What are the changes to weddings and civil partnerships?

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The restrictions on attendees for weddings and civil partnerships have been lifted from the 21st June 2021 to allow ceremonies, receptions and civil partnerships to take place in COVID-secure venues, as well as private gardens.

The restrictions on the number of attendees is now based on the capacity of the chosen venue taking into account the continuation of the social distancing requirements. If the event is to take place inside a private home or an indoor structure in the garden the number of attendees can be either 6 people or 2 households. 

However, it is worth noting that an outdoor structure is considered to be ‘outdoors’ if half its walled area is open at any one time; this assists with expanding capacity. 

Those that are responsible for organising a ceremony, reception or civil partnership are required to complete a risk assessment for COVID-19, however, if the event is to take place in gardens of private homes or land, it is only required if there are to be more than 30 people attending. The risk assessment should be retained for at least 28 days after the event. 

COVID-Secure Venue 

A venue that is determined COVID-secure is where it is operated or used by a business or charitable benevolent, public body or philanthropic institution. Safety steps will have been implemented including a risk assessment, capacity limit, social distancing measures, ventilation, and routine surface cleaning.

Private Venue 

A private venue may be land or gardens or homes privately owned by you or friends and family. The restrictions on acceptable venues to have a ceremony have changes to allow couples to get married or become civil partners in these places, however, religious requirements may not have. 

If you seek to have an event at a private venue and there is to be more than 30 people attending, you or the organiser will need to consider the risks, mitigate those risks identified, and record both the risk and mitigation measures in a risk assessment document. Retain this document for at least 28 days following the event. 

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