No Singing, Touching Or Trombones: The Government's New Covid-Safe Wedding Guidelines
Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies will be allowed to go ahead again from 4th July, but only 30 people including the couple, guests and staff are allowed to be present.
The guidelines also state that social distancing should still be maintained, and people not in the same household should stay 2 metres from each other, or one metre with extra caution (that means you can't be walked down the aisle arm-in-arm unless the person escorting you lives in your household).
Plus, venues should mark the floors with tape or paint to help people to distance if they regularly hold weddings or civil ceremonies.
The guidelines add that singing should not take place at all, and the two parties getting married must wash their hands before exchanging rings - which should also be touched as little as possible.
Other rules include keeping ceremonies "as short as reasonably possible" - sticking primarily to the parts of the ceremony that make the marriage or civil partnership legally binding.
Playing music at a volume where people may have to shout over it is also advised against, as is the playing of wind instruments, "because of the potential for increased risk of transmission from aerosol and droplets."
Furthermore, the guidelines advise avoiding speaking with a raised voice during the service - such as when saying vows.
When it comes to religious rituals, the guidelines state that washing should now be done before arriving at the venue, and people 'should not wash the body parts of others'.
People should also now avoid fully immersing themselves in any water, and water based rituals shouldn't splash others who aren't partaking.
When at a religious service, attendees should also avoid touching or kissing any objects which are handled communally, and books, prayer mats and hymn sheets shouldn't be reused to avoid contamination.
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Consumption of food and drink should also be abstained from, unless it is part of the ceremony.
Meanwhile, they also suggest changing traditional wedding seating arrangements to avoid face-to-face seating, improving ventilation in venues and the use of face masks.
As for a reception? Well, we're sorry to say, the government are still strongly advising that doesn't take place.
Events which "typically follow or accompany marriages or civil partnerships are strongly advised not to take place at this time," they state.
In fitting with the current social distancing rules, people are allowed to hold small celebration inside while adhering to two metre rules, but only with two households present, or up to six people from different households outdoors.
The government will be implementing these new rules by threatening venues that don't adhere with action from local authorities, or the Health and Safety Executive.
These venues could subsequently face enforcement notices for breaking existing health and safety legislation, they add.
Usually, more than 250,000 weddings take place in the UK each year, but many have had to be put on hold thanks to the nationwide lockdown, which has been in place since March.
Despite the fact ceremonies are allowed again from Saturday, many couples will still have to wait until September to tie say their 'I do's', because some councils are delaying ceremonies until autumn, to allow venues to prepare.
One thing is for sure, it looks like weddings are going to look *very* different for a while.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash
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