It has been THE strangest year, longer really, for the wedding industry, for brides and grooms, for families of the bride and groom and we’ve all been sat waiting, each month, each week for news as to how and when weddings can change.
Our beautiful, glorious, extravagant, luxurious & simple weddings have all had to take a back seat and we’ve seen many a bride and groom have to constantly change their plans and struggle with whether to go ahead with micro weddings, elopements, a small wedding in a registry office with a plan for a blessing with a wedding celebrant at a later date or postpone their dates, two, three or even four times.
Venues have closed, suppliers have gone and the joy of getting married has turned into a stressful occasion.
With so much confusion proceeding this one, was it going to be clear? Is it? That really depends on your venue!
We asked Leanne Elliott, a wedding Celebrant who we love to work with, a few questions.
Are wedding numbers still capped?
“The news came out that weddings will no longer be capped, which made a lot of us jump with joy, no more worrying about how to take people off the guest list!
And yet then the guidance went on to state that instead the number of attendees at weddings, civil partnerships and receptions will be determined by how many people the venue or space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place and until those social distancing measures are removed you are in your venues hands.”
At Your Beautiful Day UK we know that a few couples have had some disappointments and we’ve been helping with some rearranging since the announcement.
We asked Leanne why she thought venues are cancelling or postponing since the latest announcement?
“Every venue has to do a COVID-19 risk assessment of the venue or outdoor space and depending on the space and their assessment, the venue manager knows the maximum number of people who will be able to attend. Some have been postponing due to the size or once more, asking couples to reduce the wedding party.”
What about Celebrant led weddings?
“This has been tricky all the way through, because we’ve still got such an archaic system, we are still one of the only countries who don’t allow Celebrants to legalise marriages, sadly. So we have slipped through the net a few times with the guidelines, however the The Wedding Task Force and The College of Independent Professional Celebrants, who I’m qualified with, have been fighting hard for clarity!
And as we see it, there is good news for those who and are having a ceremony with a Celebrant! You can legalise your marriage at a registry office, which you could do any day of the week by the way, (when they have space) and then have your bespoke, hand crafted wedding take place anywhere you can get permission, in a garden, in a non-wedding licensed hotel, in a field, on a beach, in a woodland, basically anywhere you can get the landowners permission.
The June 21st rule means that if you have a wedding taking place in garden or on private land with more than 30 guests you or your wedding planner, like the team at Your Beautiful Day UK will need to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment to determine how many guests will be able to attend, and make the venue as safe as possible. So depending on how big the garden or piece of land is will depend on how many guests you can have!
You can still go with the marquee option, however you still have to abide by the rule of “50% of its walled area must be open at any time for it to be classed as ‘outdoors’ and for social distancing inside must be adhered to.”
What about music at weddings under the latest rulings?
“We’re almost there, except for the all-important entertainment that we all love at weddings” said Leanne. “And yet let’s not forget the day is about two people expressing their love for one another, beginning their journey together and sharing their love story with their loved ones.
Working with a wedding planner at this crucial time can really help you work through the guidance especially as when you finish looking at it, you are then pointed in the direction of Step 3 for guidance around singing, dancing and performance at weddings.
Under Step 3, indoor and outdoor professional performances can take place, including at a ceremony or reception. It’s knowing that there is a limit on the number of performers you can have and also determining how they can perform with the social distancing required within that all important COVID-19 risk assessment of your licensed venue or the risk assessment at your private spot for your Celebrant led wedding.”
And the other activities like speeches, cake cutting, games, what do we need to know about that?
“We all love to watch the cake being cut, it’s so much a part of the day and is seeped in history, and this along with the speeches can all take place under the new June 21st guidance. We’re just remined that they should all be done in well ventilated areas or outdoors where possible and that we need to be aware of minimising personal contact between family and friends, remembering that some people are more vulnerable than others.
As for some of our old favourites like guests signing a book or the cameras on tables, the guidance is saying that couples should really consider whether they want to do this, or of course, you could have hand sanitisation stations set up on the tables too for hand cleansing before and after contact with anything individuals are going to touch.”
“This has to be the saddest part of the guidance. The joy we all have at wedding is the dancing, well for those of us that don’t have two left feet! But we are still being advised that there is a risk of increased transmission during dancing, except, thankfully for the all-important couple’s first dance!”
Here at Your Beautiful Day UK, our team can help you with your wedding plans, now and going forward into next year and beyond and rest assured, as the guidance changes, as it constantly does, our teams and suppliers will help you understand it by clarifying it as much as we can.