Weddings have been all but banned in the UK since lockdown began on March 23, but new Government guidelines released today state that post lockdown weddings of up to 30 people can go ahead but receptions or parties are still off.

Post-lockdown weddings will be allowed to take place next month from 4th July when coronavirus restrictions are eased. However there will be strict new guidelines that will change the face of weddings for the near future.

The coronavirus pandemic continues change the face of the world and everything as we know it. 

Whole populations continue under quarantine and lockdown, our shopping and queuing habits have changed.

Our holiday habits have changed. The way we mourn has changed.

A funeral takes place with only a handful of mourners under COVID-19 lockdown rules Lensi Photography
A funeral takes place with only a handful of mourners under COVID-19 lockdown rules

Even the way we celebrate has changed.

Social events and celebrations such as weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies have not been able to take place since lockdown began on March 23rd. Many brides who originally saw 2020 as a magical year to get married – with 10th October 2020 being a popular date because of the symmetry of the numbers (10/10/20) – have now had to face the reality of cancelling or postponing their wedding plans, or having a very different wedding than any of them would have imagined when they first started planning their weddings.

New government guidelines released today show how different post lockdown weddings under coronavirus restrictions will be.

Here are some of the new rules for post-lockdown weddings:

#1  No touching from people of different households which means parents would not be able to walk their child down the aisle

Funeral Photography by Lensi Photography, post lockdown wedding guidelinesLensi Photography
Father walking daughter down the aisle, this will not be allowed under new rules

#2  People should avoid singing, shouting or raising voices. This increases the risk of transmission from droplets in the air

Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography, post lockdown weddingLensi Photography
Singing of hymns during a ceremony would not be allowed

#3  Playing music at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult should be avoided as it encourages people to shout. This increases the risk of transmission from droplets

Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography, post lockdown weddingLensi Photography
Wedding receptions and parties like this would not be allowed under the new rules

#4  People are encouraged to bring their own service sheets or prayer mats

Wedding photography by lensi photography, wedding programme by creative media design, post lockdown weddingLensi Photography
Wedding ceremony programmes such as this would not be able to given out under the new rules

#5  No food or drink to be consumed as part of the event unless needed for solemnisation

Wedding photography at Weston Park by lensi photography, post lockdown weddingLensi Photography
Scenes such as this from Weston Park will disappear from new ceremonies where food and drink are not allowed

#6  Couples must wash their hands before and after exchanging rings

Wedding photography by lensi photographyWedding photography by lensi photographyLensi Photography
Couples would need to wash their hands before and after exchanging rings

#7  No more than 30 people should attend and everyone should follow the 2m rule or 1m with extra measures

Wedding photography by lensi photography, Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography, post lockdown weddingLensi Photography
Scenes like this will disappear under the new rules, with over 30 guests seated next to each other
Lensi Photography Wedding Photography Birmingham, Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography, post lockdown weddingLensi Photography
Group photos such as this between people from different households would not be allowed under current rules

#8  Venues used for weddings need to mark their floors with tape or paint to help people maintain social distance

Lensi Photograph
These signs would now be part of your wedding venue experience

#9  Touching will not be allowed  between members of different households, with vulnerable groups such as elderly grandparents discouraged from attending altogether.

Wedding Photography Birmingham, Warwick House, Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography, post lockdown weddingLensi Photography
These scenes would disappear from weddings as touching is banned and grand parents discouraged from attending

#10  Where an infant is involved in proceedings a member of the infants household should hold them

Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography, post lockdown weddingLensi Photography
Guidance suggests infant should be carried by a parent

#11  Instruments that are blown into should be avoided, organs can be played but cleaned thoroughly after use

Fitsum Admasu
Organs are allowed as long as they are cleaned after

#12  Rules banning food would mean traditional parts of many ceremonies would disappear 

Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography, post lockdown weddingLensi Photography
Cutting of the Cake will not be part of weddings under the new rules

#13  Cash donations are discouraged

#14  Books and reusable resources should be removed and single use alternatives should be provided. Items owned by individuals brought in for the ceremony such as a pen to sign the register should be removed after the ceremony

The government also suggests that the maximum amount of 30 people allowed at post lockdown weddings should include the officiant, minsters, photographers and videographers. They further suggest changing traditional layouts to avoid face to face seating and improve ventilation.

Venues are expected to respond to this guidance. Serious breaches of failure to comply can constitute a criminal offence with serious fines or imprisonment for up to 2 years.

Vendors in the Wedding Industry Respond post lockdown wedding guidelines

The wedding industry were anticipating these guidelines  to see how they could move forward. We reached out to various wedding industry vendors to get their views on the new post lockdown wedding guidelines.

Wedding Planner

Memories for For You Weddings

“The rules as released by the PM has so much ambiguity it has left those of us in the wedding industry and our couples even more confused and filled with dashed hope.

Personally I’ll rather the lockdown on weddings continue till the government can give a definite way forward.

This is one of the most important days in people lives and an industry that is worth over £10billion every year, and for it to be given zero priority and unclear rules is totally unacceptable”.


Lensi Photography

“Many of the images people value from their wedding days would be the types of images we would not longer be allowed to facilitate such as the wedding party all standing together as they will most likely be from different households, the big group photo, the cutting of the cake, the celebratory party photos.

At a time when we are allowed to mix with work colleagues, send children to school, go retail shopping, sit on a beach of thousands, meet people from different households ten minutes apart, and also now sit on a confined plane for hours, these rules make little sense to me. I will be advising my couples to postpone if they can, to allow a proper celebration of such an important day. Even though it will continue to effect my business and income”


Small Chops UK Caterers

No food, means no wedding industry for now. Some of our couples have had to change dates to 2021 & 2022. We have some couples whose weddings are at the end of the year, they are still holding on for changes and are determined.

Couture Dress Designer

Kosibah Bridal

The new guidelines are not going to be good news to brides who have been holding out postponing their weddings slated to be held between July- December 2020. Some brides are choosing to have a micro wedding on their original dates and either purchasing a simpler dress for that and having a celebration next year (or the year after) for family and friends where they’ll wear the original dress.

If I was getting married I would postpone until next year until absolutely necessary. I’m not sure I’d want to attend such a wedding as a guest. Too stressful to even think about it.

DJ Entertainer

DJP Events

“The most memorable part of a Wedding is the Celebration, the coming together, the jubilee and joyful bonding of the couple and their guests.

I was trying to adjust to the idea of pleasing 30 guests but now not being able to entertain them at all as a DJ by contributing to this once in a lifetime event, and making their day even more memorable brings about much dismay. It has definitely affected business but more importantly the disappointment in the brides tone when they tell you they have to cancel”.


Cake Consortium

Adjusting to 30 guest is hard enough. These extra add on are just ridiculous. Why get people’s hopes up and then smash them. Couples are just not willing to get a cake that they can’t share with their guests


Bevon Burke Films 

“I’m happy to offer my services to anyone willing to get married under these very strict guidelines.

These guidelines suck the fun and joy out of getting married, all the emotional joy and happiness that bring loved ones together I wouldn’t want to get married under these circumstances. So I expect a lot of brides who have been planning their big day for years, wouldn’t want to either, which means many people would put off getting married.

I think it will effect the entire industry as people will not want to waste money getting married like this so yes it will effect me also”.

Master of Ceremonies 

Folly Fresh 

With the current ban on wedding reception put in place by the government,  no receptions will take place. Couples usually want to enjoy the opportunity to celebrate with family and loved ones at a reception but this isn’t an option for them at the moment.

For me this has ceased business all together. With no idea as to when receptions will be allowed it leaves me in limbo as to when I can operate and provide the great service to newleyweds.

Hair Stylist

Sarah Mitchell

I’ve had all my brides cancel for this year due to weddings being cancelled or postponed. Some out of choice because they don’t want their special day ruined by all the guidelines put in place. When pubs and restaurants will be opening soon, I don’t see why you can’t have a proper reception with food and drink. This will continue to effect my business financially.

Personalised Wedding Gifts

The Wedding Magazine 

We offer alternatives to wedding albums, as a personalised wedding magazine all about the couples wedding journey. Couples will be missing so much from their weddings that they will not want to book a service such as ours to immortalise parts of their day. No reception? No food? As short a ceremony as possible? Where is all the joy, laughter, love, and emotions that is supposed to make this day so amazing.

The widely anticipated guidelines the wedding industry have been waiting for, seem to not have offered the kick start wedding vendors hoped for.  Most vendors agreeing that their businesses will continue to be effected, with some of the rules unworkable for them.

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