Confusion over Wedding Rules!
Here we are into July and I can imagine that most of you couples are still in limbo not knowing what if anything to do! There has been so much confusing and conflicting information about what can or cannot be done regarding getting married here in the UK.
Most venues are still very reluctant to open for weddings because the guidelines for the UK have been an issue with clarity especially where officiants are concerned. At one stage registrars had the go ahead to marry couples but only the couple and 2 witnesses. Then Humanists were given the go ahead to hold ceremonies but this excluded celebrants! Seeing this as an unfair discrimination several celebrants wrote to their local MP’s and aired their concerns over the changes in the marriage law and the government at last agreed that celebrant led weddings could go ahead under strict guidelines. And so for now the latest guidelines are that weddings can go ahead with up to 30 people only, but be mindful that included in those 30 people are the couple, the celebrant, the photographer and so on, so your guest count will be considerably lower, and of course because of the distances between bodies some venues cannot accommodate 30 people and are only allowing a smaller number to abide by the safety guidelines.
The wedding itself will look and feel totally different, safety precautions will and must be put in place, your celebrant, venue staff and other services will have all carried out a risk assessment and will be acting upon this accordingly. Seating of guests and mixing of different households and “bubbles” will be incorporated with the strictest of consideration to everyone and to follow guidance as will all aspects of the ceremony, from cleaning the rings, to signing the certificate. Another major issue and difference is that there will be no reception celebration, no sharing of food or drinks, no after party or gathering of any kind!
So what should you do?
This is the big question that is on every couples mind at the moment and unfortunately there is no magic answer. My advice at this stage would be to contact your venue and see what guidelines they are following and putting into practice and go from there, it may be the case that to help you have the wedding you want the only option is to postpone until later in the year or even until next year. I personally cannot see things going back to normal any time soon and like many other celebrants and suppliers we too are in limbo. I know that a great deal of time, effort and money has been spent and months of planning have passed, but the most important thing at the moment is the health and safety of you, your family and the nation. You can turn the negative into a positive and take the extra time you have to re-evaluate your plans, tweak things, add things and make your day even more perfect than it would have been. You still have the support of your family, your friends, your celebrant and your suppliers, and most of all you still have your love for each other married or not. x