Covid Secure Wedding Ceremonies at Cott Farm

Weddings from 4th July 2020: Our understanding of the current situation 

The government announced an ease of lockdown restrictions on 23 June 2020. This included news that wedding ceremonies are permitted from Saturday 4th July 2020. The government then published guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships on 29th June 2020. A summary of our understanding of this guidance is below. 

Note: As this guidance is advisory, it must be read in conjunction with the law (in particular The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/350) reg. 7, Restrictions on gatherings).

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Wedding ceremonies

  • Legal ceremonies are permitted in a church or approved venue. 
  • A maximum 30 people may attend, providing the venue can safely accommodate this number of people with social distancing. 
  • Social distancing rules mean households must stay 2m apart, or 1m with mitigation (for example face coverings). 
  • This maximum includes the couple, two registrars and any suppliers (such as photographers, videographers, musicians etc).
  • The maximum number does not need to include venue staff.
  • The maximum number of invited guests is 26 which must include two witnesses. Fewer, if suppliers such as those above are attending.
  • The minimum number of people for a legal ceremony is six: two registrars, the couple and two witnesses. 
  • Ceremonies can take place indoors or outdoors. The room or outdoor structure must hold a current licence for ceremonies.
  • The licensed room must be large enough to safely maintain social distancing before, during and after the ceremony. If not, fewer people must attend.
  • There should be no singing, shouting and/or playing ‘musical instruments that are blown into’. 
  • No food or drink should be consumed as a part of the event unless required for the purposes of solemnisation.
  • The venue manager must keep an accurate temporary record of visitors for 21 days to assist the NHS Test and Trace service.

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Wedding receptions

The 30 people exception is specific to your wedding ceremony. For everything else, including wedding receptions, the legislation remains that no more than two households can ‘gather’ indoors or outdoors, and no more than six people from different households outdoors.

Despite pubs, bars, restaurants and wedding venues being permitted to re-open, they cannot facilitate gatherings of more than the above. Small celebrations can currently only lawfully take place with up to six people from different households outdoors, or with a group of no more than two households indoors and outdoors. Social distancing guidelines would apply. 

The government will review temporary restrictions every 28 days, meaning this restriction could be amended or lifted at the next review in the middle of July.

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Wedding ceremonies at Cott Farm
Micro weddings at Cott Farm

Covid secure procedure & risk assessment

The following is an extract from The Barn at Cott Farm’s procedure for Covid Secure weddings. All clients, their guests and their contracted suppliers will be expected to read and follow this procedure. We review our Risk Assessment at least every four weeks during the pandemic and update this assessment to reflect the latest guidance from governing and advisory bodies. Please contact us if you’d like us to email you a copy.

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Wedding ceremonies are permitted from Saturday 4th July 2020. Couples can say I Do, either at a church or an approved venue, for the first time in three months. 

Cott Farm is an approved venue, which is licensed for legal marriages and civil partnerships. The safety and comfort of everyone involved in a wedding at Cott Farm remains our priority.

Our Covid Secure procedure was prepared using guidance and recommendations from governing and advisory bodies, including national and local government, Public Health England, the European Public Health Association, the NHS, WHO, HSE, as well as industry-specific representatives. It specifically addresses the transmission risks of COVID-19 and identifies our procedures to manage these risks. 

The Registration Service requires us to provide our risk assessment, venue re-opening compliancy confirmation and registrar specific compliancy confirmation before their Officers are permitted to attend and conduct ceremonies at our venue.

The aim is to protect the health of all employees, customers and visitors by minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

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Updated 30th June 2020.

Wedding ceremonies at Cott Farm
Micro weddings at Cott Farm