21st July 2021

Wedding Restrictions Have Been Eased in England: What Does This Mean For Brides?

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After two years of wedding restrictions, cancellations, setbacks, lockdowns, phases, variants, and general gloom, it is finally time to get planning again. Wedding season truly has returned!

Thanks to the so-called bonfire of restrictions, weddings and events can now go ahead as normal with unlimited guest lists, venues and activities. But what does this mean in real terms?

What are the new guidelines for wedding guests?

Champagne is poured at a celebration

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Dust off your seating chart because weddings of only 30 guests are a thing of the past. There is now no legal restriction on how many guests you can invite or on numbers of staff you can hire. This will be great news for those with big families, and social butterflies who have been agonising over the idea of a whittled down guest list, but bad news if you were planning on using Covid restrictions as an excuse to bump your least favourite auntie from the invite list.

Bubbles are also a thing of the past (aside from the champagne of course). There is no legal restriction on the number of households able to mix at your wedding. You may still want to arrange your guests in familial or bubble groups if doing a sit down meal for ease of organisation and extra safety, but this is down to your personal choice and the rules of your chosen venue.

Do we still have to wear facemasks after the 19th of July?

Three friends blow confetti

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Get ready to say cheese because face masks are out and smiles are in! Guidelines now state that a face mask is optional. You can look forward to having all of your guest’s smiling faces in your candid wedding photos as well as the posed group shots. Check your venue’s mask and distancing policy beforehand, as this may differ between venues.

Do bear in mind that masks are still encouraged in dense areas such as public transport. If you are planning on using things like shuttle transportation to get your guests from A-B, you may wish to provide masks. A customised wedding face mask in your wedding colours could still be a fun keepsake for all of your guests and bridal party!

What does the relaxation of restrictions mean for wedding entertainment?

Happy couple celebrate wedding with family

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With the easing of table service requirements, the sky is the limit for how you choose to dine at your wedding. You may want to stick with a formal sit down meal, but if a more casual feel is your thing then the green light is on for buffets, insta worthy grazing boards, and self-service food.

Perhaps the most impactful easing of restrictions will be the reintroduction of live music to your list of wedding possibilities. As of the 19th of July there are no longer any limits on who can perform live inside venues. Now you can dance the night away with music to suit. It may be time to re-think those towering stilettos for the evening festivities!

As with all of the new guidelines, using common sense is advised. You will be able to enjoy your father daughter dance, and your first dance as a couple without breaking any rules. Perhaps leave the hoedown style partner swapping dances for a later date!

How likely is it for this freedom of restrictions to continue?

Bride and groom overlook hills

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It is difficult to say what impact the bonfire of restrictions will have across the country. As with all things during these unprecedented times there may be further changes yet to come. However, with the swift vaccination rollout and governmental dedication to the country reopening it does seem as if the lack of restrictions is here to stay – at least for now.

Forget uncertainty, forget the disappointment of the past few years and get excited again! It is time to get back to planning your dream wedding exactly how you have always imagined it.

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