While it might seem difficult to believe, the lockdown is finally coming to an end. It’s a gradual process. June was less strict than May, and July is set to be less strict than June. Eventually we’ll arrive at something resembling normality – but it’ll take a while.
Weddings which have been postponed for weeks can finally get the go-ahead. The government have set out the new rules – but given that the guidance is evolving almost constantly, it can be difficult to keep track of exactly what’s allowed and what isn’t. We’ve had a look at the guidelines and tried to work out what’s permissible and what isn’t.
How many people can I invite?
After July 4th, we’ll be able to get groups of more than thirty people together, but only in certain places. These include any licenced wedding venues, and as such you’re technically free to have a wedding as normal. Having said that, the government still advises venues to that the cap of thirty people still applies. For the sake of clarity, just ask the venue in advance how many people you’re allowed. The maximum applies to all of the guests you’ll be bringing, photographers, caterers, photo-booth attendants, and other freelancers, but not to staff employed by the venue.
However, legal restrictions must still be adhered to, and ceremonies should be conducted as quickly as possible. Interestingly, the new guidelines specify that food and drink aren’t allowed at the ceremony itself, except where they’re for the purpose of solemnisation – which is a word that even those who’ve recently gotten hitched might not be familiar with.
Can we sing?
The singing of hymns and other songs is completely unthinkable, as doing so would expel tiny droplets from your mouth. Obviously, this presents a risk during a pandemic. But singing isn’t the only musical activity that’s forbidden: woodwind and brass instruments present an unacceptable risk, and so too does amplified music. If your DJ plays their stuff too loudly, then your guests will be forced to raise their voices, which carries the same sort of risk.
If you really need a singer as part of the ceremony, then you should install a plexi-glass screen in order to protect the audience from stray spittle.
Is it two metres or one metre?
There appears to be some confusion over whether we should stand two metres away from one another or one metre. The short answer seems to be that two is still better, but one is fine as long as you’ve got other risk-mitigation measures (like facemasks) in place. In fact, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have everyone wear facemasks throughout the ceremony – it’ll allow you to cram more guests into a smaller church or reception hall, and you can remove them when it’s time for the wedding breakfast.