Along with the reopening of pubs and restaurants, and the lowering of the two-metre rule to “one metre plus”, weddings were also given the go-ahead as of Saturday in England, though slightly different rules apply in Wales and elsewhere in the UK.
In Northern Ireland, pubs and hotels were allowed to open last Friday, while in Scotland outdoor beer gardens can open from July 6, with full re-opening permitted from July 15. Meanwhile, here in Wales, the government has penciled in a date of July 13.
Comprehensive guidance has been published for weddings taking place in England from July 4 onwards, including rules regarding numbers of guests, handwashing, food and drink, and even music.
A maximum of 30 people may attend weddings in England from July 4, and this includes all present such as celebrants and suppliers as well as those who’ve had wedding invites. The couple must both wash their hands before exchanging rings. During the ceremony, no one should raise their voice when speaking, and music should be recorded, rather than singing or playing instruments that are blown into.
Venues should mark the floor to help with social distancing, and if possible improve ventilation and avoid seating layouts where people sit face to face. They may also wish to provide – or advise the wearing of – face masks.
The science behind these rules is to avoid more extra respiratory droplets entering the air and thus being transmitted to others.
Couples are advised against hosting a reception, and food or drinks cannot be consumed as part of the event anyway. Unless they live together, the tradition of a father walking his daughter down the aisle must be adjusted too.