So, yesterday saw the big news that we were all waiting for. Not the news of a wedding, but the news of when weddings can return to normal.
The Prime Minister yesterday (22nd February 2021) announced that weddings could go ahead with no restrictions from the 21st June 2021 at the earliest. With so many weddings affected over the last year this is very welcome news for the wedding industry and for those couples who are looking to get married.
While a summer wedding may, for some, still seem a long way off. Especially as this date for weddings going ahead without restrictions may still slip back a few weeks. There is also some good news for those couples who are looking to have their wedding during the spring of 2021.
According to the roadmap provided by the government ceremonies could restart as early as the 8th March as long as those attending are limited to 6 people or less. From the 12th April the number of attendees increases to 15 people. Then from the 17th May this number is increased further to 30 people being allowed to attend a wedding.
The Prime Minister has made it very clear though that these are only provisional dates as lockdown restrictions will be driven by the ‘data’ rather than the dates that have been put forward.
At the moment it is also unclear if this number of attendees is for guests only or also includes the suppliers (e.g. registrars, venue staff, wedding photographer, etc).
This information is for England and the devolved administrators for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be setting their own rules.
At the moment the guidelines on gov.uk show that weddings can go ahead with up to 6 people in exceptional circumstances.
The road map that was presented by Boris Johnson on the 22nd February is set out in four steps:
From the 8th March 2021 weddings will be able to go ahead with 6 people without needs to have exceptional circumstances.
From the 8th April 15 people will be allowed to attend a wedding, subject to restrictions.
From the 17th May the number of people allowed to attend a wedding will be increased to 30 people, subject to restrictions.
From the 21st June the will no longer be restrictions on the number of guests allowed at a wedding.
It is worth noting that these dates are not concrete and before each step goes ahead the government will review the current data regarding the coronavirus. Depending on these review dates may be pushed back.
The road map presented by the Prime Minister has given the wedding industry some encouragement, however, it is important to note that the dates used for each step are provisional and subject to change.
From the 8th March weddings in England can go ahead, with up to 6 people attending.
The first thing that you need to think about is if going ahead with restricted number is right for you. If not, then it is worth looking at postponing the date of your wedding. It may be that you decide that you still want to go ahead with the wedding ceremony and have the wedding reception later.
Whether you decide to postpone the full wedding or the wedding reception it is worth checking with your venue and other suppliers to see if they can accommodate this and if there will be any costs involved.
If you are postponing the date of your wedding you will also need to check the availability of your wedding registrars. With the number of weddings that were cancelled or postponed during 2020 the second half of 2021 and 2022 will be a busy time for the wedding industry.
You can be optimistic about a summer wedding. Not only because the weather should be a bit better, but also because Boris Johnson have announced that he is looking to lift all restrictions on weddings by the 21st June 2021.
Remember though that the dates outlined in the road map are provisional and subject to change.
If the governments roadmap stays on track there should be no reason why a wedding in the autumn/winter 2021 should not go ahead.
Currently, masks and face covering must still be worn during the wedding ceremony.
Hopefully from the 21st June you will be able to have your wedding ceremony and wedding reception without any restrictions.
It is looking like it could be a busy time for weddings from 21st June 2021 so it would be a good idea to book your suppliers and wedding photographer early.