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Weddings and receptions – what’s possible under lockdown?

It’s something of an understatement to say that this has not been the summer we expected; if you were planning a wedding, did you go ahead (obviously following the government guidelines)? If so, all best wishes and happiness!

If you’re one of the many couples who have put their wedding plans on hold as the UK navigates its way out of lockdown, that’s so understandable whilst there’s still a lot of concern, confusion and frustration as weddings throughout the country are subject to changing restrictions.

Over 73,000 weddings and civil partnerships have been postponed

Since the Covid lockdown started, over 73,000 weddings and civil partnerships have been postponed, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The Government department calculated this eye-watering number based on the historic trend and numbers of weddings over the past few years between 2014-2017.

Unfortunately, this number is just the start, because the figure doesn’t include wedding ceremonies planned abroad that have also been postponed.

Is there any good news? Yes! As you’ll know, wedding ceremonies were allowed to start again in England from July 4 as the lockdown was slowly eased. This doesn’t mean lavish receptions can re-start, but the regulations are being reviewed on the 15-August. And the current limit on the ceremony numbers is still 30 (socially distanced) guests and suppliers (eg the photographer counts in this number).

And the ceremony itself has changed, for example singing is still banned, and there are a whole set of rules and regulations for the ceremony hosts as well as any reception afterwards. Check the government site for the latest information.

What cannot currently take place:

  • You are limited to a maximum of 30 people at your ceremony, with receptions actively discouraged and any celebration after should follow current social distancing rules (which at the moment is very limited to two households or six individuals).
  • The traditional buffet food service is not advised.
  • Singing is not allowed; musical instruments that are blown into are also actively discouraged
  • Food and drink is not permitted at the ceremony (unless part of the official religious ceremony)
  • Any larger reception or parties are not allowed under current lockdown rules but these are being reviewed on the 15-Aug.
  • Local restrictions apply in smaller areas, for example some cities have re-started tougher lockdown measures

What can you do?

As bad as all of that seems, there are still ways to have a great, if slightly different, wedding – and even a few positives about something as big as a postponed wedding.

  • The good news is you can go ahead with your wedding ceremony, even though it will be with a smaller group of 30 people
  • You can still have live entertainment at the ceremony, but no singing or trumpets… we live near a venue that’s had a string jazz band, piano and classical musicians. All sounded fantastic.
  • You can still have a wonderful wedding – but the day-long party for several hundred is not currently possible and you’ll have to be selective with your list of thirty invitations.
  • Of course, this does give you more time to look at alternative dates and get creative on an alternative theme (sustainable continues to grow as a trend).

Embrace Sustainability And Share Your Dress

Lifting each other up is something that we need now more than ever. You might even be able to make someone else’s wedding that much more special by embracing sustainability and sharing your dress.

When do we hear more?

The government has said it will publish its revised roadmap on the 15-August. Hopefully, this will provide good news on slowly and safely re-opening ceremonies and receptions.

We’ll keep you updated.