When is a good time to get married?

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We do not profess to have the relevant expertise in psychology to answer that question and leave that to others, but can answer it from a legal perspective.

Why write about it? The law changed on the 1 October 2012.

Before that date under the Marriage Act 1949 and Civil Partnership Act 2004 couples were only permitted to marry between the hours of 8am and 6pm. Indeed criminal offences could be committed where marriages took place in England and Wales outside those hours, even leaving aside the question of whether such a marriage was valid.

Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 however, those provision have been repealed. Accordingly you can get married at whatever time of day, or night, you want. Well, you can as far as the law is concerned.

In practice however, this relaxation may have little or no effect. It is reported that the Church of England and Catholic Church will not conduct evening ceremonies. For civil ceremonies premises that have Marriage Licences will only be able permit clients to marry in the evening if the Registrar can be persuaded to work "out of office" hours.

We are aware some Local Authorities are thinking of extending the hours the Registrar will work, the latest we have heard is until midnight. It will be interesting to see how many do and what the premium fee will be for a ceremony in the evening. Couples saving the cash on having the traditional afternoon and evening function however, are bound to see this as attractive proposition.

Will it ever lead to a Vegas style wedding, impulsive, and often drink induced, at the end of a night out? Definitely not - the relevant period for giving notice of intended marriage must still be given.