Getting married during a pandemic - What are the latest rules for wedding guests?

The new rules around who can and can't attend weddings have been confusing couples since they were announced. Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images

New coronavirus regulations in force from Monday, 28 September, will limit the number of people at weddings to just 15. Since July, the limit had been 30 people. For many couples, the new rules mean yet another change of plan, and for the wedding industry, more financial uncertainty.

Rhianne Montgomery and Oliver Lucas, from Calne in Wiltshire, had originally planned a wedding for 75 people when they first booked in April 2019.

They then had to shrink the guest list to 30, and must now whittle it down by another 15. Due to a travel ban they have also had to cancel their honeymoon to Mauritius.

Despite all this, they are determined to get married this year. 

I think we're at Plan H now! We flitted between really angry, because we've seen things like pubs and restaurants that are really busy. We felt really upset because this is such a big day for us. We've put so much effort into it.

Rhianne Montgomery, bride-to-be
Oliver Lucas and Rhianne Montgomery from Calne. Credit: ITV News West Country

The new rules affecting weddings in England from 28 September:

  • A maximum of 15 people at the ceremony and reception

  • This total includes the couple and their guests but excludes people working at the wedding, such as a registrar or photographer

  • The reception must be a sit-down meal in a Covid-secure venue or outdoor public space

  • Receptions in private homes and gardens are not allowed

  • People do not need to limit their interaction to groups of six, but social distancing should still be followed between people not in the same household or support bubble


Marriages and civil partnerships are a vital part of our society, uniting couples to start their new life together and affording certain legal rights. […] However, by their very nature, in bringing families and friends together, they are particularly vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19.

UK Government

According to the Government, the new guidance is being kept under review and will be updated again if and when the coronavirus situation changes.