We didn't quite expect a summer like this one with wedding venues and religious buildings firmly shut to all ceremonies, and then postponements being normal for most of 2020. And as we continue to live in unprecedented times, the latest setback has delivered a further blow, not only for couples planning a wedding, but for their suppliers too.
The Prime Minister, has announced that from the 28th September 2020, a marriage ceremony and reception may be conducted for no more than 15 people with social distancing in place, which is a blow for couples who have been planning for a reduced guest list of 30. This figure does not now include anyone working at the ceremony, and the restrictions may be imposed for up to six months. The guidance varies in different parts of the UK so we suggest you check with the local register office for a civil ceremony in approved premises, or an officiant, if the marriage is to take place in a religious buildng. Your venue, or wedding planner will have to adhere to Covid-19 Secure guidelines and should also be able to advise on any last minute changes to procedures.
A wedding is stressful enough at the best of times, but having to leave out all but a handful of your close family and friends is no fun. So when we can expect the traditional wedding to resume, and if it is to be held during 2020, what does it mean to hold a wedding Covid-19 Secure environment? Here's what we know. Right now it's definitely not as you dreamed it would be, but if you were planning a small ceremony anyway, then it is possible. However if you don't want the current restrictions on guests, and social distancing guidelines (which could be in force until March 2021), to overshadow your big day, our advice is to get in touch with your venue and any wedding suppliers you had booked, and look forward to planning your wedding for 2021.
Get the latest advice for Civil Ceremonies and Receptions in the UK and Scotland
All civil ceremonies, weddings and partnerships that are normally booked through the Registration Service in England and Wales, are being processed in date order, and you may be unable to book a date or give notice of marriage until the situation changes. We recommend you to check these pages for updates on booking a civil ceremony or giving notice. https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships. and //www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships/give-notice
The Official Advice on Weddings in the UK and Scotland
Here is the UK Government's official advice for holding a wedding ceremony in a post covid environment. And the official advice for weddings and ceremonies in Scotland https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnership-registrations/pages/purpose-of-guidance/
The Church of England
In the light of the announcement on 22nd September 2020, further guidance from the COE will be published shortly. We strongly recommend checking the following links for further information. https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/church-updates-guidance-weddings-and-baptisms-light-coronavirus
The Wedding 'Rules' and Covid Secure Venues.
Right now the 'rules' are confusing and in many cases, inconsistent, especially between devolved administration, but it is clear that for the remainder of 2020, and for the early months of 2021 that the number of guests able to attend will give couples plenty to think about on their guest list alone. Here's what you need to know. If this guidance is unpalatable, and we feel it might be, the only solution is to postpone the happy day until the situation changes. If you want to go ahead, you can hold the ceremony within the current guidelines and have a proper 'do' at a later date. It is important to remember that the wedding suppliers also have to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines so give them a call and see what they are able to help with? The pandemic will end at some point, and however difficult it is right now to have to postpone, a wedding can be re-arranged for better times when the couple, their family and friends will celebrate and remember it afterwards for all the right reasons.
Find Information and Wedding Planning Tools.
For couples who have postponed their dates until later this year or for 2021 and had already booked suppliers, there is much to re-organise and we advise you to do this quickly. Luckily most couples have been pleased with their suppliers and are not cancelling their wedding plans, but don't leave it too long as there will be an unprecedented demand for good wedding services around the UK. Typically wedding fayres and exhibitions are a great source of face to face information but you might have to search for an event to attend as there are fewer than normal this year. Nearly all shows will have been placed on hold until the current situation improves. One of the south west's longest serving show organisers, Love Actually Wedding Fayres, have dates for shows they anticipate will take place during 2021 and once guidelines allow these to take place safely. https://www.loveactuallyweddings.co.uk.
Bridal Retailers and Wedding Services.
From 15th June 2020, brides will be able to make appointments for UK bridal shops which are are now open with social distancing guidelines in place.
Here at Wedding Whispers, we are updating the revised service policy for bridal shops and other wedding services, including wedding car hire and florists here. There is expected to be a surge in demand for 2021 weddings, so get ahead, look at our featured wedding suppliers and see the new issue of Wedding Whispers magazine, due out shortly.
Image: Bentley Mark V1 by RR Elite Cars.
Image: Courtesy of Dartmouth Weddings.