Petition Increase Number of Guests Permitted at Weddings, according to Venue Capacity
Weddings take months and even years of intricate planning. Myself and many others believe the maximum number of guests authorised at wedding ceremonies should be increased. The number of guests permitted at weddings should be calculated according to venue capacity.
For instance, if a venue has a capacity of 600 people social distancing could still be practised with 1/5 of this number. People should not have to alter their plans if social distancing is observed. Surely, if beaches are allowed to remain open, weddings should be permitted to go ahead considering appropriate measures are put in place. It is more than apparent social distancing is not practised at such public places of leisure, thus guidelines for weddings should be reconsidered.
This response was given on 11 September 2020
Wedding ceremonies and celebrations can go ahead provided COVID-Secure guidelines are followed. However social distancing guidance remains, including limiting attendees at weddings to 30 people.
We understand how important weddings are to many people, and how their plans have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak – not just to the couple wishing to get married but their families, guests and those companies and organisations wanting to deliver these events. However it is important to recognise that weddings pose risks for transmission of COVID-19 as they involve people from multiple households meeting and spending extended periods of time in close proximity.
Wedding ceremonies can take place with a maximum of 30 people present provided the COVID-19 secure guidance is followed. In addition, from 15 August 2020, wedding receptions have been able to go ahead. These celebrations should not take place in private homes or gardens, but rather in COVID-19 secure venues and can comprise of up to 30 people. Social distancing must be maintained at all times. The guidance to be followed for receptions and marriage ceremonies can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships.
We know that the restrictions laid out in this guidance may be disappointing for many couples planning their big day and recognise that this may create challenges for those planning such events. We do not want the restrictions to go on for a day longer than they have to, but our priority is controlling the virus and ensuring that weddings do not put the couple, their family, friends, and venue staff at risk.
From 14 September it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 unless you are meeting for an exempt reason. The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines. The limit of 30 people at a wedding ceremony or reception will be one of the few occasions when people are legally permitted to gather in groups of more than 6 people. More details on this limit can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing.
We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes to the guidance as and when it is safe to do so.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
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