Outdoor weddings are becoming increasingly popular, which is hardly surprising as tying the knot outdoors seems endlessly quaint and romantic.

We spoke to Lake District Country Hotels who said: “If you’re planning on getting married outdoors, you’ve probably already thought long and hard about your outfit, the decor, your guest list, and the food you’re going to serve, but have you thought about which licensing you may need?”

“With all the excitement of a wedding, licensing can often be overlooked, but it’s a really important consideration.”

With that being said, we’ve put together a quick guide to whether you’re going to need a personal alcohol licence for your outdoor wedding.

What is a personal alcohol licence?

A personal alcohol licence is a licence designed to ensure that anyone who runs or manages a business or pub which sells alcohol is able to do so in a professional and responsible manner.

Upon acquiring a personal alcohol licence, a person is then able to act as a designated premises supervisor for a business or pub which sells alcohol. You can apply for personal alcohol licence courses with Hospitality Training Solutions.

Will you need one for an outdoor wedding?

In short, you’re not going to need a personal alcohol licence to host an outdoor wedding but, if you’re going to be working on a bar at an outdoor wedding, either you or someone you work with will need one.

Which type of licence might you need?

Despite not needing a personal alcohol licence if you’re not personally serving alcohol, you might still need another type of licence for an outdoor wedding, which is a Temporary Events Notice (or TEN). These can be required if you’re holding a licensable activity on unlicensed premises in England or Wales.

A licensable activity could include:

  • Serving hot food or drink between 11 pm and 5 am
  • Holding entertainment e.g. music, dancing, indoor sports
  • Selling alcohol
  • Serving alcohol to members of a private club

However, there are some restrictions. To acquire a TEN, your outdoor wedding must not be hosting more than 500 people at one time (that includes any staff working at your wedding), the event must not last longer than 168 hours (the equivalent of 7 days), and you must be 18 or over to apply.

Similarly, you can only get up to 5 TENs during the course of a year and a venue is allowed up to 15 TEN applications each year, as long as the length of the events does not accumulate to 21 days.

How to apply for a TEN

To apply for a TEN, you should contact your local council no later than 10 clear working days before your wedding takes place. You’ll also have to pay £21 as an application fee.

Hopefully, this guide has cleared up some questions you may have had about which type of license you may need for an outdoor wedding; you can find out more about TENs on the gov.uk website.