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PM Boris Johnson has announced that the planned unlocking, which had been due to happen on 21st June, will be delayed until July 19th at the earliest. Despite many restrictions remaining in place there was some good news in regards to weddings. Wedding restrictions will ease from June 21st, with maximum numbers no longer limited to 30, provided social distancing remains in place. 

Updated wedding rules in England?

More than 30 guests will be able to attend a wedding from 21 June.

  • England is currently in Step 3 as Step 4 has been delayed to July 21st. However, it has been announced that weddings with more than 30 guests can take place from June 21st, as long as social distancing is observed.
  • If you’re getting married at home or in a private dwelling, you have to do a risk assessment if you’re planning for more than 30 people and some rules will still apply. If you’re getting married at a venue they will have to assess the risks and stick to table service and other rules currently in place. We await the guidance to be updated for further information as to what is and is not permitted at these events.

Current Guidance Summary:


  • Ceremonies with more than 30 guests in COVID-secure venues that are permitted to open.
  • Alternative wedding ceremonies (i.e. celebrant ceremonies), and weddings under the law of England and Wales are permitted to take place outdoors, with more than 30 people, including in COVID-secure venues or private gardens.
  • Food and drink allowed as part of the ceremony.


  • Receptions with more than 30 people indoor in a Covid-secure venue (not in private homes) or outdoors anywhere including private gardens (At least 50% of the wall area of a marquee must be open for the venue to be classed as ‘outdoors’)
  • Social distancing should still be observed
  • Face coverings must be worn by attendees and staff indoors, except when eating/drinking, but excludes those the couple marrying and officiant.
  • Music – indoor professional performances can take place, including at a ceremony or reception, performing in a group of up to 6 indoors or 30 outdoors. No communal singing indoors.
  • Dancing is advised against due to the increased risk of transmission, except the couple’s ‘first dance’.
  • Dance floors and other spaces for dancing must remain closed but can be repurposed for additional customer seating or other relevant purposes, ensuring this is in line with the social distancing guidelines.
  • Cake cutting and the playing of games can take place.
  • Speeches should be undertaken outside or in well-ventilated areas wherever possible. 

Updated wedding rules in Scotland?

The number of people who can attend a wedding and reception varies:

  • Level two restriction area – up to 50 
  • Level one – up to 100
  • Level zero – up to 200

The maximum number of people depends on the size of the venue and whether social distancing can be maintained. The marrying couple and witnesses are included in this number.

Food and drink must be served at tables. Alcohol can be served until 22:30 in level two areas, 23:00 in level one areas, and in line with local licensing laws in level zero areas.

Updated rules in Wales?

Weddings and civil partnerships can take place in “approved premises”, up to the capacity of the venue given social distancing requirements. 

Venues must take all reasonable measures to minimise Covid spread.

Face coverings must be worn indoors by everyone (aged 11 and over) when not eating or drinking, unless they have a reasonable excuse. 

This does not apply to the married couple or the person officiating. 

Wedding receptions can be in regulated venues for up to 30 people indoors (outdoors limit set by Covid-risk assessment of venue), not including children under 11. They cannot take place in private homes or gardens. 

Food and drink are permitted in line with hospitality guidance. Physical distancing should be maintained at tables to avoid households mixing.

Source – BBC News 14 June 2021


This information is believed to be correct at the time of writing. However, the guidance concerning weddings and safe operation during this period is always changing. We do not present this as a complete analysis and would request that you do not rely on this when planning your wedding. For the latest advice please refer to the Government website.

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