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The government has announced a 4-week pause at Step 3.

Step 3 restrictions remain in place, and you should follow the guidance on this page, which explains what you can and cannot do.

It is expected that England will move to Step 4 on 19 July, though the data will be reviewed after 2 weeks in case the risks have reduced.

The government will continue to monitor the data and the move to Step 4 will be confirmed one week in advance.

The rules on weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions or civil partnership celebrations changed on 21 June.

The guidelines below are a summary of frequently asked questions.

For more detailed information visit the official website here


How many people can I have at my wedding?

From the 21st June 2021 the number of people allowed to attend your wedding will no longer be capped at 30, it will be determined upon the socially distanced capacity of the Covid Secure Venue.

If your wedding is outside, in a structure in a private garden, then the capacity is based on social distancing at 1metre + mitigation.

Who is included in the capacity allowance for my wedding?

All in attendance are included. Guests (including children of all ages), wedding party, the couple, venue staff, suppliers etc. are all currently included. It is important that you speak with your venue so that guests as well as individuals working during your wedding can be taken into consideration for their risk assessment.

Do my guests have to socially distance?

Your guests are not legally required to socially distance themselves. However, the risk assessment must conclude that there is space to do so, if required.

Can I have additional evening guests?

Yes, depending on the venue risk assessment and how many guests you have during the day compared to maximum capacity.

Do my guests need to sit at a table of 6?

No. The government has confirmed that there is no requirement for guests to be seated at socially distanced tables of 6. The hospitality guidelines are for traditional hospitality functions and weddings are being given a relaxation to this rule. The guidelines are/will be updated to reflect this.

Can my bridal party all get ready in the same room?

Yes, as long as there is capacity for all members of the bridal party to socially distance should they wish to.

Does a marquee count as ‘outdoors’?

For a structure to be considered ‘outdoors’ it must have 50% of its sides uncovered and must be a proper structure.


Can the couple have a first dance?


Can my guests dance?

Dancing is not illegal, Michael Gove MP has voiced a ‘common sense’ approach to dancing (Good Morning Britain on 15th June 2021).

Dance floors are banned, so there can be no specific area for dancing and these areas are to be repurposed for extra seating. Dancing indoors would require face coverings to be worn.

Can you have a band and DJ?

Yes. Absolutely.

Can I have a photobooth?

Yes. Advised that you also have hand sanitiser to use before and after.


Must face coverings be worn?

If your ceremony and reception are indoors then face coverings must be worn, with the exemption of the couple and the officiant during the service and while eating and drinking.

Can I have a guestbook and other items that people have to touch?

Yes, you are still able to have these items but it is advised that you also have hand sanitiser to use before and after.

Can we still have speeches?

Yes, these are preferred outside but can happen inside in a well ventilated space.

Does everyone have to wear masks for photographs?

All guests, when indoors, have to wear a mask when not eating or drinking. If outdoors, marks are not required.


Does food and drink have to be served at the table?

Inside a Covid-secure venue all food and drink must be ordered and served at the table. If no alcohol is being served then people can order at a counter/bar but all beverages and food must still be consumed at the table, even when outdoors in a Covid-secure venue.

When hosting an event in an outdoor space in a private garden, you should continue to follow the guidance set out, including providing table service, ensuring that attendees consume food and drink whilst seated.

Can my guests use a food truck at a Covid-secure venue?

You can still have your food truck at the venue but provisions would need to be made to ensure all food is ordered and served to the table by waiting staff.

Can I have a standing drinks reception?

In a Covid-secure venue, guests are able to stand up as long as they do not eat or drink whilst standing. All drinks should be consumed while seated.


How will the venue(s) determine their capacity?

The venue(s) will complete a risk assessment which will determine their max capacity.

If your wedding is being hosted/organised by a Covid-secure venue then they will complete the risk assessment.

If your wedding is in a private garden, in a private home or on private land then whomever is organising the wedding will complete the risk assessment, for example, the bride, groom, parents or the wedding planner.

You do not have to hand in your own risk assessment, simply keep it with you for the planning of your wedding and as a point of reference, updating it as your plans progress.

If your wedding ceremony is taking place outside, in your garden, private land or public land and you have only 30 guests in attendance (including the bride and groom but not including anyone working), you do not have to do a risk assessment.

Download Covid FAQs for Weddings PDF