Weddings: 30-person limit lifted in England and numbers instead dictated by venue's capacity and social distancing

What does the delay mean for people who have weddings planned?

The current 30-person limit for weddings in England is to be lifted and instead guest numbers will be dictated by a venue's capacity, Boris Johnson has said.

The prime minister announced the changes while confirming that most Covid-19 restrictions in England will remain in place for another four weeks, delaying the planned June 21 unlocking until July 19.

While there will be no limit to the number of guests allowed to attend a wedding, the PM said numbers will be dictated by the capacity of venues - the amount of invitees must allow for social distancing.

An estimated 50,000 weddings are reported to have been planned in the month after 21 June.

The wedding industry previously said it would cost them £300 million a week if the lifting of wedding restrictions was to be pushed back.

The industry has been decimated and couples left heartbroken by the constant delays in England.

What are the current rules and what could new rules look like?

What will the rules for weddings in England be from June 21?

Marquees on private land can only have two sides up to qualify as outdoors. The limit on weddings inside private homes remains at six, except a deathbed wedding when up to 30 people are permitted. No more than six people can sit at a table. There will be no limit to the number of guests allowed to attend a wedding. Numbers will be dictated by the capacity of venues - the amount on invitees must allow for social distancing.

Risk assessments will be carried out by venues, which will be left to establish the safe numbers allowed. The reception must be table service only - no buffet - and singing and indoor dancing will remain banned. Dancing is allowed outside, although people are advised not to.

Hannah Keane, who is getting married in England, said despite the lifting of wedding restrictions, she is no longer excited for her big day


All of Wales has been in alert level 2 since May 17. This means that organised activities, including wedding receptions can be arranged for up to 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

Indoor wedding receptions cannot take place inside private homes, but food and drink are permitted at both indoor and outdoor wedding receptions in line with Covid hospitality guidance.

Unlike in England, outdoor receptions cannot take place in private gardens as the current restrictions are that only up to six people from two households (not including carers or children under 11 from either household) can meet outdoors in private gardens and private outdoor spaces.

A reception can be held at a regulated, Covid-secure venue which has not held the wedding ceremony itself.

Weddings have been severely affected by the constant delays. Credit: PA


Most of Scotland moved into level one on June 5 which meant people were allowed to meet inside cafes, pubs and restaurants in groups of eight as restrictions eased across the country.

But a number of areas remained in level two after seeing a spike in coronavirus cases.

Under level one rules, people can meet outdoors in groups of up to 12 adults from 12 households, the number of people allowed at weddings 100.

But for those in level 2, including Glasgow, only 50 people can attend and there is an 10.30pm curfew. Those in level 1 have until 11pm.

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Low-level background music is allowed at wedding receptions, but the couple’s ‘first dance’ and a dance between the couple’s parents provided they live in the same household is the only dancing permitted.

Guests must wear face coverings other than when eating and drinking. 

Wedding receptions are allowed to take place inside or outside at private homes provided they are within the indoor/outdoor socialising limits. 

Northern Ireland

There is no set limit to how many can attend marriages or civil partnership ceremonies, instead the number is determined by a risk assessment specific for the venue.

Guests must wear face coverings and the venue must be able to accommodate two-metre social distancing. Children under 12, the couple and the officiant are exempt. Communal singing should be avoided if possible, even if social distancing is being observed and face coverings are used.

Again the couple is allowed a first dance, but, that is it for the disco. No live music is allowed and any recorded music must be played at "an ambient level".