Following the announcement allowing small wedding ceremonies in England from 4th July, the government published guidance to assist with planning a Covid-19 secure small wedding of up to 30 people and have updated it several times since: Click here for government guidance for small weddings which was updated on 12th October 2020 with the introduction of local COVID alert levels.
UPDATE: On 5th August 2020, Cumbria Registration Service announced that from 8th August 2020, it will be mandatory for all guests at a ceremony in a registry office or approved venue to wear a face covering (unless exempt for medical reasons): Click here for more information on Cumbria Registration Service website
UPDATE: On 13th August, the government announced that small wedding receptions - sit down meals for no more than 30 people and subject to Covid-19 Secure guidance - will be allowed, in addition to ceremonies, from 15th August 2020: Click here for government guidance on small wedding receptions and celebrations
UPDATE: On 22nd September, the government announced that wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships will be restricted to 15 people. This includes the couple and 2 witnesses, it does not include the 2 ceremony officers and any third party suppliers - for example a photographer. It is expected that these restrictions will be in place for the next 6 months.
UPDATE: On 12 October the government introduced a system of local COVID alert levels and associated restrictions. In general, these additional restrictions do not have significant implications for small marriages or civil partnerships, with the exception that wedding receptions cannot take place in areas that are subject to ‘local COVID alert level - very high’ restrictions.
The restrictions on numbers, requirements for social distancing, limitations on post-ceremony celebrations and uncertainty about how long restrictions will apply, continue to leave many couples pondering what to do - especially those with weddings planned for autumn 2020 and winter 2020/21. Obviously your best sources of information and guidance as you think about what to do will be your wedding planner, venue staff and the officiant for your wedding. However, I'm also ready to help in any way I can - including modifying your package, adapting my approach, changing your date, switching to a different venue or refunding your deposit.
If you're able to go ahead despite restrictions
If you're able to go ahead with your wedding in a form that you're happy with despite the restrictions, then that will be amazing! For those already planning very small or 'Just Us' weddings, it may well be possible to go ahead with minimal impact on your plans. In anticipation of this, I've adapted my approach to capturing your wedding to ensure I operate in a Covid-19 secure way without putting anyone at risk. For example, I'm staying home as much as possible to keep well, I'm keeping up to date with changes in guidance for social distancing, I've done a mental risk assessment for each stage of the wedding and I've developed a list of things to talk through with you beforehand.
For others willing to scale back their wedding plans - perhaps moving the post-ceremony celebrations until next year - it may still be possible to plan a fabulous and memorable wedding day, putting even more focus on you as a couple supported by your closest of family and friends. In this case, as well as adapting my approach as above, I've also worked out how to capture group photos and other wedding traditions in a Covid-19 secure manner.
I'm also ready to adjust your photography package as needed to take into account of any changes in your plans - for example you may need less photography coverage if you're not having an evening reception, but might want to add LIVE streaming of the ceremony to your package, so any guests you can't have with you physically, can still join you remotely on your special day: Click here for more details on LIVE streaming your wedding
If you're thinking of postponing your wedding
On the other hand, if you feel the current guidance is too restrictive and worry it might still be in place on your wedding day, you may be thinking about rescheduling your wedding. If that's the case, I'll obviously try to accommodate a change of date and/or venue for you, so please don't hesitate to let me know about any dates you might be considering, so I can check my availability for you. And, in the event, I don't have availability for your revised date, then please don't worry, I can simply refund your deposit, so you can find another photographer to capture your day for you when it comes.
If you decide to move your wedding to next year or beyond, that's no problem at all, but I hope to won't mind me asking for a small uplift in my fees to take account of pricing changes in future years.
If you're having to cancel and regroup
Equally, I'm ready to help if you want to move your wedding but haven't been able to find a suitable revised date. If want to cancel your booking while you decide what to do, then I can either keep your booking open without a date or refund your deposit if you'd prefer to start again when you worked out what you want to do.
So, whatever your situation, I'm here to help! Whatever you decide to do, your day WILL come and it WILL be amazing, even if it's not entirely what you envisaged at the outset! Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about anything and in the meantime, take care and stay safe.