Hello everyone – as we wake to another beautifully sunny day, we know that most of you planning a wedding will be thinking through the new government announcements of this week that will, from 4th July, enable some wedding ceremonies to take place.
The guidance, as lifted directly from the government website, is as follows:
From 4 July, weddings and civil partnerships will be allowed to take place. You should only invite close friends and family, up to a maximum of 30 people. The wedding exception is for wedding ceremonies only. Large wedding receptions or parties should of course not be taking place. Wedding celebrations can only happen when people follow the guidance of six people outdoors, support bubbles, or two households indoors or outdoors. It is critical for these guidelines to be observed to keep you and your family and friends as safe as possible. (Gov.uk)
We’re so happy for those of you for whom these new guidelines will enable a legal marriage this year, but we also feel immensely for those of you who can’t commit to a wedding yet, based on the current limitations. Sincerely, our hearts go out to you.
However these guidelines impact your day, we know that you’ll have many, many questions to ask at this time. As do the many venues and suppliers across the industry. Weddings can’t just be ‘turned back on’.
With this in mind, we want to make a hugely important plea to you all today to pause, for a moment, and allow everyone to process this information as fully as possible.
The wedding industry received this news at the same time as you did; venues and suppliers all over the country are still digesting the announcement and working out what this means. It wouldn’t help for us to start pumping out conjecture and instant opinion – you need and all deserve so much better than that.
Our colleagues in the industry want more than anything for weddings to return, but they are feeling the overwhelm right now. So on their behalf, our behalf and with everyone involved in weddings in mind (and that very much includes you!), we need to ask for a little time here.
We have been preparing for this moment
The government now have a Wedding Industry Taskforce which met yesterday (Wednesday 24th June). We are heavily indebted to The Association of British Wedding Businesses (ABWB) for working exceptionally hard to get this task force off the ground – for bringing the requirements of the wedding industry to the attention of those working at senior government level – that’s No 10 Downing Street. The ABWB were joined by the National Association of Wedding Professionals, and wedding planner Sarah Haywood yesterday.
We have been working very closely with the ABWB, supplying important insight, feedback and concerns on behalf of all brides, grooms and couples out there (as you may or may not know we have been working closely with our bridal community, and recently surveyed over 1300 of you – we have also held multiple focus groups with brides in order to ascertain the information that government need to be considering now).
The task force are working on guidelines and an exit strategy and we’ll have more to tell you about this soon. We can’t share anything yet because those guidelines are being written as you read this but you will be the first to know when we can share information responsibly.
We also have a group of industry experts on standby, The Future Collective, with whom we are working very closely to comb through the guidance in fine detail, so that we can give you the best advice possible. But this is going to take us a little time, because we need to do this the right way.
Please understand, we all want weddings to happen again, we all long for the joy and celebration. But all of the venues and all of the suppliers – they need time to adapt to these new guidelines in a sensible and measured way, so that you, the couple, can be presented with solutions that are safe and responsible and fill you with reassurance, hope and the joy of being able to look forward to your wedding once again.
Along with our industry colleagues, we’re working on a mighty big F.A.Q and we absolutely promise you – we’ll have this advice published as soon as possible.
Important Points To Consider
In the meantime, these are some points to consider when planning for your ceremony;
- The 30 people allowed for ceremony are everyone in the room so this will include the person(s) officiating the ceremony, any suppliers you want so, your photographer, videographer and possibly a member of staff to press play on the music as you walk down the aisle, and of course, you! This means that realistically, you are probably looking at a guest list of 20-25 people.
- As households can sit together, it is likely that a set seating plan for your ceremony will need to be provided to your venue – and to your guests so they all know where to sit and can get to their seats with as much ease as possible. You may want to think about name places for their seats.
- Right now it is not a given that your venue can hold your ceremony. Wedding venues are filling in risk assessments based on the latest guidelines. These will then be sent to the registrars and the registrars will need to feel comfortable that your ceremony can take place safely and COVID secure. Please give your venues time to see through that process so they can better support you with your ceremony.
- At the moment, we can hold ceremonies, not celebrations. The government guidance is very clear in that at the moment guests can only gather for ceremonies. Any form of pre- or post-ceremony celebration is, for now, not possible.
We know that wedding ceremonies are now able to re-start. And we also know that this is going to be a time of mixed emotions for so very many of you.
But we make this plea for us all to pause and take a breath, as we work out how to enter this next phase together.
We are, as always, here if you need us – and please know that we’re doing our absolute best for you all right now.
Love Annabel, Tamryn and Nina