• November 28, 2023

What are the rules for weddings and can I hold a reception?

By Eleanor Lawrie
BBC News

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The number of guests allowed at weddings and civil partnerships has increased.

How many people can attend the ceremony – and how big can the reception be?

What are the wedding rules in England?

Up to 30 people, including children, are allowed to attend a wedding ceremony or reception.

Those who work do not count towards the limit.

Venues and places of worship can offer food and drinks, but must comply with the relevant regulations Hospitality advice. All food and drinks must be ordered, served, and consumed while guests are seated.

Guests do not need to be seated at socially distant tables, although they are advised to be “careful” when interacting with different households.

There is bad news for wedding disco lovers. The guidelines state: “Dancing is discouraged due to the increased risk of transmission, with the exception of the couple’s first dance.”

Guests and staff must also wear face covering (except when eating or drinking), unless otherwise specified.

The government previously said it hopes to lift all restrictions on weddings on June 21.

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What are the rules in Scotland?

Alcohol can be served. Face coverings must be worn indoors, without the couple or the officiating person.

Up to 100 people should then be allowed to meet, but the rules for social distancing and face covering remain in place.

What are the rules in Wales?

Face coverings must be worn indoors by those ages 11 and up when they are not eating or drinking, unless they have a reasonable excuse. This does not apply to the married couple or the incumbent person.

Wedding receptions can be organized in regulated locations for up to 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors, excluding children under 11. They cannot take place in private houses or gardens.

Food and drinks are permitted at both indoor and outdoor wedding receptions in accordance with the relevant provisions Hospitality advice.

Physical distancing should be maintained at tables at all times in order to avoid mixing up households.

What are the rules in Northern Ireland?

Separate households should keep social distance.

Guests 13 and over must wear face covering during the ceremony, unless otherwise specified. This does not apply to the married couple or the incumbent person.

Receptions are not permitted until May 24th (subject to verification).

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What are my rights if my wedding plans have been locked down?

  • If your wedding couldn’t go on without violating local or national lockout rules, you are likely eligible for a refund and will not be responsible for future payments
  • Your refund may also cover a non-refundable deposit, although a venue or provider may deduct the limited cost of services already rendered
  • A venue can also withhold money that was spent on your wedding that they couldn’t get back, such as a wedding reception. B. Planning, but not for general staff costs or building maintenance
  • Suppliers and venues will need to provide you with a breakdown of costs if they wish to withhold any part of your deposit

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Can I apply for wedding insurance?

Wedding insurance shouldn’t affect your right to a refund, but you can’t get your money back twice.

Most insurances don’t cover government records, so if lockdowns have affected your wedding, they are unlikely to pay off.

It is unlikely that recent wedding insurances will cover the coronavirus.

Some policies also pay off if your supplier / venue has gone broke. If not, you may need to register a claim with the company’s administrator.


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