Here’s How To Have A Covid Secure Wedding When All Restrictions Lift on 19 July

Enforced mask-wearing and social distancing might be coming to an end soon, but no one wants to host a superspreader event: our experts share tips on how to limit risk while still making the day special...

Wedding chairs

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Anyone who's got a wedding on the horizon or has had to reschedule their wedding this past year will be well aware that the 30-person guest limit on weddings lifted on 21 June. Woo! That means big weddings are finally allowed, with no capacity limit at all on guest lists.

Until 19 July, face coverings are still mandatory. Communal singing indoors isn't allowed, unless it's a small group of singers and social distancing is maintained. Venues must be Covid-secure and are only allowed to offer table service for food and drink, with six people maximum at each table, and risk assessments will need to take place at every type of venue, even if it's your home.

If a reception takes place on private land, and outdoors (such as a garden), dancing will be advised against but not technically illegal. Of course, the other lockdown rules around weddings are still quite restrictive. Guests, for example, aren’t allowed to dance – only the bride and groom - plus you also can’t have buffets, just sit down meals.

Weddings after 19th July

So, now for the big question: when will weddings go back to normal in the UK? As for weddings after the 19th July, masks, social distancing and other lockdown rules won't be enforced anymore and curbs on singing, dancing and live performances will be scrapped too. Whether all of this is sensible is a whole other question indeed.

Wearing masks might not be enforced at weddings after 19th July, but no one wants to host a superspreader event, so the question of how to have a covid-secure wedding still seems to be on everyone's minds.

Right now, 'How does covid-19 spread in weddings?', 'Is it safe to go to a wedding during covid-19?' and 'How to plan you wedding safe during covid?' are the biggest questions around weddings on Google Trends.

It's not just the obvious concerns either, questions like 'How to convince people of social distancing?' are trending too. It appears many engaged couples are not just contemplating whether or not to have their wedding this year, but how exactly to plan it knowing their family and friends may feel vastly different about rules around social distancing and guest lists.

With that in mind, we asked leading wedding planning destination, Hitched, for all of their best advice on how to have a covid-secure wedding that also feels as special as ever. And thanks to editor Sarah Allard, we have four tips you absolutely need to make your covid-secure wedding still feel like the most memorable day of your life...

Get creative with sanitising

There are lots of ways to make your guests feel safe and keep them healthy without sacrificing the look of your day. Your guests will be opening doors, picking up glasses and touching chairs so the best way to contain any spread of germs is to have lots of hand sanitiser and wipes available. However, this doesn’t need to feel clinical and there are great ways to get creative with your sanitising.

For example, you could include personalised bottles of sanitiser in welcome bags that can be left in guests’ hotel rooms or sent to their home ahead of the ceremony or could put packets of sanitising wipes in pretty tissue boxes. Alternatively, you could have serving staff pass round little bottles of luxury hand sanitiser on trays or walk around with a large bottle that they can pump out so guests don’t have to touch it.

Consider your seating arrangements

Naturally, over the past year ceremonies have changed to keep guests at a distance and with the latest guidance, you may want to speak to your venue to discuss guest numbers and ceremony layout. Circular or semi-circular seating is becoming more popular, with spaced out rows of guests around the edge and the couple in the centre. Small bench seating that holds two to three guests can be placed ‘in the round’ with the couple at the centre to allow everyone to get the best views while keeping everyone safe.

Guests can even be assigned ceremony seating in the same way as a reception. This way you can avoid seating elderly grandparents or at-risk loved ones near someone you know may be more exposed in a key worker role.

Customise your masks

As masks remain a requirement for anyone moving around the venue, why not give out custom wedding face masks to your guests; it's so much better for the environment than disposable ones and can be a keepsake that your guests can take home to wear again.

Your nearest and dearest will love personalised ones with their names and wedding date on but you could also get simpler fabric masks made in a colour or design that matches your wedding theme. Cute ways of distributing them include leaving them in an organza bag on each seat in the ceremony room or have ushers handing them out as guests arrive.

Try fun alternatives to singing and dancing

While couples can now have more than 30 guests at their wedding at a socially-distanced capacity, dance floors must remain closed and dancing is 'strongly advised against'. The guidelines also state that while a professional can sing at your wedding, groups and congregational singing is strongly advised against and if it does need to take place, it should be done outdoors.

However, this doesn't mean that you can't have fun at your wedding! There are lots of alternatives to singing and dancing. Why not set up some outdoor wedding games for your guests to enjoy? You could even host a sports day where your guests are divided into different ‘houses’ to compete. Just make sure you have sanitising wipes on hand to clean things like croquet bats between guests. If your venue doesn’t have the outdoor space, or the weather isn’t great, you could set up a board game on each of your tables for those guests to enjoy. You could build a theme around it - naming your tables after the games that are on them and working them into a creative wedding centrepiece.

If you’re not sure if you still want to have the musical entertainment you originally planned, why not go down a more untraditional route and hire a comedian to entertain your guests after dinner? This is a great option for a couple who love panel shows and live comedy - your guests will be talking about it for weeks afterwards.

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