New wedding rules: Are wedding receptions allowed?

The sound of wedding bells will soon be heard again as the Government gives the green light to happy couples. From July 4, couples will finally be able to say “I do” after months of postponing plans, causing heartbreak for many.

Are wedding receptions allowed?

All is not as it used to be – just yet, and the phrase ‘dream wedding’ is certainly not what you would have in mind when reading the new rules for nuptials.

A lot of elements that make a wedding a wedding have either been banned or amended in some way, to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Guests are being discouraged from singing, couples will need to wash their hands before and after exchanging rings, and after parties are not allowed.

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Receptions and parties following a wedding must adhere to rules, meaning two households can meet indoors and up to six people from different households outdoors – clearly smaller than the average wedding party.

No more than 30 people can attend, and social distancing must be obeyed.

Services also have to be as short as possible and only contain the parts which make the marriage legally binding.

The full guidance on weddings and civil partnerships according to the Government is below:

  • People should wash their hands before and after exchanging rings.
  • No food or drink should be consumed as part of the event, unless needed for solemnisation.
  • People should avoid singing, shouting, raising voices or playing music at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult and encourages people to shout. This is because there could be an increased risk of transmission from aerosol and droplets.
  • If needed, one person can sing or chant – but they should be behind a plexi-glass screen to protect guests.

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  • Spoken responses during the service should not be done in a raised voice.
  • People should avoid playing instruments that are blown into, such as trumpets.
  • Measures should be considered such as avoiding face-to-face seating, reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces, improving ventilation, using protective screens and face coverings, and closing non-essential social spaces
  • Children should be held by a parent or a member of their household.
  • People are being encouraged to bring in their own service sheets and prayer mats.

  • Venues should take steps to prevent attendees from touching or kissing devotional objects that are handled communally.
  • Any rituals which require full immersion in water should be avoided, although small amounts of water can be splashed onto the body.
  • Any washing or ablution rituals should not be done at the venue and should instead take place before arrival.

The new guidance, due to come into place on July 4, opens up swathes of the UK economy as the Government attempts to take the country out of lockdown.

One localised lockdown has already been implemented in Leicester, with progress such as opening on non essential retail being undone.

On average, 1000 people per day are still testing positive for the virus, according to the Government’s own statistics.

The UK has the highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe, topping 43,000 direct deaths.

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