COVID-19 update – wedding receptions from 1 August 2020

By July 20, 2020announcement

Latest announcement 17th July 2020

We’ve had a real flurry of emails from couples who were due to have a big wedding this summer and who now just really want to get married, even if they have to have massive cuts to their guest list.

We’re keeping up with the various changes to wedding ceremonies and receptions announced by the Govt recently.

The announcement last week on 17 July contained one sentence relating to weddings.  From 1 August 2020, wedding receptions of no more than 30 people are allowed.

We’ve waited for the detailed guidance and that has now been issued.  You can access it and download it here.

Detailed guidance

The detailed guidance says that from 1st August 2020 wedding receptions (including ‘sit-down meals’) can be held for up to 30 people, subject to following COVID-19 guidance.

The guidance is not completely clear but our reading of it is that the rules for restaurants apply to any sit-down meal.   That means no more than 2 households per table and 2 metres between tables as the dining area is indoors.

first lookSo can we now have 30 guests for a wedding after 1 August?

We’ve taken the decision as a venue that we’re not taking any bookings for 2020 weddings with more than 12 guests (plus the couple getting married).  Our normal guest numbers are 12 guests for September, October and April elopements and no more than 8 guests for all other winter months (that’s November, December, February and March).   We’re keeping to those maximum guest numbers for this year – we’re not going up to 30 guests.   We’re not even going up to 20 guests which is our usual MMW wedding numbers.

We’re satisfied we can accommodate the new restrictions for our elopement weddings so we can do a socially distanced ceremony and a socially distanced sit-down meal for 12-14 people.  So that’s the maximum for us til the end of 2020.

Why?

We can’t see how we can comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines for 30 or even 20 people.  When the 2020 summer wedding season was cancelled due to COVID-19, we took the decision not to set up our wedding marquee this year.  That means there’s no carpet, no lining and it’s curtained off from the rest of the venue.

Whilst the current COVID-19 sit-down meal guidelines are in force, we’ll be setting up our long tables and joining them together for 2 households. Normally the long tables sit 3 people on either side (so 6 in total) but we’ll be restricting numbers to 3 guests per table and have people sitting on one side rather than 2 sides.

We can place the tables with different households 2 metres apart to comply with the guidance.   There will be no sharing food except per table.   Canapés will be placed on each separate table and guests from that table can help themselves to the canapés on the table.

The same will apply to champagne poured immediately after the ceremony.  Flutes will be poured and left on each table for all the guests on that table to help themselves.

bride & groom out door wedding photography

Photographer: Ashley Hampson

What about 2021?

Like most venues we’re assuming that by the time our summer season starts again in May next year, things will look more normal and there’ll be changes to the guest numbers.

Like everyone else we’re keeping things under constant review, we’ll be learning as we go and adapting to any new guidance as it comes out.

If you’ve got any questions about what’s possible and what’s not right now, get in touch.  Email me at nicola@lowergrenofen.co.uk