Following the UK Lockdown in March, couples’ wedding plans have been thrown into turmoil and left hanging up in the air for the spring/summer season of 2020. With lots being forced to postpone and for many still not knowing if their big day will go ahead, we wanted to answer some questions that may help you decide whether your wedding CAN go ahead vs. whether you WANT it to go ahead.
What are the latest rules regarding weddings during COVID19?
The Government announced on 29th June that small ceremonies and civil partnerships were able to take place following 4th July, but only small receptions of two households are allowed to celebrate indoors and up to 6 people from different households outdoors.
*You many have heard that the actual number allowed to attend is 30, however this number includes the couple, all staff, suppliers for example the photographer, the officiant and two witnesses so once taken into account in reality there aren’t many more allowed on the list.
When will the COVID19 rules for weddings be eased?
Plans have been announced but not confirmed that from 1st August, the number allowed to attend the reception will be increased to 30, instead of the current 6 guests permitted. Following this the government have said it is working with the weddings industry to see how receptions could take place safely in the future.
If I go ahead under the new circumstances what are the rules?
If you still plan to get married with these restricted numbers, social distancing must still be adhered to on your big day. Hand washing before the exchange of rings, no singing, and a shortened ceremony are amongst the guidelines of how your day can still go ahead.
Other advice is as follows:
- Ceremonies must follow the “1 metre plus” rule where masks are used or 2 metres if not
- Flooring in ceremony/reception rooms must be marked with tape for social distancing
- No food or drink can be consumed as part of the actual wedding service
- The venue should keep a temporary record of visitors for 21 days, in case they need to be traced
What are my options if I am due to get married soon?
You have three options, go ahead, re-arrange or cancel. If you feel your day will still be special, you will need to adhere to the rules above. If you feel your day will be too different to what you planned it is advised to postpone if possible, rather than cancel. Check with your wedding venue ASAP if they have alternative dates or a COVID rearrangement plan in place. Once you have alternative dates then reach out to your suppliers and see if they can accommodate this also. Finding a solution that works for everyone is the best route.
Remember as disheartening as this may be, it is not your venue or suppliers’ fault and they are also going through a difficult time and will have lost significant sums of money too, so patience and kindness all round is appreciated.
What if I want to cancel?
If your ceremony was due while weddings were banned, you should generally be entitled to a full refund if you don’t want to postpone. There are rules outlined by the Competition and Markets Authority that outlines in what cases this is an option.
With regards to a full refund, exceptions will be made if the business has already incurred a cost such as a wedding meal tasting or dress fitting etc. Therefore, venues and suppliers may be entitled to keep all or part of your deposit, but consumer rights law states they must give you a breakdown of costs.
If your wedding is coming up and is technically allowed to take place, that’s where things become trickier. This is where you’ll need to read your contract and small print.
Can I claim on my wedding insurance?
The majority of wedding insurance does not cover a ”government act”, so it is unlikely to pay out if the COVID19 lockdown affected your wedding. There are a few wedding insurers who are paying out though, so it is worth enquiring with yours. *It will help your case if you can demonstrate you have tried to recoup the money from your venue and suppliers.
Can suppliers and venues charge me more if I postpone?
Put simply, no. Businesses are not allowed to profit from the pandemic, meaning they cannot just hike up their prices. However, it can be deemed fair that a 2021 wedding will cost slightly more because of inflation and the rise in costs for goods and services over time which therefore can be reflected in an increase in supply costs, so be prepared for this.
If you’ve been forced to cancel your wedding and you’re interested in hearing how Hyde Bank Farm could help plan your perfect day or you simply have some questions you’d like to ask, then get in touch today.
And if everything is going ahead, why not check out our wedding venue checklist!