Many couples have had to postpone their 2020 Wedding Days – but what are weddings going to be like for them after lockdown?
On the 23rd March 2020 the UK-wide lockdown sent shockwaves across the country, bringing an abrupt halt to our lives and future plans. With the lockdown measures put in place to avoid the spread of coronavirus, many couples had their wedding days put in to uncertainty. For some, weddings were days away, others in the following weeks and months and the lockdown was forecast to be at least 12 weeks before the first review. It was a major source of concern for the wedding service industry as well as the couples and families that it would immediately effect.
In the UK, and in fact across the world, this pandemic has meant that those couples looking forward to their spring and summer wedding day have been forced to look at postponing, rescheduling them until 2021 or 2o22, or for others it has meant that instead of the big wedding they had planned it has been scaled down to 30 people maximum at present from July 2020 and has to factor in social distancing. Can you imagine your wedding day family portraits with social distancing, not the happy, fun and joyous images that you had hoped for.
With all the disappointment over postponed weddings in the last few months and calls to suppliers trying to reschedule to their new wedding date, the continual question as a wedding photographer I have been asked is “when do you think that weddings will actually start back up again, and what might they be like post-coronavirus?”. Unfortunately I was as hopeful and helpless as my couples, I want nothing more than to capture the days they have dreamed of, but while things are slowly easing out of lockdown, I do think that any sort of ‘normal’ wedding may still be some months away from being possible.
Today, the 29th June the Government issued new guidance for weddings in the UK, here is an extract from that guidance that will affect your wedding day.
The marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation
- Should only take place in COVID-19 secure environments. Where a marriage ceremony can take place legally in other places not covered by this guidance (such as outdoor weddings that are permitted under the Marriage Act), the legal restrictions on gatherings must be followed for that place.
- It is advised that the ceremonies and services should be concluded in the shortest reasonable time, and limited as far as reasonably possible to the parts of the marriage or civil partnership that are required in order to be legally binding under the law of England and Wales.
- Religious communities should therefore adapt traditional religious aspects, especially where celebrations would otherwise have taken place over a number of hours, or even days, to ensure the safety of those present and minimal spread of infection.
- Large wedding receptions or parties after should not take place after the marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation. See restaurants and other hospitality industries guidance for further information.
- No food or drink should be consumed as a part of the event unless required for the purposes of solemnisation.
- Where the exchanging of rings is required or desired for the solemnisation of the marriage or the formation of the civil partnership, hands should be washed before and after. The rings should be handled by as few people as possible.
- Where an infant is involved in proceedings a parent/guardian or member of the infant’s household should hold the infant.
Social distancing measures
- All individuals involved in the ceremony (including attendees, guests and officiants) should be signposted to the current stay alert and social distancing guidance and that they or members of their household should not attend the marriage or civil partnership if they are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19. If either member of the couple have symptoms of COVID-19 the ceremony should not go ahead.
- Wherever possible, adhere to social distancing of at least 2 metres, or 1 mere with risk mitigation (where 2 metres is not viable), between households. For frequently used venues, mark areas using floor tape or paint to help people maintain social distance.
- You should consider and set out the mitigations you will introduce in your risk assessment. These could include, for instance, avoiding any face-to-face seating by changing layouts, reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces, improving ventilation, using protective screens and face coverings, and closing non-essential social spaces, as outlined throughout this guidance.
- People from different households should maintain social distancing between one another. This may require marriages or civil partnerships to be adapted to remove practices that would otherwise have brought people into contact with one another, unless required for the marriage or civil partnership to be legally binding. Where this is the case precautions should be put in place to minimise contact and ensure the timeframe is as short as possible.
- Visitors should avoid touching property belonging to others, such as shoes which, if removed, should be placed and collected by their owner while adhering to social distancing principles.
To read the rule document please follow this link:
What will weddings post-lockdown look like?
It is very clear that weddings in the immediate future will be far smaller than normal. Weddings with up to 30 guests can take place from 4th July in England. Here are the two clear differences I can see at the moment;
Guest lists could become a lot shorter – by necessity
I expect to see many more smaller, intimate weddings in the months ahead and social distancing still being part of everyday life even if it is reduced to 1 metre apart. We are told to avoid face-to-face seating by changing layout and table plans, at present all hospitality indoors will be table service only, and contact between staff and customers will be limited. Reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces which effect the ceremony and reception space (and of course the dance floor). The use of protective screens and face covering are not going to look fantastic in your wedding photos, and don’t forget to carry your hand sanitiser with your bridal bouquet.
Weekday weddings are becoming a lot more popular
Despite weekend weddings being in much higher demand for obvious reasons, couples who are rescheduling for 2021 had to think about a weekday wedding in order to have their wedding day sooner, rather than wait a year or more for a weekend wedding date. Let’s be honest, the longer you wait the more likely you are to have the wedding day celebration you dreamed of. However if you really don’t want to wait anymore to say “I do” then I would look at having a small wedding ceremony now and then have the reception at a later date with you renewing your vows or having a marriage blessing.
If you are looking at rescheduling your wedding or have become engaged during this lockdown and would like to find out more about my wedding photography, please do get in touch, we can arrange a zoom call and soon be able to meet for coffee or cocktails to discuss your plans.
The Vermont Hotel in Newcastle is a fantastic venue to work at. It is a classic 1930’s art deco style Hotel in the heart of Newcastle with a roof top terrace which has great views over the Newcastle city skyline, making it a very chic location for your wedding day ceremony and reception.
It was lovely to be back at The Vermont for Claire and David’s wedding day. I was thrilled when they asked me to be their wedding photographer for the day. Their wedding day was classic but not formal, relaxed and centered on their family and friends. All in all, a really wonderful day.
Here are our favourites from their day
Wedding photography in the North East covering Newcastle and the Durham and Sunderland
I’ve shot a fair few weddings at The Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle now and I’ve got to hand it to Anthea and Ollie… this was definitely one to remember You see these guys are just great fun, there’s no other way to describe them, and their day was completely unique to them. It was relaxed, fun, definitely romantic, and at the end of the day it was one big party with all their nearest and dearest.
I love talking about weddings, but instead, let’s find out what Anthea and Ollie thought about their wonderful wedding day….
The Love Story
We met in Ibiza 10 years ago whilst we were both on holiday. We knew in Ibiza that we were meant for each other and that we met our soulmate. We had a long-distance relationship for 6 years and although hard at times we always had our exciting goal of living up here together and getting married at heart.
The Best Part Of The Wedding Day
Olly- Anthea walking down the aisle and our first dance.
Anthea – Us saying our vows to each other and our first dance.
We wanted to share our love for each other and our love for Ibiza with our nearest and dearest. It was great fun giving everyone a taste of Ibiza in Newcastle! Glitter, glow sticks and great music!
The Wedding Details
The dress I chose was the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted. I wasn’t even going to try it on but after trying a fitted fishtail style dress I knew I wasn’t going to be able to throw shapes at the reception in it! When I tried my dress on I felt like a princess and loved that I could actually move and breathe! I loved the lace detail and sparkles. I came across some fab ideas on Pinterest for wedding flowers. I loved the idea of floral fans as I felt they were in fitting with our Ibizan theme, quirky and beautiful. It was a hot day so they came in useful too!
Why Was Photography Important To You?
Photographs contain memories and moments forever and it was important to us to find someone who we connected with to capture our special day.
After meeting Michelle we quickly realised how incredible she is! Her passion, style, and attention to detail (even things we had not thought about) blew us away. Michelle gave us so many ideas and guidance for other parts of the wedding and really helped guide us into making some important decisions. On the day Michelle was fantastic and so many of our guests have commented on how great she was and how much she helped out. At the start of the day, she was helping the hairdressers with my hair and later fixed my underskirt in my dress! She really went above and beyond on our day and we recommend her highly to anyone.
The Advice For Future Brides And Grooms
Don’t be afraid to choose things out of the ‘norm’ if it’s what you both love. Your wedding is a celebration of your love as a couple so give people a taste of your personality and interests. Most importantly… have fun and enjoy every moment!
The Best Part About Being Married
Being able to call each other husband and wife every day!
If you think weddings at The Copthorne Hotel on the Newcastle Quayside looks fabulous, you’d be right… Oh and did you know you know I’m a recommended photographer there?
Looking for a photographer to capture your own wedding at The Copthorne Hotel Newcastle in a natural and relaxed style? Get in touch by clicking HERE!