The onset of the Covid-19 saw a setback on special events and weddings. Parties, gatherings, and meetings were cancelled or restricted due to social distancing measures. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he would confirm the date for easing lockdown measures on 12th July. This announcement points towards the end of lockdown measures and 1 metre+ social distancing, and mandatory face masks.
With all the vaccination drives, and the steady decrease in Covid-19 numbers, the Stage 4 measures will also see relaxed rules for weddings and other events. However, there can be a restriction based on venue capacities to control the spread of the coronavirus. Hopefully, couples who had planned their weddings can expect final limits to be lifted – guest numbers, bans on dancing, and table services.
Once all this gets into place, weddings can finally see guests enjoying the reception and ceremony without compulsory masks and face shields. Music can also be played at regular volume instead of the lowered volume limits earlier, which means couples can now look forward to hiring a wedding band again.
Let us look at how you can plan a wedding post lockdown.
What Social Distancing Measures Are Applicable?
According to the information so far, the social distancing measures will be applicable according to the seating capacity of the venue and risk assessment of indoor and outdoor spaces. Since all public venues and gathering spaces must undergo risk assessments, the best way forward would be to contact the venue coordinator for a consultation. The risk assessment applies to areas that fall under charitable, benevolent/ philanthropic institutes, businesses, places of worship, or hospitality venues.
Depending on the final announcement on 12th July, the venues still require mandatory restrictions like dancing and social distancing and face coverings like masks and face shields.
More than 30 people: For weddings with more than 30 people, it is necessary to complete a Covid-19 risk assessment of the venue. Since the outdoor limits are still at 2-metre distance, the evaluation will determine how many people can attend. You can get additional information on the venue types here.
Do I Need To Complete a Risk Assessment?
Apart from the public venues, you would also need to carry out a risk assessment if you’re hosting an event for people indoors. You would also have to fill the risk assessment form and submit it.
Since each venue has a different seating and guest capacity, the venue will need to get a risk assessment before the event. Since most venues will probably have new guidelines surrounding weddings and guest safety, it is a good bet to keep in touch with the venue throughout, follow up with all the vendors and suppliers, and keep getting updates as the date gets closer.
By keeping in touch with everyone, you allow the venue and the wedding vendors and suppliers a chance to update you, keep you in the loop, and get everything done as per schedule. Since it may be difficult for you to personally inspect everything, you could also schedule video meetings with all key personnel involved with your wedding.
Risk assessments of venue staff, service staff, florists, and others should also be your responsibility.
If anyone is ill or down with a fever, it is best to get in touch with the NHS immediately. Once you understand the cause of the illness, you can take a call on the isolation measures.
What About Wedding Guest Safety?
Since the times are uncertain, and everyone hopes for a more relaxed outcome, you should be extra careful about wedding guest safety. Nothing will spoil the event as much as someone falling ill. While planning the final guest list, you should speak to the venue coordinator about seating arrangements or your guests. Always have contingencies in place for the social distancing of 1 metre or more based on the new developments.
There may be a chance that you would need to add more tables and chairs to ensure your guests’ social distancing and safety. Doing this may stir up your budget. You should check the final number of guests, and reduce the costs with the caterers too. If you do this, you could probably re-allocate funds to the seating arrangements without spending too much extra money.
While there is uncertainty after the extension of lockdown measures, it is best to be prepared. You should also take special care of elderly guests, children, and people with comorbidities. Ideally, if someone is too sick to travel or attend your wedding, you should set up a video link allowing them to be a part of your ceremony.