Newlyweds in England will be able to share their day with up to 30 friends and family from May 17, woop woop, but some of the traditional ingredients of a good wedding are still off the menu.
The government guidance states weddings will be able to happen provided they are at a Covid-safe venue that has been allowed to open. Here’s what you need to know about how the big day is likely to go.
1. Social distancing has been eased
Instead of instructing people to stay two metres apart away from anyone they don’t live with, people will be encouraged to “exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with Covid-19 and actions to take to help keep friends and family safe”.
The guidance states: “You should always make space for other people to keep their distance if they want to.” A good excuse to avoid that annoying uncle!
2. Dancing is “advised against”
As HuffPost reported, dancing is “advised against” due to the increased risk of transmission – although the couple are still allowed to have their first dance.
So queue up the Ed Sheeran – if you really must.
3. Receptions can take place in a private garden
Receptions can take place indoors (but not in a private home), or outdoors if it’s a private garden. The guidance states: “Although there is no requirement to be Covid-secure in a private garden, the organiser should take all reasonable steps to limit the risks of transmission and must adhere to the gathering limit of up to 30 people.”
An outdoor event is allowed to be “partially sheltered”, so an organiser could set up a marquee “provided that at least 50% of the walled area remains open”. Specific, and potentially draughty, but we’re pretty used to that by now, hey?
4. There’s a wider choice of venues
The couple can pick from a wider choice of wedding venues now, including any restaurant or indoor visitor attraction, like a gallery for instance, as the easing of lockdown restrictions will mean many of these places no longer have to remain closed by law.
They will be able to host events and allow viewings with “appropriate Covid-19 mitigation measures in place”, the guidance says. Wedding night at the museum, anyone?
5. Yes, face masks are still a thing
Face coverings must be worn by everyone, both guests and staff, who attends the wedding ceremony or reception except when they are eating or drinking. Whether you go matchy-matchy with your mask and wedding outfit – think sparkles, florals or 2021 brights – or go full on colour clash, is up to you.
6. You can have indoor performances
Indoor “professional” performances can also be part of the day. The guidance states: “Although there is no limit on the number of professional performers that can perform at a ceremony or reception, the number should be determined by how many the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place between the performers and guests.”
In a slice of shade on the not-so professional artistes out there, up to six people who are in “amateur” choirs, bands or are musicians can perform together indoors, while outdoors, they may perform in groups of up to 30. Cheery!