Updated: 28th March 22:30
What are my options?
I know that there are many couples who are worried about how COVID-19 will affect their wedding. Therefore I thought it would be useful to discuss the options.
I recognise that there are a number of people who are concerned and I completely understand that, but I want to assure you that in the situation where the government lifts restrictions that allow your wedding to go ahead, myself and my team will be there. I won’t be rocking up wearing multiple face masks or an airtight bodysuit and I’m still very much looking forward to capturing your friends and family celebrating your big day. In the meantime, we are also taking preventative measures and as such are only offering consultations or final meetings via Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp Video or over the phone and via email.
If I, or any of the team, should actually get the virus, we will of course of course arrange a suitable Photographer (or Videographer & Photobooth Operator, if you booked one with us) to cover your wedding day, as I would in any other case of sickness, as per your contract.
3 Week Ban On Weddings
As of the 23rd March, the Prime Minister announced that all weddings would be banned. The duration of this period was 3 weeks. After this period, the government has stated that it will relax the rules, but only “if evidence shows we are able to”. If the rules are relaxed, it is unlikely that large gatherings would immediately be able to go ahead.
Church of England Weddings
The Church of England had earlier announced that wedding ceremonies would be restricted to five people because of the coronavirus crisis. The bride and groom were permitted to stand close together, but others present would have to observe social distancing. The legal minimum for wedding ceremonies is the person officiating, the couple, and two witnesses. No additional church personnel will attend the service, for example organists, vergers or sound system operator. This would also mean that your photographer and videographer would not be able to be present. In the immediate period of any relaxation of restrictions, it is unlikely that they would allow a large group to be present.
Catholic Church Weddings
The Catholic Church had issued guidance stating that only ‘close’ and immediate family should attend weddings, but they did not stipulate a number. When the ban is lifted, it is unknown what the position of the Catholic Church would be in regards to numbers of guests and professional services at Weddings.
If you had planned to have a civil ceremony, it is recommended to get in touch with your chosen venue or registrar, as rules will vary from place to place, and may also depend on the size of your ceremony.
Hotels & Wedding Venue Receptions
As the government has now banned mass gatherings, a number of hotel venues have temporarily closed their doors. Some have chosen to close until the 1st July 2020 (Fanhams Hall for example). Again, once restrictions are relaxed, it is likely that numbers would still be restricted. At this point, you would probably be presented with a choice of postponing your wedding or proceeding with a smaller number of guests. If you wanted to proceed, then you will probably have to find a way of asking some guests not to attend. You could get in touch with those that are not the closest to you and say that you are planning to make the day more intimate as a result of this crisis, and would love to celebrate with them another time. You could also choose to lay your cards on the table and ask people. It could be that many of your guests are wary of coming to your day, be it because of a family members’ ill health or age. Others may be worried about flying in. It’s completely possible that you could meet your target number with very few problems, and with no one’s feelings hurt. You’ll still get to have the wonderful day that you’ve worked so hard on.
Postponing Your Wedding
You should firstly check in with your wedding insurance and ask them about how your cover is affected if you move or postpone the day.
Speak To Your Venue And Other Suppliers
Due to the current circumstances, I will be happy for you to move your wedding date to any time within the next 18 months from the date of your wedding as long as I am still available, with no change in my service or cost to you. My diary can be found at the bottom of this post. If you have booked a photobooth or videography with me, you must check with me prior to setting a new date as we operate separate diaries and so they may already be booked elsewhere. Your other suppliers may have similar plans or clauses in their contracts with you so ensure you speak with them too. To assist all of my couples, I am currently not taking on any new bookings for 2020.
Speak To Family And Friends For Advice
They may be relieved at the idea of moving the date, but may also have some good thoughts about what to do.
Get A New Plan In Place
After finding the dates your suppliers/venues are available on, put together a plan of how to confirm and communicate your postponement. My diary can be found below. If you have also booked videography or a photobooth with me you must contact me first before booking your new date as I use different operators and assistants for each wedding.
Final Words Of Advice
Don’t give in and panic. The majority of people will have no problems at all, and it will be business as usual. Please do contact me and let me know if I can help in any way.