Time and place of meeting for worship
In appointing the time and place of the marriage it is desirable that the registering officer should be consulted in order that he or she may be present. (In cases where the registering officer is unable to be present see 16.47.)
a. Marriages in England & Wales
Although Friends' marriages are exempted from certain provisions of the Marriage Act 1949, nevertheless it has been decided by the yearly meeting that marriages shall be solemnised on any day within the hours enacted for marriages generally (between the hours of eight in the morning and six in the afternoon) in a meeting house or other place to which the public has access and where a recognised public meeting for worship is regularly held at least once every calendar month.
For the solemnisation of marriages according to the usage of Friends it is not required that the premises should be registered for marriage, but area meetings are cautioned against appointing such meetings for worship, particularly in the case of smaller recognised meetings, unless they are held in premises known locally as places of public worship after the manner of Friends.
There is legislative provision for the solemnisation of marriages in hospitals and private houses when exceptional circumstances exist, that is where one of the persons to be married is seriously ill and is not expected to recover and cannot be moved to a place at which a marriage could normally be solemnised. Any exceptional arrangements require close consultation between the Recording Clerk, the registering officer, and the superintendent registrar.
b. Marriages in Scotland
In Scotland a marriage may be solemnised at any hour and place; the use of a meeting house therefore is not obligatory. The meeting for worship has to be specially appointed by or on behalf of the area meeting (16.27-16.29). The area meeting should be satisfied that there are adequate reasons why the marriage could not be solemnised in a place where a regular public meeting for worship is held, and that a sufficient number of Friends will be able to attend at the time and place proposed to ensure that the meeting for worship is rightly held in accordance with our usage.