The latest guidance on weddings in England
Article Published: Wednesday 24th June, 2020 - 9:48am
The government has announced that wedding ceremonies will be allowed to take place in England from 4th July 2020 with a maximum of 30 guests in attendance.
While this is fantastic news for couples hoping to hold a small-scale ceremony, there seems to be a lot of confusion concerning how it's all going to work, does it cover civil ceremonies as well as religious ceremonies, and are receptions allowed to take place too?
Here at Wed, we're keeping our eye on government guidance to deliver the most up to date information for you (updated 29 June 2020).
Here's the latest information...
- weddings and civil partnerships will be allowed to take place from 4th July.
-at present, legally-valid ceremonies or formations are strongly advised to go ahead only where they can be done in a COVID-19 secure environment.
-no more than 30 people should attend a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 secure venue.
-any receptions that typically follow or accompany marriages or civil partnerships are strongly advised not to take place at this time.
-small celebrations should only take place if following social distancing guidelines - i.e. in groups of up to two households indoors, or up to 6 people from different households outdoors.
-the government is working with the wedding and civil partnership celebration industry on how receptions that typically follow or accompany marriages and civil partnerships could take place safely in the future.
-venue managers will have discretion over when they consider it safe to open, and the officiant should also be content that it is safe to proceed.
-the venue should decide to remain closed or not proceed with the marriage or civil partnership if they are not able to safely adhere to the guidelines.
-during all activity linked to the marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation, all parties should adhere to social distancing guidelines. From 4th July, 2 metres or 1 metre with risk mitigation (where 2 metres is not viable) are acceptable.
During the ceremony or civil partnership formation:
-it is advised that ceremonies are kept as short as reasonably possible and limited as far as reasonably possible to the parts of the ceremonies that are required in order for the marriage or civil partnership to be legally binding. No food or drink should be consumed as part of the event unless required for the purposes of solemnisation.
-where the exchanging of rings is required or desired for the solemnisation of the marriage or the formation of the civil partnership, hands should be washed before and after. The 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 and music:
- people should avoid singing, shouting, raising voices and/or playing music at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult or that may encourage shouting. This is because of the potential for increased risk or transmission from aerosol and droplets.
-activities such as singing, chanting, shouting and/or playing instruments that are blown into should be specifically avoided.
-where required for the marriage or civil partnership, only one individual should be permitted to sing or chant, and the use of plexi-glass screens should be considered to protect guests.
-in recognition of the important of communal singing in marriages and civil partnerships, it is suggested you consider using recordings.
-you are advised only to play musical instruments that are not blown into. Organs can be played for the ceremony but should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use.
-all individuals involved in the ceremony should be signposted to the current stay alert and social distancing guidance - and that they or members of their household should not attend if they are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19. If either member of the couple have symptoms of COVID-19 the ceremony should not go ahead.
-wherever possible, adhere to social distancing of at least 2 metres or 1 metre with risk mitigation (where 2 metres is not viable) between households.
-this may require marriages or civil partnerships to be adapted to remove practices that would otherwise have brought people into contact with one another, unless required for the marriage or civil partnership to be legally binding. Where this is the case precautions should be put in place to minimise contact and ensure the timeframe is as short as possible.
-visitors should avoid touching property belonging to others.
-it is critical for these guidelines to be observed to keep you and your family and friends as safe as possible.
(Source gov.uk - for more info please click this link)
If you're wondering whether your wedding can now go ahead, contact your wedding venue or, if you have one, your wedding planner. Do be aware that some wedding suppliers may still not be able to operate under current guidelines.
These guidelines are constantly being reviewed so if you have a larger wedding planned for later in the year, it could still be allowed to take place should the government update the guidance.
If you're thinking about holding an intimate wedding ceremony and seeking a venue, take a look at these venues across Devon and Cornwall which specialise in small-scale weddings. Click here.
If you're thinking about postponing your wedding, please find some advice from wedding planner Jenny Wren Weddings & Events here.
If you're newly engaged - congratulations! - and starting to plan your big day, please find some tips here.
Sending you all lots of love from Team Wed xxx
Nova Wedding Photography
Main image: Clare Kinchin