As efforts to promote social distancing increase amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, The Church of England have updated their guidance, stating that only five people should be in attendance at wedding ceremonies…
In light of the pandemic and restrictions on social gatherings, The Church of England (C of E) have announced that wedding ceremonies need to be scaled back to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The latest guidelines state that guest numbers should be limited to the legal minimum of five people, including the priest, the bride and groom and two witnesses.
The C of E also recommend that priest and witnesses should keep a social distance, and that ‘traditions such as the priest touching the rings or the couple’s hands as part of a prayer or blessing are not required.’
Similarly, the reading of the banns, which would normally take place during public worship, would not be possible as these services have been suspended. The church now say that “couples can instead apply for a licence through a different procedure and those whose banns have already been read can proceed.”
Of course, many couples would prefer to postpone their wedding to a later date, and the church have stated that they will work with them to arrange this wherever possible. Alternatives to postponement also include live streaming, or continuing with a small ceremony and holding a larger reception in the future.
The Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, commented: “Couples and parents, friends and families will have been planning for months, even years for their special moment, whether a wedding or a christening.
“Now it can go ahead – but with only the minimum required in attendance. You may need to cancel or postpone.
“Whatever decision is made, God’s love and blessing will still surround all those who would have been there that day.
“Prayers will still be offered, and there will be a special day to look forward to in the future.
“We encourage those who would have been there to hold couples and families in their prayers, and pray that everyone will know God’s love is holding them at this time.”
For more information and updates visit churchofengland.org.
Of course, if you’re having a civil ceremony this may not be the case. We’d advise talking to your wedding venue to discuss the possible options.
We’ll be bringing you all latest updates on how adapt your wedding plans, and what to do if you wedding gets postponed in the coming days.
(Main image credit: Lumiere Photographic)