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Wedding Northern Ireland wedding latest Covid-19 restrictions explained

12:25  19 april  2021
12:25  19 april  2021 Source:   belfastlive.co.uk

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Many couples across Northern Ireland are anxiously waiting to see if they can tie the knot in the original way they had planned.

The Executive has approved arrangements for indoor weddings from Monday April 12.

Current restrictions say the number permitted to attend weddings and civil partnerships is to be informed by a risk assessment for the venue. This also applies to an outdoor marriage.

There are to be no pre or post celebratory events and no alcohol may be sold or consumed.

The resumption of post ceremony receptions or functions with numbers of guests to be informed by a risk assessment for the venue has been given an indicative date of May 24.

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Current restrictions

  • Venues must risk assess and determine maximum numbers permitted to attend based on their ability to ensure social distancing.
  • Face coverings must be worn by all unless exempt, other than those in the marriage party. Receptions or post ceremony gatherings are not permitted at the minute.
  • All individuals involved in the ceremony including attendees, guests and officiants should observe social distancing from those they do not live with, except where they are part of the same support bubble.
  • Wherever possible, the public are asked keep to social distancing of at least two metres between households.
  • Food and drink should not be consumed at the ceremony unless this is essential for religious purposes.
  • The Executive states that "singing, playing musical instruments, and chanted prayer are an important part of many religious services but can increase dispersal of the virus through aerosols and droplets". Where singing or chanting is deemed to be essential to an act of worship, advice is that this should be limited to one person wherever possible. Communal singing should be avoided if possible, even if social distancing is being observed and face coverings are used.
  • Customers can view the facilities of venues used for marriages and civil partnerships, such as hotels and other venues, restricted to a maximum of four customers per visit.
  • A marriage or civil partnership where one partner is terminally ill can take place in a private dwelling. A maximum of 10 people can attend including all participants and the officiant.

Restrictions from May 24

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  • This indicative date has been set for the resumption of post ceremony receptions or functions with numbers of guests to be informed by a risk assessment for the venue. This will be subject to review.

Here are some of your questions answered by the TEO on current restrictions:

Can I view a venue for my marriage/civil partnership ceremony or reception (in anticipation of them being permitted) before I make a booking?

Yes, the couple plus two others are permitted to view a venue with one member of staff. Mitigations including hand sanitising, social distancing and wearing of face coverings at all times whilst in the venue must be adhered to.

Can people from two or more households travel in the same transport?

Social distancing guidelines remain in place therefore if the vehicle can facilitate this, it is permissible for short periods of time. Face coverings should be worn and windows kept open.

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Are spectators allowed to congregate outside the venue?

There is a limit of up to 15 people who can gather outside. Social distancing and other mitigating requirements set out by PHA must be adhered to.

How many guests can the venue hold? Is it dependent on social distancing or a set number of guests?

The number attending marriages / civil partnerships ceremonies is determined by a risk assessment for the venue. Receptions or post ceremony gatherings are not permitted.

Do we have to wear a face covering during the service?

It is mandatory to wear face coverings inside a place of worship and when entering and exiting.

For ceremonies taking place in other permitted venues such as hotels, you must wear a face covering.

Face covering exemptions apply. This does not apply to the person leading worship or to a couple who are at a ceremony to solemnise their marriage or to form their civil partnership.

Can music be played during the ceremony, particularly when the bride is walking down the aisle and the couple walk back up the aisle?

Yes, music is permitted.

Can group photos, extended family photos, friendship photos be taken indoors?

Large groups should not form for the purpose of photograph, unless social distancing can be maintained.

Can people mingle together?

There are to be no pre or post celebratory events.

For more information surrounding weddings and civil partnerships, CLICK HERE.

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