25 Jun Coronavirus Restrictions Ease to allow Outdoor Weddings
Over the past three months, COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. We have had to adapt to having birthday parties over Zoom calls, walks with our families from a safe distance and washing down everything that enters our homes with some trusty anti-bac. However, one particular life event that has been hit hardest are weddings. Weddings have had to either be put on hold, performed over Zoom, or even cancelled altogether during these unforeseen circumstances. Couples have had to add hundreds of days to their count down clocks, as they wait anxiously for news on whether or not their big day can go ahead.
The updates, on occasion, have been vague. We have eagerly watched each and every live Corona Virus Daily Briefing in the hopes that we will be given some sort of indication of when weddings can finally go ahead. So, what now?
On Tuesday 23rd June, Boris Johnson once again brought to us a Daily Update, but this one was different. Instead of letting us know the heart-breaking figures our country has experienced, he sent out a message of hope. This ‘hope’ comes in the form of normality. Johnson has confirmed that from 4th July 2020 pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be opened and social distancing measures will be reduced from 2 meters, to 1. Along with this news he had something else to say. Wedding ceremonies can now go ahead! Yes, you read correctly – well, sort of. Before you get well and truly excited, as we did when we listened to the announcement, let’s take you through the details which shed a bit more light on what a wedding this year could mean.
Johnson explained that as of 4th July, outdoor wedding ceremonies can take place as long as they have under 30 attendees. Now, for some of you who have large weddings planned this may not be the news you were hoping for but it is encouraging. We feel that if Covid cases continue to fall then there may be greater relaxing of measures around the wedding and event industry. There is always the option of reducing the numbers for your wedding. We’ve covered the pros and cons of this in several of the preceding Covid-19 wedding blogs so have a peep if you are considering a smaller wedding.
Of course, with this new guidance comes even more regulations we need to follow to ensure we are all keeping safe. To ensure both the happy couple and their guests are as safe as they can be, the ceremony must still take place with the social distancing regulations being followed – so that is a big “no!” to hugging your guests. Along with this new regulation, the Prime Minister also released a statement that places of worship are now allowed to open for prayers and services – as long as they can follow the social distancing guidelines. If you were looking at having a religious wedding, then this is brilliant news! However, we are still waiting on what the exact regulations are going to be surrounding this.
With this new update, obviously also comes uncertainty and caution, which is to be expected. The government has urged that people still take extra care when seeing people – so wedding ceremonies aren’t going back to how they were just yet. However, this does mean that you are able to celebrate your big day with up to 30 of your closest friends and family members. We wonder how many people will choose ‘From a Distance’ by Bette Midler as their wedding song?
The wedding reception, for many, is where the real enjoyment of the day can be celebrated so it’s important to note that large wedding receptions are still not allowed. Receptions can be held for up to 6 people so really only your nearest and dearest. The reception should still adhere to the guidelines of social distancing (i.e. no more than 2 households meeting indoors or outdoors or a maximum of 6 people from multiple households). We know it’s not ideal but the main thing is that we keep safe.
What should I do if I am due to get married soon?
If these latest guidelines mean you cannot get married or the day will be significantly different than you originally envisioned it is advisable to postpone.
Check out our previous coronavirus wedding planning blogs click here for steps you can take now. But in a nutshell check alternative dates with your venue immediately and, once a new date is confirmed, speak with your suppliers to ask if they can change the date.
Whilst the ongoing situation is unnerving, do try and be patient with your venue and suppliers. It’s a tough time for everyone all round and most suppliers are still trying to establish what this means for them and juggle multiple changing requirements from couples.
The update on Tuesday was a massive breakthrough for society; we are slowly but surely getting back to a new kind of ‘normal.’ Although we still have to be sensible and make sure we are taking all the precautions necessary, things are looking a little more positive. Remember, it is still your decision whether you decide to go ahead with an outdoor wedding – you can always still postpone it if you feel it safest to do so. If we can give you one bit of advice, it would be to get your hands on a good wedding planner and events coordinator. They will help keep you up to date on the situation and adapt as and when needed – ensuring you are prepared for all eventualities! We are all still fighting this dreadful virus together and our safety should be priority.