Here we break down the guidelines published by the Government for weddings and civil partnerships in England, including the latest changes for receptions…
Small weddings were given the go ahead in England from 4th July, with guidance laid out by the Government on how to celebrate, whilst limiting the spread of Covid-19 as much as possible. These rules were to extend to small wedding receptions as of 1st August, but this has sadly now been postponed further.
Many couples will be confused and frustrated by this latest change. The list of restrictions is hefty and needs careful consideration if you do choose to proceed with a ceremony at this time.
Below we’ve laid out some of the key points from the latest guidelines for weddings for you to consider;
- Ceremonies should only take place in a COVID-19 secure environment
- Ceremonies advised to be kept as short as reasonably possible for it to be legally binding
- Venue managers will have discretion over when they consider it safe to open
- No more than 30 people should attend a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing
- This maximum number includes the couple, witnesses, officiants and guests. It also includes any staff who are not employed by the venue, such as photographers, security, but does not include staff employed by the venue.
- All parties should adhere to social distancing guidelines (2 metres or 1 metre with risk mitigation)
- Hands should be washed before and after the exchanging of rings, and rings should be handled by as few people as possible.
- Where an infant is involved in proceedings a parent/guardian or member of the infant’s household should hold the infant.
- Singing, shouting, and raising voices should be avoided – even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used.
- The playing of instruments that are blown into should be specifically avoided.
- Organs can be played for a ceremony, but should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use.
- Large wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place after the marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation. Small wedding receptions, for no more than 30 people, were due to be allowed from 1st August but this has now been postponed.
- For now, any post-wedding celebration should involve no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households.
- Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend
- This guidance remains under review and may be updated in line with the changing situation.
To find out more about these guidelines, read the gov.uk document in full now here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships?fbclid=IwAR3pmy3dt25zJOR3VKrUcBZtAPUrumdTKRy8MwVI5W5RNsSaG6wBh_aduh4
If you do decide to go ahead, we’ve got more details about planning a small wedding here.
(Main image credit: Rick Liston https://rickliston.com/)