Singing, touching, and “instruments that are blown into” are all off limits under new government guidance for coronavirus-safe weddings.
Large receptions after the ceremony, food for guests and loud music have also been specifically advised against in the guidance, which was published on Monday morning.
Even the process of exchanging rings has been sanitised, with the new advice specifically advising that “hands should be washed before and after”, with the wedding bands themselves “handled by as few people as possible”.
As restaurants, cinemas and hotels open their doors, from July 4 up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings or civil partnerships in licensed venues in England.
Weddings in England had previously been banned in almost all cases. Northern Ireland has allowed outdoors weddings with 10 people present, Wales has now permitted small ceremonies and weddings in Scotland are still off limits unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example if one partner is seriously ill.
From July 4, ceremonies in England must take place in “Covid-19 secure environments” and should be “concluded in the shortest reasonable time”.
This means that some religious ceremonies, which can take place over the course of several hours or days, now have to be adapted to be as short as possible.