Weddings in lockdown: How many guests can you invite to your wedding?
Gutted couples who have had their weddings cancelled due to the coronavirus are calling on the Government to give them a signal as to when weddings will be allowed to take place again. Various lockdown restrictions have been lifted, with non-essential retail allowed to reopen and places of worship allowed to reopen for private prayer.
How many guests can you invite to your wedding?
None. Currently, you cannot get married or register a civil partnership in the UK at the moment, and you cannot give notice at a registry office.
Only in Northern Ireland can you get married if you are terminally ill.
One NHS doctor, who tragically lost her mother to coronavirus, has called on the Government to allow small weddings to resume.
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Oluwadamilola “Dami” Olaolorun, a junior doctor, has started a petition to allow wedding ceremonies with two witnesses as her own wedding scheduled for later this month is unable to go ahead.
Dr Olaolorun told PA: “In terms of lifting restrictions, it seems the focus is only on the economy.
“Hence the opening of these non-essential shops whilst still banning very small wedding ceremonies.
“Small weddings are not ‘big business’ so it is not a focus for the Government at all, despite the boost that it would provide to the thousands of people affected by postponed weddings.
“We can hold a proper celebration later when it’s safe, but I just want to be actually married to my partner, and if people can visit Primark and car showrooms, I do not see why that cannot be.”
Her sentiments have been echoed by many of hopeful couples across the country throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government set out its COVID-19 Recovery Strategy last month, which contains many key updates to how life in lockdown will progress.
With regards to weddings and the like, the document reads: “The Government is also examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings.
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“Over the coming weeks, the Government will engage on the nature and timing of the measures in this step, in order to consider the widest possible array of views on how best to balance the health, economic and social effects.”
But while many social elements of our lives have changed, such as being able to meet outdoors in small groups and some being able to form ‘social bubbles’, small events have not been given to green light to resume.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told BBC Radio 4 this week he was working out how to implement potential changes for ceremonies as the UK enters the next stage of the coronavirus crisis.
Asked by a caller about weddings, Mr Buckland said: “You’ll be glad to know that we are giving anxious consideration to the issue of marriages.
“We want to help people like you, but there are also some people who are really… they want to get married because things are happening in their life that means they might not be together for a long time, and therefore I’m giving a lot of anxious consideration to the effect of the potential changes here as to what we can do with regard to marriage ceremonies. So watch this space, we’re working on it.”
Mr Jenrick has been pressed again by MPs in the house to give some hope to couples wanting to tie the knot.
Mr Jenrick said: “I really appreciate the concerns Ms Farris raises, I know how important weddings are for venues and of course how many people’s plans have now been disrupted.
“I can tell her that there is a significant effort across Government to allow people to hold weddings, in particular small ones with appropriate social distancing, as soon as we can. But this must be done safely.”
He added he is working with the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland and faith leaders on the issue.
Places of worship have now been allowed to reopen for individual prayer, with worshipers sat in socially-distanced pews and clergymen wearing personal protective equipment – but weddings and full services are still out of sight.
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