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What are the wedding rules in England?

Boris Johnson’s reported wedding to Carrie Symonds takes place amid ongoing Covid restrictions on couples’ celebrations.

According to the government for England, up to 30 people can attend wedding and civil partnership ceremonies in Covid-safe locations that are allowed to be opened.

Receptions and celebrations are also permitted for up to 30 people indoors or outdoors.

Anyone who works at events is not one of the limits.

The partial relaxation of restrictions on May 17 raised the maximum attendance limit from 15 to allow more people to party in Covid-safe locations.

Lockdown weddings faced restrictions (Peter Byrne / PA)

Children of all ages are included in the attendance limit for both ceremonies and receptions.

Overall, the guide advises that ceremonies and services “should be completed in a timely manner and limited to these elements in order to ensure the legal validity of the marriage or civil partnership”.

The current rules state that wedding guests and staff must wear face covering, except when eating or drinking or where there are exceptions.

Venues and places of worship can provide food and drink, but must adhere to hospitality guidelines.

Guests do not have to be placed on socially distant tables, but should be served all food and drinks while seated.

People are encouraged to “exercise caution” about social distancing at events and are warned that close contact “including hugs” increases the risk of spreading Covid-19

Amateur choirs, bands, or musicians can also perform at events in a group of up to six people indoors, while they can perform outdoors in multiple groups of up to 30 people.

The guidelines also state: “Dancing is not recommended due to the increased risk of transmission, except for the couple’s ‘first dance’.”

The rules also suggest that speeches should be given outdoors or in “well-ventilated areas wherever possible”.

The government is aiming to lift all restrictions on weddings starting June 21, but that depends on the outcome of a social distancing review, event research program, and the impact of coronavirus variants.


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