Covid-19 and Weddings: Further changes to Weddings during Covid-19
We had previously anticipated a complete relaxation of the restrictions from 21st June 2020, however in light of the impact of the new Delta variant a number of restrictions still remain in place.
In respect of weddings, the following changes will be taking place from 21st June:
- Number of Attendees
There will no longer be a maximum cap for attendees. Instead, the number of attendees at weddings, civil partnerships and receptions will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.
In a COVID-secure venue, where the premises are operated or used by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body (such as a place of worship or a hospitality venue) your venue manager will need to tell you the maximum number of people who will be able to attend.
For events taking place in other venues, (such as a garden of a private home or on private land), organisers will need to make the space as safe as possible. A marquee or other structure in a private garden must have at least 50% of its walled area open at any time for it to be classed as ‘outdoors’ and for the limit based on safe capacity to apply.
- Tables and Service
Whilst the number of attendees will be determined by venues, guests will be told to sit on tables of up to six people and receptions will be table service only.
- Risk Assessments
A COVID-19 risk assessment must be completed for the COVID-secure venue at which a wedding, civil partnership ceremony, reception or celebration is being held. This will generally be undertaken by the venue manager or event organiser.
It is a legal requirement for a COVID-19 risk assessment to be completed for all events with over 30 attendees (including the bride and groom) that are taking place in other venues (including in gardens of private homes).
If you are hosting your event outdoors in your garden, on private land or in a public outdoor place (such as a park or countryside accessible to the public) you may have up to 30 attendees (including the couple, but not including anyone working) without conducting a risk assessment.
These events must not happen inside at private dwellings, unless they are urgent marriages where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover. These can take place in private dwellings with up to 30 people. This includes enclosed structures in gardens of private homes.
- Venue Viewings
Viewings can continue to take place with appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures in place at any venue which is not required in law to remain closed.
- Singing and Dancing
Congregational and communal singing is also “strongly advised against”.
Dancing is “advised against due to the increased risk of transmission” and dancefloors must remain closed, however the couple’s first dance is allowed.
From 1st July 2021 until April 2022, approved wedding venues (such as hotels) will be allowed to host wedding ceremonies in a move designed to allow more guests to attend events impacted by social distancing rules.
This change will also apply to civil partnerships and the government will launch a consultation to see if it will extend beyond April 2022.