Last weeks exciting announcement from the UK government that marriages and civil partnerships could take place from the 4th July 2020 seemed to pose more questions than it answered. This is a heavy post, and there’s a lot of information in it. We’re sorry for all the detail, but not sorry (if you understand us!)
The government have now responded with more detailed information about what they term ‘small weddings and civil partnerships’. We’ve attached the link for you to have a good read. We’ve had a good look through too and can see there’s one part (section 3) that could cause more questions, and it's all to do with numbers; again what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. This is however clarified further on (section 4) where it's all cleared up about what a maximum of 30 actually means. It does include the couple and the registrars (there’s no wedding/civil partnership without these 4 people) and suppliers etc who may need to be in the ceremony room too.
The maximum number of people for your ceremony may not necessarily be the same as the maximum number of 30 permitted by current government restrictions. The maximum number for your ceremony will be calculated by your venue taking into consideration the size of the room and the number of people that room can safely accommodate to be COVID safe. This must be calculated taking into consideration the current social distancing requirements. 2 metres is what we should all be aiming for and 2 metres means that the need for additional ‘mitigation’ - face coverings and screens etc are not required. If we go down to the minimum that the government has detailed ‘1 metre+’ this doesn’t mean anything above 1 metre is fine, it means 1 metre plus must also include ‘mitigations, so face coverings and screens etc. and should only be the case if 2 metres isn't possible. Your venue will have done it's own calculations in terms of what the COVID-19 safe number is for the room your ceremony will be held in. We’ve been doing it here at the Register Office for our couples having a ceremony here. We’ve been in touch with them to let them know what our maximum safe numbers are. We’re sure your venue is looking to do with same with you too.
I read something yesterday that came from a bridal shop, and it kind of simply made sense of it all. They are a small independent shop who has looked at how they can be COVID safe and have decided it's 2 people only at each appointment. Their reasoning behind this is the size of their shop, but also that with more people, the risk of infection increases. If someone coming into their shop is confirmed with COVID, the staff in the shop would need to self isolate too. It would mean the shop having to close, upsetting so many other couples too – and it made me think. We aren’t a small team, but we’re not huge either and we travel between lots of different venues. To allow us to keep you, your venue and future couples safe we really must comply with 2 metre social distancing. That’s social distancing, not being emotionally distant. We still want give you the best ceremony, we really do want to give you the reassuring squeeze of the arm as your other half walks up the aisle. We really do want to stand close enough to see those lovely little looks we know we are so privileged to witness. We really do want to give you a hug to congratulate you. At the moment we simply can’t. We have all got to keep each other safe and listening to your venue about their maximum numbers based on COVID safe, and the reasons why and keeping that 2 metre distance is the way we can all help each other.
Have a good read, and remember if you need our team it's firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the Government update hereherehere
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