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Weddings across the country were put on hold this year as the coronavirus crisis took hold and a national lockdown ensued. While the summer seemed to offer people hope as restrictions were relaxed and a semblance of normality returned, coronavirus cases have been increasing across the UK in recent weeks prompting Governments to introduce localised lockdown in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
How many people can attend weddings?
Weddings were banned when the lockdown first started on March 23, affecting 73,600 weddings and civil partnerships.
They are now allowed in all four of the UK’s nations, but with different rules.
As it stands, wedding celebrations can only take place at covid-secure venues, and in most cases are an exception to the rule of six.
However, it’s worth noting these rules vary across wedding venues depending on their individual rules.
From September 28, up to 15 people are allowed to attend a covid-secure wedding venue in England, down from 30 before the restrictions were put in place.
In Scotland, wedding ceremonies and receptions of up to 20 people can be held.
Outdoor wedding ceremonies of up to 30 guests are allowed in Northern Ireland, and while indoor ceremonies are also allowed, the number of guests depends on the venue’s risk assessment.
In Wales, weddings can go ahead with up to 30 people in attendance.
Anyone participating in a wedding with more than 15 guests could face a fine of £100.
According to Government guidance, wedding ceremonies in England should be kept “as short as reasonably possible”.
Guests must keep socially distant wherever possible during the ceremony and the reception should be held in a covid-secure venue.
Seating should be arranged so guests can keep socially distant and remain in family bubbles.
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They may also be asked to stagger their arrival into shifts in an effort to maintain a distance between each other.
Newlyweds wanting to go ahead with their nuptials will not be able to hold the ceremony or reception in a home or garden.
Fathers who don’t share a covid bubble with the bride are not allowed to walk them down the aisle for now.
Wedding buffets have also been ruled out in a bid to maintain optimum hygiene, while sit-down meals are strongly encouraged.
A maximum of two households per table should be sitting together throughout the wedding dinner.
Announcing the tightened lockdown measures, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons: “A stitch in time saves nine.
“But this is by no means a return to full lockdown as in March. We are not issuing a general instruction to stay at home.
“We will ensure that schools and universities stay open. But we must take action to suppress the disease.”
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