When it comes to planning your wedding, there are a hundred and one things to consider before your big day, from the venue to the catering to the outfits.
However, an outdoor wedding can present even more difficulties, including the subject of licensing.
Although most couples won’t have given licensing law much thought when preoccupied with planning for your special day, it’s really important to make sure you know exactly what you need to do in order to follow the right regulations and to avoid ruining your big day over something so trivial!
With that in mind, we’re going to give you a rundown of everything you need to know about alcohol licensing outdoors.
Different types of licenses
There are a number of different licenses available and the venue you’re using will determine whether you need a license.
A premises license authorises any permanent premises, whether it’s a bar, a restaurant, or a hotel, to sell or supply alcohol on its property. Alongside this, an individual that works at the establishment must also obtain a personal license as the Designated Premises Supervisor, which authorises others to sell or supply alcohol.
For premises that operate on a temporary basis, such as a marquee or community hall, a TEN (Temporary Events Notices) authorises the premises to serve or sell alcohol on a short-term basis.
This guide by the UK Government offers more detailed guidance on each of the different licenses.
Do I need one?
If you’re using the outdoor space of a permanent premises, you’re unlikely to need a license as these establishments should have their own licenses in place.
For example, if you’re holding your reception in a marquee or on an outdoor terrace on hotel grounds, the hotel premises license should be in place. However, when booking the venue, make sure to ask your coordinator about any requirements.
On the other hand, if you’re holding your wedding on private or public ground, such as local woodland or an open field, you will require your own TEN, but only if you’re charging your guests for the alcohol. If you’re serving alcohol for free, then you don’t need a license.
For more details on the restrictions of TENs, check out this page.
How do I get one?
There are numerous ways you can go about obtaining your TEN for your wedding and, due to the Licensing Act 2003, it’s really quite easy to sort out.
If you’re running your bar through an organisation, they should sort out the license as part of their service, but make sure to check they have everything in place!
Alternatively, companies such as Hospitality Training Solutions can take it all off your hands and process an application for you, giving you one less thing to worry about when planning your big day!
However, if you wish to sort out the license for yourself, you need to contact your local council, which you can find here. You can apply online or in writing, which will need to be at least 10 working days before the event, and pay a fee of £21.
If you apply for the license in writing, you’ll also need to send a copy of the TEN to the police once the council have made their decision.