With tens of thousands of couples waiting patiently to tie the knot, we reveal what we know so far about wedding restrictions across Ireland.
All eyes are on the wedding industry, as restrictions begin to ease and the prospect of tying the knot in style revives after a year of anxiety and postponements.
The story so far in Northern Ireland is that weddings and civil partnerships can currently go ahead as long as face coverings are worn by all, except those exempted – but numbers will depend on the risk assessment carried out for the venue.
And while receptions and post ceremony gatherings still aren’t permitted, brides planning their weddings can view marriage venues – as long as the group is restricted to four customers per visit.
Meanwhile, Stormont has set an indicative date of May 24 to resume post-ceremony wedding functions, with numbers determined by the venue on a risk-assessed basis. No restrictions on numbers at the top table, but other tables are restricted to a maximum of 10, although children under 12 aren’t included in this number.
Sorry, but it’s still going to be no dancing and no live music – the only exception to the dance rule is the couple’s first dance – and ambient music has to be kept down to a volume that allows normal conversation.
As for hotels, an indicative date of 24 May has been set for the reopening of all tourism accommodation, and that includes shared facilities.
In the Republic, up to 50 people are now allowed to attend a wedding ceremony, but only 15 guests can attend an outdoor reception or six at an indoor reception.
However, if all goes to plan, hotels and B&Bs will be allowed to reopen services for guests only from June 2. And from June 7, up to 25 people will be able to attend a wedding reception – so we’re getting there!
Meanwhile, it’s been good news across the water for the 250,000 British couples who have been patiently waiting to tie the knot, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirms that the third stage of lockdown easing is to go ahead.
Up to 30 people will now be able to attend weddings and receptions at Covid-secure venues in England indoors or outdoors.
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