Marriage and Civil Partnership Ceremonies Update
June 30, 2020
Couples looking to get married in Northumberland in the next few months will be contacted by the Northumberland Registration Service, following new government guidance.
As part of the easing of lockdown measures, the government announced that weddings and civil partnerships would be able to recommence from July 4.
New guidance states that gatherings of up to 30 people will be permitted but only in certain public places as set out in law.
The team in Northumberland will now be contacting couples who have a booking for July and August to discuss how the current restrictions will impact their day to help them deliver their ceremony in line with the guidance or to discuss a possible postponement to a later date.
The latest guidance for weddings and civil partnerships is as follows:
- From 4 July 2020, gatherings of up to 30 people will be permitted but only in certain public places as set out in law. This will include all licensed venues where marriage and civil partnership ceremonies can take place.
- At present, weddings and civil partnerships are strongly advised to go ahead only where they can be done is a Covid-19 secure environment. It is also advised that ceremonies are kept as short as reasonably possible and limited as far as reasonably possible to the parts of the ceremonies that are required in order for a marriage or civil partnership to be legally binding under the law of England and Wales. No more than 30 people should be present at a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a Covid-19 secure venue. In some instances, due to the size of the ceremony venue room, this number may be less.
- This maximum number includes all those at the ceremony, including the couple, witnesses, officiants and guests. It also includes any staff who are not employed by the venue, which may include photographers, security or caterers.
- For the purpose of a ceremony, the number of attendees should ideally be kept to a minimum as far as possible. The lower the number of attendees, the lower the risk of spreading the virus.
- Any individuals involved in the ceremony should not attend 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.
- During any part of the marriage or civil partnership ceremony, all parties should adhere to social distancing guidelines and apply a two metre distance where viable.
- Any receptions that typically follow or accompany marriages or civil partnerships are strongly advised not to take place at this time. Small celebrations should only take place if following social distancing guidelines – i.e. in groups of up to two households indoors, or up to six people from different households outdoors. Should you have any further questions regarding receptions, please contact your chosen venue directly.
Cllr Cath Homer, cabinet member for weddings at Northumberland County Council said: “We fully understand the unique significance that marriages and civil partnerships hold in people’s lives.
“We will do everything we can to support couples through this time and help them understand how the current restrictions may impact their ceremony. If they wish to go ahead with their wedding we will discuss with them how this can be done safely, and should they want to postpone the team will also support them through this process.
“We know that this has been a very stressful time for couples but I want to assure them that the Northumberland team is here to help.”