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Coronavirus wedding rules: What you can and can’t do in the UK

Weddings and events have been a no-go since lockdown and the new Coronavirus wedding rules began in March. After many months of social distancing, lockdown is starting to lift, but many of us are still feeling cautious and unsure of the guidelines.

If your wedding has already been postponed, or you were hoping to start event planning for later this year, what do the new rules mean for you depending on where you live in the UK?

How to have a COVID-19 safe event under the new Coronavirus wedding rules

The government has published specific guidelines for weddings and events in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The guides cover all the restrictions, rules, and guidance you need to know.

England: Receptions of up to 30 people allowed from 1 August.

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies are currently allowed with up to 30 guests. No food or drink can be consumed unless it’s essential for the ceremony and singing or playing instruments isn’t allowed.

From 1 August, small wedding receptions of no more than 30 people can go ahead too, which includes a sit-down meal. All guests need to socially distance and should wear face coverings. Venues will be keeping a record of attendees’ contact details for Test & Trace.

Coronavirus wedding rules

Wedding ceremonies should only take place in COVID-19 secure environments and be as short as possible. Anyone handling the rings needs to wash their hands before and after too!

Conference and exhibition centres will also be opening on a pilot basis for business events.

On the whole, holding or attending celebrations, parties, and events is not advised if social distancing is difficult to maintain. Venues will be encouraged to put down social distancing tape, avoid seating people face to face, and ventilate enclosed spaces.

Scotland: Outdoor and indoor receptions allowed with up to 20 people

Weddings and civil partnerships in Scotland can go ahead indoors but should be limited to 20 people. The rules are similar to England’s – social distancing should be in place, guests will be required to provide their contact details, and good hand hygiene is crucial.

Receptions can take place. Outdoors with up to 15 people in total and up to 5 households, and indoors with up to 8 people and 3 households.

Other events aren’t allowed but the Scottish government hopes to be able to open up some events spaces in the next phase.

Coronavirus wedding rules

Wales: Places of worship and registry offices ONLY

The ban on Welsh weddings was lifted on the 20th July, however the Coronavirus wedding rules are much stricter.

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can only go ahead in places of worship and registry offices. Hotels and other venues can’t hold weddings. Social distancing is essential as always, so the total number of people allowed to attend depends on what the venue can accommodate. 

Other events are not allowed at the moment whether they’re indoor or outdoor. Big events of all kinds have been cancelled and moved to 2021, including festivals and seasonal celebrations.

Northern Ireland: Indoors with up to 10 people

Coronavirus wedding rules in Northern Ireland are stricter. Weddings can take place indoors with up to 10 guests. This has been in place since 10 July.

Coronavirus wedding rules

Stay up to date on government websites

This is how the rules stand at the moment and could change depending on local lockdowns and further easing. For the most up to date guidance, check your respective country’s official advice.

We can’t entertain at your wedding right now, but we’re waiting in the wings

As soon as lockdown eases and rules change, Silk Street Music’s acts will be ready to help you put on an event to remember. Browse our acts.

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