Wedding Venue Update - Grab a drink, long post alert :)
Firstly, thank you to the Dorset Registration Services for their updates to keep the county's licensed wedding venues informed about the current Covid 19 situation.
I want to share this with you to keep you in the know too.
Weddings are in Stage 2 of the Government's Recovery Plan
The government’s Covid 19 Recovery Strategy made specific mention that weddings (potentially) will re-start in step 2
“the government is examining how to enable people to gather in slightly
larger groups to better facilitate small weddings.”
However, the Prime Minister, did not mention weddings when sharing the stage 2 lockdown easing, which came into effect on the 1st June with others scheduled for the 15th June providing the easing criteria are met.
What does this mean for you and your wedding ceremony?
Well, nothing really has changed; weddings in England are still not allowed to go ahead.
It is a different story in Northern Ireland where, from Monday 8th June they have announced that outdoor ceremonies of no more than 10 people can go ahead. This could be an indication of how developments in England might progress.
A Glimmer of Hope
Many couples with a wedding booked in the near future are naturally anxious to know what is happening; we share your frustrations. In my personal opinion it is highly likely that some form of 'small wedding' will be allowed in the coming weeks and it is down to you to have that conversation between you of what this means for your wedding plans.
Is a small wedding for you?
An intimate wedding ceremony with a very small guest list of your closest family and friends is highly romantic and will still look amazing.
You can have a larger party with your wider social group at some future date.
If this is for you, you might want to start thinking now who these guests might be. The minimum number of people at the ceremony will be six: the to Registrars, you as the couple and your two witnesses.
Plan for 6, 10 and 20.
Also decide if you are prepared to have an outdoor ceremony if this means that you can have a larger number of guests present to watch you exchange your marriage vows.
Wedding Venues Asked to Prepare Covid 19 Secure Risk Assessment
Licensed wedding venues in Dorset have been asked to prepare a Covid 19 Secure Risk Assessment.
This must be shared with the Registration Service before they will conduct a ceremony at the venue.
So, what are we being asked to consider in our Covid 19 Risk Assessment?
Firstly, the size of the ceremony room(s) and the number of people it can accommodate under 2m social distancing guidance.
Next, the entry and exit points.
All spaces used before and during the wedding ceremony must be included including where the pre-ceremony interviews will take place.
And, the venues are being asked to look at outdoor ceremonies because this is considered a safe way for weddings to go ahead
The Outdoor Wedding Ceremony might be the first to go ahead in the lockdown easing
At Sunninghill we are fortunate to have two outdoor licensed ceremony areas. However, not all venues have a licensed outdoor ceremony area. There is a solution.......
The Solution for Venues Without Outdoor Ceremony License
The legal requirement for the Couple, the Registrars and the Witnesses to be under licensed cover when the legal declaration is made, remains. So too is the 2m social distancing guidance. See the diagram above for what this might look like..
Where the venue doesn't have a licensed outdoor area, or, the space is too small to meet the 2m social distancing the solution is for the couple to make their legal declaration (just a few sentences)
before, or after the outdoor ceremony.
You can choose to do the legal bit before or after the outdoor ceremony.
Your outdoor ceremony can take place anywhere in the grounds of your venue e.g. in their garden on a lawn or in front of non-licensed structure (arbour, arch, moongate etc). The only criteria is that it must meet the 2m social distancing requirement.
For wedding guests, this will look and feel like a real ceremony.
Wedding Couples should be prepared for their 2021 wedding ceremony earlier or later than the popular 2pm time slot
With an estimated 170,000 postponed weddings being rescheduled for 2021 couples looking to marry next year must be prepared for their ceremony to be held earlier or later in the day as the Registration Service will not be able to marry everyone at 2pm!
Remember the Registrars are happy to conduct ceremonies outside of 'office hours'. Anyone thinking of a candlelit ceremony at sunset?
An alternative if your local Registrar Service is unavailable is to book an independence celebrant to conduct your ceremony. You can legalise this in a short ceremony at the registry office to make your legal declaration (marriage vows) at a different time.
Sunninghill Weddings commitment to making our venue as safe as possible
At Sunninghill we are blessed with a large outdoor area and all rooms used as part of the wedding day have the ability to remain connected with separate entry and exit door to the grounds.
We have a Covid 19 Secure Risk Assessment in place, this was written in March this year. This doesn't mean we are complacent, far from it! Your safety and that of your guests is remains paramount.
If you would like to chat though any of the above please send a message.
Alternatively call me, Jacky, on 07815 429073.
Fingers crossed there will be an announcement soon.
Motorcycle enthusiasts really made their wedding vows their own!
This awesome couple surprised their wedding guests at their ceremony held in Sunninghill Weddings Venue one year ago today.
Happy 1st Anniversary Angie and Ben!
The Sunninghill Weddings Team