What Does The Government’s Coronavirus Roadmap Mean?

flower arrangement

With thanks to Laura and Benny Photography who have compiled the body of this article. The original of which can be found here

If you have a wedding planned over the next few months, you may be wondering where you stand. Lockdown restrictions are going to be lifted in stages and the Irish government has announced that this will take place over 5 phases.

It’s likely no weddings will be allowed to take place until the start of Phase 4, which is due to begin on July 20th, and it’s proposed that restrictions around weddings will be loosened further in Phase 5, which is due to begin on August 10th. 


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Here’s that piece of paper from last night. You might find it useful too. #Covid19 #Roadmap #LateLateShow

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Laura and Benny Photography have put together a helpful post on what the roadmap could mean for your wedding if you’re getting married in July, August, September or October. Check out their full post here or read it in summary below.

Weddings and the Roadmap: some points to note

  • The Irish Government have released a Roadmap to Reopening Society & Business. In it there are 5 phases. That is 5 checkpoints that must be passed on the way to a new way of new social interactions and a new way of doing business.
  • There is a final checkpoint not to be forgotten about. That is the removal of all restrictions and going back to a pre-COVID way of social interactions and way of doing business. Being able to have any wedding you like.
  • From the roadmap we can see 2 types of wedding being permitted. Small Weddings in Phase 4 and Larger Weddings to be restricted in Phase 5. There are currently dates provided for targets as to when the Phase will move from one to another.
  • All being well hotels (and large venues) can open in Phase 4. The major caveat is there is no bar permitted.
  • Phase 5 sees the opening of bars within hotels and in general, where social distancing can be maintained.
  • One of the most important sentences in the document is “WHO predicts that the most plausible scenario is recurring epidemic waves interspersed with periods of low level transmission”. What that means is: if needed, phases will be paused/extended or even rolled back, if there is a rise in the disease again. Meaning check points may have to be repeatedly passed before we get to Phase 4 and Phase 5 and beyond.

bridal bouquet

Okay, so what does all that mean for your wedding?

Small weddings may be permitted in Phase 4, which depending on how things progress may begin on July 20th. Larger weddings may be permitted in Phase 5, which depending on how things progress, may begin August 10th. 

What is a small wedding? The exact details will have to be confirmed but it is probably reasonable to say the wedding couple and their immediate families, may be limited to 20 people. On the upper side of the limit, small may be more in the region of 50 people. We do not know at this point.

What is a larger Wedding? The last restrictions put in place was gatherings of 100 people indoors. Again, I think it is reasonable to presume a similar restriction on numbers may apply in Phase 5. On the higher more flexible side 150 people would be a great threshold as numbers of 120+ are quite common for Irish weddings.

Will I be able to have a bar at my wedding? On 20th July 2020 if hotels open, hotels will not be in a position to guarantee a bar will be open on the 10 August 2020. The first 2 weeks of each phase is to allow the change in restrictions to impact society and business. During the 3rd week of the phase the data from the previous weeks will be assessed. Judgement will be then be made as to whether we can move to the next phase.

On the 10 August 2020 bars may open, number restrictions will apply, and social distancing is to be maintained. The week prior to the 10 August 2020 we may have an indication that bars will open but quite possibly no time before that.

The point at which you make your decision is down to your threshold. Are you willing to have a small wedding with no bar? Are you willing to aim for a date and pull the wedding because we are not in Phase 5. What are the venues rules? Always keep that in mind.

How do I fit the Phase 5 uncertainty into my wedding?

Weddings in August, between 11th -31st: Are you willing to plough ahead and make any late decisions if the Phases do not move along as planned? This is kind of week 1 to 3 of larger weddings (restricted).

Weddings in September, the potential of having clearer knowledge of bars and guest numbers will be there for you. This will be week 4 to 7 of larger weddings (restricted). The potential for a wedding going ahead is there.

Weddings in October are 8 to 12 weeks away from the targeted Phase 5 starting point. This group have the greatest advantage of knowing the circumstances of their wedding. However, each delay of a Phase may eat away at their flexibility and foresight.

bride and groom first dance

Should I postpone?

Is your Venue open? When is it going to open? Will the bar be open? Is your venue hosting events? What are the restrictions on gatherings? How is social distancing being implemented, particularly when dining?

Consider all those and more in relation to your timeline, you need to have a wedding you are happy with.

Consider guest safety. You may be confident of your health but consider the exposure to others. Are key members of your families that you want to attend vulnerable? Remember it is your wedding. Do what you are comfortable with, once there is still enjoyment in it.

The purpose of the day is to get married and to celebrate the marriage. There are endless scenarios, talk to all involved in helping to make your wedding day happen. Then you and your partner should know at some point what is right for you.

Are you rebooking your wedding? Our directory of suppliers might help.

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