Coronavirus and Weddings: Everything 2020/21 Brides and Grooms Need to Know

Covid-19 continues to hit the headlines and each day it feels like there is a new story, guideline or piece of advice. At publication, the information used in this article was correct and up to date, we will strive to update with the latest advice but if you are unsure on anything then you can refer to the Government Guidelines.

When can my wedding day go ahead?

An update from the UK Weddings Taskforce on 16/03/2021 has revealed that many weddings will not be able to take place from 12th April, despite Government guidance seeming to suggest this was the case (in the Covid Response document and the Re-Opening Businesses Guidelines).


As it currently stands, weddings may only take place between 12th April and 16th May in:

  • Places of worship
  • Public buildings
  • Outdoor settings and locations that are already permitted to open

This excludes many licensed wedding venues, where 71% of weddings (ONS) take place. It means many couples planning to marry in this period may have a ceremony in a register office or religious building, but cannot necessarily have a reception or host their ceremony in a designated wedding venue.

We will update this with more information as soon as we have it.

As of 22/02/2021, it was determined that:

  • Weddings of 6 to be allowed from 8th March
  • Weddings of 15 to be allowed from 12th April
  • Weddings of 30 to be allowed from 17th May
  • Restriction-free weddings to be allowed from 21st June

These dates are subject to review. We will update this with more information when we have it.

The previous advice, as of 5th November 2020, is that weddings and civil partnerships will not be permitted to take place unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The advice from 22nd September 2020 is that only 15 people may attend a wedding from Monday 28th September. The guidelines say: ‘From 28th September, weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions are restricted to 15 people. Receptions must be sit-down meals. Anyone working is not counted as part of the limit.’

The advice from 13th August 2020 is that wedding receptions for a maximum of 30 people may take place from Saturday 15th August. This advice does not apply to areas that are in ‘localised’ lock downs.

The receptions must be held in COVID-19 secure structures and social distancing (2m or 1m+ with additional measures) must be observed. The 30 people limit also includes any staff, including those not employed by the venue such as photographers.

Singing and instruments which must be blown into are still not permitted, and the current advice on the Government website states that face to face seating should be avoided.

As of the Government’s update on 31st July, wedding receptions of any number are currently not permitted, and this advice is not likely to change until August 15th at the earliest.

As of Boris Johnson’s update on the 17th July 2020, he stated that from the 1st August wedding receptions will be allowed to go ahead, attended by 30 guests. This was cancelled on July 31st. It is not clear whether from the 1st October, larger weddings will be allowed to go ahead, as originally proposed.

During Boris Johnson’s update on May 10th 2020, he discussed that the Government are exploring the possibility of allowing small weddings to take place. As of yet, there has been no update on when this would be allowed. If you are hoping to still have a larger scale wedding then you will almost certainly be facing longer delays. 

Will I have to cancel my wedding because of Coronavirus?

The short answer is we don’t know. Weddings over the coming weeks have been cancelled but there is hope that as lockdown is lifted, that smaller weddings could take part. This depends on the spread of the virus and will not be permitted until the Government is confident that the risk would be minimal.

Read more: I had to cancel my wedding due to coronavirus

If you are having a wedding abroad then it does depend on your country of choice. Some countries are coming out of lockdown and starting to encourage overseas travel. However, with the UK having one of the worst outbreaks in Europe, many countries may not accept UK visitors. Keep up to date with information on travel to your chosen destination and contact your local wedding planner for advice and guidance.

Will I be able to get my wedding dress on time?

There have been a number of stories in the news about wedding dress deliveries being delayed, if you have any concerns about your wedding dress then contact your bridal shop and they will be able to give you up to date information. If you haven’t yet chosen your wedding dress, then discuss any worries with your bridal shop and they can advise you when your chosen gown will be shipped.

Will I have to cancel my honeymoon?

Again, this will depend on where you have chosen to visit and when you are planning to go on honeymoon – but if you do have to cancel, just remember you are postponing it and not cancelling. If you are not able to go on your honeymoon then you can still have a special few days together or even plan the future trip you will be going on. It is also worth looking at your holiday insurance policy or speaking to customer service so you have a clear idea on whether your trip will be cancelled or how you can postpone.

Remember to be kind

If the world is feeling a little bit scarier right now, remember your wedding day could be the moment of joy that your friends and family could do with right now. Be kind to your other half, your suppliers and your friends and family. Whether you choose to have a smaller wedding than you first visioned or you are delaying for a year, the most important part is to stay safe and remember if you can get through a global pandemic together then you can do anything.

*The above advice was correct at publication date, please adhere to any Government updates since publication.

Read more: How to celebrate your cancelled wedding day

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