Weddings are back on! Small wedding receptions will be allowed to take place in England from Saturday 15th August, the Government has announced. The easing of lockdown restrictions to include wedding receptions was due to start on 1st August but was postponed just a day before the new guidelines were supposed to come into effect. Now Boris Johnson has announced that wedding receptions, in the form of a sit-down meal for up to 30 guests, will finally be able to resume from Saturday. Small indoor music performances with a socially distanced audience are allowed too which means you may be able to have a live band or singer perform. But this change in guidelines doesn’t mean that receptions will return like they once were. The rules only go as far as permitting a meal for up to 30; an evening section with dancing is still not advised unless your guests are all part of the same social bubble. Brides will be thrilled to hear that beauty services such as eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments and makeup application are permitted to return too. This means your makeup artist will be able to attend your home or venue to apply your look, although new rules state they must wear both a face mask and a clear visor or risk a fine. This new guidance does not apply to areas under local lockdown, the Government has confirmed. Contact your venue and your guests to check if these measures apply to them. Anyone who lives within the local lockdown area will not be able to attend. Similarly, this easing does not apply to the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who have set their own rules. The return of wedding receptions follows wedding ceremonies restarting in early July. Boris Johnson announced that couples could marry with up to 30 people present, however that number included the couple, suppliers like their photographer, their officiant and two witnesses. Keep reading to find out how the latest wedding guidance might impact your day. How will Coronavirus affect my wedding day What Are the Latest Rules for Weddings? The latest wedding guidelines implemented a series of rules for wedding ceremonies and began to permit wedding receptions in England. Safety measures at ceremonies include social distancing, hand washing before the exchange of rings and avoiding singing. Ceremonies should be conducted “in the shortest reasonable time” and couples are encouraged to restrict their service to the bare legal requirements. Here’s what the Government advice says: Ceremonies must be kept “as short as reasonably possible” and limited to the legally binding parts No more than 30 people may attend, including the couple and staff at the venue Ceremonies must be in a “COVID-19 secure environment” with guests following the 2 metre rule, or “1 metre plus” where extra safety measures like masks are used The floor should be marked with tape or paint to help people maintain social distancing No food and drink can be consumed as part of the service, such as during a communion Hands must be washed before and after rings are exchanged; as few people as possible to handle the rings Couples and officiants are not allowed to speak with raised voices, such as when exchanging vows Raised voices should be avoided, so recordings are recommended instead of singing, and music played at a level where guests do not need to shout over it Playing wind or blown instruments should be avoided Mitigate risk factors by avoiding face-to-face seating, reducing the number of guests in an enclosed space, improving ventilation, using protective screen and face coverings, and restricting access to non-essential areas Couples can now follow their wedding ceremony with a sit-down meal of up to 30 people. So it’s a start…