For me, 2020 was shaping up to be a pretty good year. Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has ruined it all.
Today, the 29th June, the UK Government has released this document containing guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships.
The main points to take from this document are as follows:
- Religious Weddings (i.e. those in churches) and civil marriages (registry office and venues) CAN go ahead. No more than 30 people should attend a marriage or civil partnership, and this should be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 secure venue.
- You can’t be walked down the aisle by a parent or friend.
- No food or drink should be consumed as a part of the event unless required for the purposes of solemnisation. So basically, no wedding breakfasts or evening buffet.
- Wedding celebrations are strongly advised to not take place at this time. Small celebrations CAN take place if you are following the social distancing guidelines which are currently in groups of up to two households indoors, or up to 6 people from different households outdoors.
- People should avoid singing, shouting, raising voices and/or playing music at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult or that may encourage shouting. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission from aerosol and droplets.
Thinking about the services I offer, yes I could provide a safe disco, and if you follow the guidelines set out in the advice given to pubs, bars and restaurants last week, the music would be at a volume suitable for background music only and there would certainly be no dancing allowed.
With regards to the photo booth, yes I could provide a safe photo booth with a heavily-reduced prop selection, limited only to hand-held signs which would be sanitised between use but groups of people from different households would not be allowed to be part of the same picture.
I guess this all boils down to how desperate you are to get married and have the celebration you dreamed of. Currently, you have three choices…
- Get married with the current limits in place and have a party later this year or next.
- Postpone the whole day until later this year or next.
- Wait it out and see if the guidance changes over the coming weeks and months.
Out of the 66 customers I contacted in March when all of this kicked off who had parties booked with me until the end of August, 47 of them postponed to next year and 3 of them postponed to September and October this year but have since postponed again to next year. Some cancelled completely and I still have 14 events that are still in limbo where no decision has been made.
My best advice currently is that option 2 is probably the best way to go. Option 3 is too much of a gamble. Where’s the fun in organising a party if you don’t even know if it will go ahead or not – it’s going to completely suck the excitement out of the planning.
An alternative is to get married now and celebrate later. This is great for couples who want or need legal recognition of their relationship but are happy to wait until they can celebrate with all of their family and friends.
It’s clear that this virus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and until we have a vaccine then we have to do our bit to help stop the spread of infection which means that if we have to put a hold on parties for the time being then so be it.
If you have found any of the above useful then please feel free to share it on social media.
Take care, and keep safe.