to have up-to-date, well-written wills. Whilst these cannot dictate how assets are divided if the relationship ends, they are an important tool for passing on wealth to children or other dependents. Trusts are another avenue to explore, if your main concern is passing on assets to children from a previous relationship.


Seeking Trusted Legal Advice


A conversation with a private client or family lawyer may help you to determine what is most important for you to protect, and which tool or agreement is the best way of achieving this. It may be a combination of a couple of tools that will provide you with the comfort or control that you are looking for.


To speak to one of our Family Law experts today, please call 01256 844888, email enquiries@lambbrooks.com or speak to our online chat assistant – who is a real person – that can take your details and arrange for a Solicitor to contact you directly.


We understand that this can be a sensitive topic to discuss and requires some careful consideration. Should you wish to have an initial discussion on your best route forward, we are happy to hold a consultation over the phone or via a video call to find out more about you and help you find the best option for you and your relationship.


Other Articles You May Be Interested in Reading:

Love Locked Down

Could A Pre-Nup Save Your Marriage?

Adulting: Exactly Why You Should Have A Will In Your 30s


The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.