When Can I Have a ‘Normal’ Wedding Ceremony Again?

Following the Government’s announcement on Monday 22nd February of their new roadmap to exit lockdown, there have been lots of questions about when weddings can return to normal and what weddings look like in the meantime.

What do we know about weddings at the moment?

  • Ceremonies with six guests from 8th March
  • Weddings (with a ‘reception’) for 15 from 12th April
  • Weddings (with a ‘reception’) for 30 from 17th May
  • Weddings without restriction from 21st June

Currently, we know that from the 8th March, wedding ceremonies are permitted with six guests. This includes the couple, but does not include the staff required. This can take place at a licensed venue that is permitted to be open at that time.

There is a stay-at-home order in place until 29th March, so we would expect these weddings to only take place in the form of an essential legal ceremony, however it appears the ‘deathbed’ weddings caveat, where weddings could only take place in exceptional circumstances such as one party being close to death, will no longer be in place from 8th March.

From the 12th April, weddings will be permitted to take place with 15 guests, and have a ‘reception’. However, based on last year’s rules (no further detailed guidance has been published yet), it looks like this will just be a sit down meal, in a venue that is permitted to be open.

From the 17th May, weddings may take place with 30 guests and have a reception. Again, we expect this to be a seated meal.

From the 21st June, weddings are to be ‘restriction-free’. There is no cap on the guest numbers, and the Government guidance states that social contact will no longer have ‘legal limits’. This date is subject to change though, and we’d expect to get one week’s notice of that.


Who is included in the restricted numbers at weddings?

We are awaiting detailed guidance to be published on this, but following the restrictions place on weddings during the summer of 2020, we anticipate that the wedding couple and children of all ages would be included in this number, however the suppliers and staff present at your wedding would not count.

Are receptions allowed at weddings with guest limits?

The Government guidance currently available does state that receptions are permitted for weddings of 15 and 30, but it has no further detail. Again, looking at the limits put on weddings of 30 last year, we would expect this just means you can have a wedding breakfast and must still observe social distancing measures.
We believe that receptions can continue ‘as normal’ on and after June 21st.

What does ‘restriction-free’ mean at a wedding?

Again, there is no detailed advice on this published yet, but with limits on social contact expected to lift at the same time, we believe this means you can have dancing, singing, speeches yet again. Of course, you’re not obliged to – if you don’t feel comfortable, we suggest talking to your venue to plan your day in a way that works for you.

{all the above was taken from 'CONFETTI' the wedding magazine}


If you would like to check my availability or would like any more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.

To contact me please email: timdownercelebrant@gmail.com or call / text message: 07557803814

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