On July 17th 2020, Boris Johnson finally announced that COVID secure wedding receptions for up to 30 people can take place from 1 August. In his update he said, "We will also allow wedding receptions for up to 30 people. All of these measures for 1 August should be done in a Covid Secure way."
Furthermore he hinted that weddings of slightly larger sizes are on the return from October 1st, with news of larger venues also opening up. In addition, close contact businesses like beauticians will also be opening up, too!
And then from November there is the possibility that we'll have more of a return to normality. Find the full Downing Street update here.
With the Government recently announcing smaller wedding parties of 30 people are being allowed from August 1st, with a view to expanding this with larger weddings later this year, could having two weddings this year really be possible?
Great news for the wedding industry? You bet.
2020 is certainly going to go down as one of the most disruptive years on record. Alongside the travel industry, the events world is still in a spin and there’s some confusion over rules being updated and when different activities will be allowed.
Could there be a positive to all this for your wedding? Yes, absolutely!
Split the fun with a Sequel Wedding!
One big area thats threatened - and has already cancelled - weddings for 2020 is the limit on the number of people who can gather in one place. We’ve moved from just household exercising to small groups meeting in open spaces, but there’s little hope for 200 people meeting in a church or hotel any time soon. That’s not likely to be happening until winter of 2020/21.
What is now possible this year is a smaller wedding parties of 30 people from August 1st, moving onto larger weddings later this year.
That brings to mind the idea that you could look at having a sequel wedding!
What's a sequel wedding?
Well, in essence, a sequel wedding is a two-part wedding where couples can celebrate with multiple ceremonies (of up to 30 people from August 1st and more thereafter).
Allow us to explain….
Scenario one: A game of two halves
Let’s look at the possibility that you have a wedding guest list right now that’s 150 people in size.
If we’re allowed to have smaller gatherings of no more than 30 but moving onto larger weddings of say 75 later in the year (if we exclude the catering staff and entertainment for now) then you could look at having two weddings. One wedding with close family pretty soon, and then a second wedding for your wider family and friends either later this year – or you could spread the event over two weekends instead.
Here’s a great idea from Barton Court Online:
“You could also consider staggering the wedding over a couple of days and having smaller entertainment bubbles” – Read the full post here.
The main crowd (close family and friends) can attend the first wedding with the official marriage vows, and the wider group of guests can come to a blessing and party next year. This can help you with your event planning checklist by providing more time for planning your wedding theme, food, drinks and wedding equipment hire.
Scenario two: Get married now – celebrate later!
Another idea would be to carry on with your wedding arrangements this year with a small crowd of family and friends up to 30 people that fits with the social distancing and the rules on limited gatherings, (perhaps a small indoor or outdoor wedding?) and postpone your wedding breakfast until next year, when you’ll hopefully be able to invite everyone.
Clearly you’ll want to have a little celebration after your wedding ceremony so a simple dinner with friends (in line with the current or near future social distancing) could well be possible as lockdown is relaxed and then lifted. And you can lower your event hire costs and save the big party until this time next year when the world will (hopefully) be a far better and more stable place.
Either way, you’ve now got twice as much to celebrate without doubling your bill!
Scenario three: postpone until 2021 and have a virtual party instead
With the rise of the ‘internet meeting’ you could replace your current scheduled wedding day with a virtual party with all your family and friends. Software like House Party, Zoom, Remo, and the soon-to-be-released Facebook Messenger Rooms offer a large range of options.
If you have a date set, then why not create a virtual meet-up on the date instead?
Of course, that’s got nothing on a real-life wedding so postponing the event completely will be needed. Most suppliers and wedding equipment hire companies are now more than happy to transfer your booking to a new date in the near future. Clearly, this is a constantly moving target so keep your eye on the news and our emails as to when this can happen.
We remain very positive that we’ll see some green shoots for the event industry and will certainly aim to be the first to tell you as soon as we hear anything.
It’s time to get creative and work on a positive postponement
“We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”
It’s a difficult time, we get that. We’ve never seen such an impact on the events industry. But now we’re well into two months of this ‘new normal’ or road to new normal, it’s time to dust ourselves off, adjust, and work with what we’ve been dealt.
We can’t affect the Government decisions and we should really just leave them to their next move as they have the expertise and authority to make the changes. But what we can do is work WITH the times we’re in and make the best of it all.
Who knows, with having two weddings, this time next year, Rodney – we could be getting married (again!).