Are you planning a winter wedding? Here's the rules when it comes to getting married
With so many changes happening to our way of life at the moment, getting married during coronavirus can leave you anxious and overwhelmed rather than excited and over the moon.
But waiting till it all blows over is becoming an unknown factor and many couples have had it with putting their lives on hold, especially as some have already had to postpone their nuptials for months.
So if you have decided that your wedding is going ahead this winter one way or another – there are some things to consider and be aware of before those invites go out. Here’s our guide to what is and isn’t allowed at weddings during the pandemic.
What is the issue with getting married during coronavirus?
Currently, scientists believe that Covid-19 is mainly spread through respiratory droplets generated by coughing and sneezing, as well as contact with contaminated surfaces. Hence, the guidance on regular cleaning, washing hands, wearing face masks, and social distancing.
All of these things are considered at an elevated risk when it comes to weddings with bringing friends and family members together from different households.
And this led to a complete ban on marriages and civil partnerships at the peak of the pandemic during those national lockdown months.
But at the same time, the government also recognises that getting married is an important and vital part of society so things have been slightly relaxed in recent months to allow small weddings and civil partnership celebrations to take place safely.
So what is the current guidance in England?
Government guidance has been outlined in England – although this differs for other parts of the UK such as Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
The guidance is to ensure the safest way to carry out these celebrations and limit the spread of coronavirus infection.
Since August, wedding receptions have been able to take place at Covid-secure venues. But are not allowed to take place at people’s private homes or gardens.
Then at the end of September, further restrictions were imposed limiting the capacity of such celebrations to no more than 15, including the couple getting married. Social distancing must be adhered to and it must still be held at a covid-secure venue only.
Staff, officiants, and third party suppliers are not included in this number of 15 – just guests and the couple themselves.
These are legal requirements and the venue could face hefty fines if they allow a celebration to go ahead which does not follow this guidance correctly.
Further guidance for weddings
- A reception must consist of a sit-down meal only in a covid-secure environment
- Venues are only allowed to stay open until 10 pm. However, guests can still stay overnight at the venue if this is the arrangement
- During the celebration – both ceremony and reception – guests should remain seated as much as possible and within a 2m distance
- Attendees will need to wear face masks except when eating and drinking
- General dancing is not permitted but the couple can still have their first dance
- Indooor and outdoor entertainment is allowed as long as it carried out in a socially distanced way
- Speeches are recommended to take place outdoors or in a well-ventilated area indoors
- And you can still enjoy cake cutting, and party favours just as long as they are done in a social distanced and covid-secure way
It may seem like the restrictions have stripped back a lot of tradition, but as long as you are sensible you can still enjoy all the best parts of a wedding safely. And then finally be able to start yur life together as a married couple.
Your venue will have more information on making sure you adhere to the rules, but if you want to read up more on getting married during coronavirus – go to gov.uk.