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British Marine holds positive discussions with the Law Commission regarding weddings on boats

Published on: 28 October 2020

On Tuesday 27 October, British Marine and the Law Commission held a roundtable meeting with representatives of the Passenger Boat Association (PBA) to discuss potential changes in law which would allow wedding ceremonies to take place onboard boats.


The roundtable meeting was a result of a yearlong discussion which has now seen the Law Commission publish a public consultation proposing that weddings should, as a matter of law, be able to take place on vessels on inland and coastal waters.  

Currently, the law only permits wedding ceremonies on board vessels which are permanently moored. However, under the proposed scheme, a wedding could take place anywhere that the officiant responsible for the ceremony agreed was safe and dignified, including onboard vessels. 

This means that, potentially, weddings could not only take place on board larger passenger boats, but also smaller private, commercially chartered vessels.

Following the roundtable event, Sam Hussaini of the Law Commission said:

We welcome and encourage members of British Marine to consider the provisional proposals and to respond to the consultation to let us know what you think. The consultation is open until 3 December 2020, and details about how to respond are available at” 

Commenting on the meeting, PBA member, Peter Green, Owner of Thames Steamers said: “It was extremely useful to discuss these proposals with the Law Commission which could undoubtedly lead to exciting business diversification opportunities for the domestic passenger boat industry post COVID.”

Kerry Harris from Hobbs of Henley also commented: “It was a valuable insight and discussion into the proposed plans for future weddings. We are very excited at the prospect of being able to hold a ceremony aboard one of our vessels and are confident there is a market for this.” 

British Marine will be submitting a formal response on behalf of the industry.


For more information, please contact Brian Clark, Head of Public Affairs, Policy & Research