If the coronavirus pandemic has ruined your big day, forcing you to either postpone or cancel your wedding, then we have some good news.
From 4 July onwards, the Prime Minister announced that weddings and civil ceremonies will be allowed once again – albeit not quite in the way you might have imagined.
If your wedding had been planned to take place this summer, in order for it to now take place post-lockdown there are a number of rules it will need to follow. These include:
- Maximum of 30 people allowed to attend the ceremony.
- Indoor receptions are to be limited to two households.
- Outdoor receptions can have six people from different households.
- Members of the different households will need to adhere to the one-metre social distancing measures.
- Couples will need to wash their hands after exchanging rings.
- No food or drink is allowed to be served or consumed.
- No singing is allowed.
- Fathers cannot walk their daughters arm-in-arm down the aisle (if they’re in different households).
- No wind instruments can be used.
- Organs will need to be cleaned before use.
- Vows and readings cannot be spoken “in a raised voice”.
If reading the rules listed above brings a sinking feeling to your stomach, you’re not alone.
After all, months upon months of planning and excitement typically go into making a wedding as special as possible – it simply wouldn’t be the same hosting one where no singing and dancing are allowed, and there are limited guest numbers.
But, if you’re adamant that you want to get married as soon as possible, in order to adhere to the rules listed above, you’ll need to think carefully about a number of things. From who to invite to where you host the ceremony, read on below to discover our step-to-step guide on how to plan a wedding around the government’s post-lockdown restrictions.
Step 1: Find A Venue.
The venue you choose to hire will impact the number of guests you’ll be allowed to invite; indoor venues will only allow two households inside, whereas outdoor venues will hold up to six different households.
Therefore, you’ll need to think carefully about who is likely to come to your ceremony and then choose a venue based on this number.
Step 2: Set A Date.
As with any wedding ceremony, you’re going to need to set a date for it so that your guests can make plans in advance.
While the temptation may be to book the ceremony as soon as possible, the more time you can give your guests, the more available they are likely to be.
Step 3: Choose Your Guests.
With a limit of 30 people allowed in each wedding ceremony, you’re going to need to think carefully about who you invite.
If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, for example, these 30 guests will also only be allowed from six different households. Therefore, you need to think about your guests on an individual basis, weighing up who lives with who and whether or not they should be invited.
With there being a greater risk of catching COVID-19 for people aged over 60 years as well, you’ll also need to consider the risk profile of your guests. The last thing you want is for a close friend or family member to catch the deadly virus as a result of your wedding.
Step 4: Don’t Book A Caterer Or Band.
It may sound strange but, in order to adhere to post-lockdown wedding restrictions, you can’t book a caterer or band.
That means there’ll be no food and drink allowed, and no crazy drunken dancing from any of your loved ones to the band’s music.
If you’re dead set on having a band there though, there is a slight caveat. Bands which don’t have a singer or feature a wind instrument of any kind could be allowed but may be more difficult to find at short notice.
Step 5: Social Distancing.
When it comes to your wedding, you’re going to need to think up ways in which your guests will be encouraged to adhere to the government’s one-metre social distancing measures.
From the wedding ceremony itself to the reception that follows, social distancing is vital to ensuring your guests stay safe and at a lower risk of catching COVID-19.
Therefore, on the day of the wedding itself, set up a range of systems which clarify how social distancing rules can be stuck to from start to finish.