2020 saw numerous couples forced into postponing their wedding, with many needing to in 2021 too – but weddings with limits in place have been given the green-light with the hope of no restrictions from June 21, depending on government guidance.
All couples must check rules with their venue, but Peterborough City Council (PCC) has confirmed the plans for Peterborough Register Office due to social distancing rules and length.
For all venues from May 17, if the roadmap stays on track, the legal number of attendees allowed at ceremonies is 30 including the couple and witnesses but not including registration officials or staff working at the venue. However, Covid-19 safety measures may mean that the maximum capacity of room at the venue is less than 30.
At the Register Office, the legal limit is eight people in the Lawns room, which includes the couple, witnesses, guests (including any children) and photographer. This maximum capacity will remain for the foreseeable future in order to maintain Covid-19 safety measures. PCC added: "We cannot say at this point if, or when, this may change."
Social distancing needs to be upheld and people must wear masks excluding the couple; ceremonies must also take place in the shortest reasonable time and be limited to the elements ensuring the marriage or civil partnership is valid in law; additional readers cannot be included.
Rings must be placed on the table at the start of the ceremony to avoid being handled by someone other than the couple and guests must sanitise hands when they enter the room. The couple and witnesses are also asked to sanitise before and after signing the register.
From June 21, government guidance is likely to change, though plans are yet to be put in place.