What weddings will look like when people start tying the knot again from live-streaming ceremonies to a buffet ban

MILLIONS of couples were heartbroken after weddings were cancelled due to coronavirus, with people putting their big plans on hold.

Prime minister Boris Johnson banned them on March 23 in a bid to control the spread of Covid-19, along with christenings.

Couples were forced to cancel vendors and venues, with Hitched estimating a whopping 87 per cent of couples with planning to tie the knot in 2020 have postponed their big day.

But ceremonies could be allowed again in the near future, with Northern Ireland allowing weddings with up to ten people from June 8, while in England they can only go ahead exceptional circumstances.

With the industry potentially starting up again, we look at how weddings will have changed post-lockdown, and what new rules brides and grooms will have to follow.

Sarah Allard Editor, of Hitched, says: "Although the impact of Coronavirus on weddings has been huge, it’s been incredible to see how many of our couples and vendors alike have risen to the challenge – going above and beyond to find new dates and incorporate health and safety measures into the big day."

Masks and gloves part of the wedding outfits

While a dress is one of the most important aspects of a wedding, it seems brides will be wearing a few more accessories when walking down the aisle

Face masks and gloves could become staples of wedding outfits, but it’s likely they will be colour-coordinated, personalised or even made into a fashion statement for the big day. 

All guests could also be required to wear one, as well as any staff, such as waiters or bartenders, including the officiant.

Personalised hand sanitiser bottles

Hygiene will be of the utmost importance, so some couples might try and incorporate new safety measures into the decor. 

Personalised hand sanitiser bottles could be given to guests or be part of the table decoration, or given as wedding favours. 

Hitched also estimated silver trays with hand sanitiser bottles could circulate, similar to canapes.

Plated meals only – no more buffet

Lots of weddings have buffets for guests, allowing for a range of food to cater to everyone’s dietary requirements. 

But these could be a thing of the past as formal, plated meals could be the norm going forward, in a bid to reduce the risk of contamination and infection. 

If buffets do still go ahead, there could be much smaller serving stations to reduce long queues.

Do face masks protect against coronavirus?

  • Wearing masks may reduce the risk of spreading the virus but it won't stop someone from catching it.
  • They are far less effective if not worn and fitted properly as they will not be able to form a seal and filtration
  • If you buy or make your own cloth mask they can be reused if you wash it thoroughly at over 60C
  • The general rule is to wear a face mask when you are out in public, in areas that could involve coming into contact with other people, like public transport, exercising in urban areas, popping to the shops or walking the dog.
  • Some scientists have argued that while masks are not guaranteed to stop someone catching the bug, they could lessen the spread if someone is infectious
  • Others say that it could make people complacent, giving them a false sense of security and risk further spread as people forget social distancing and hand washing measures.

Outdoor weddings where possible

It’s much easier to socially distance outside, so outdoor weddings could also become the most popular choice in the future. 

Hitched said: “Couples are encouraged to work with their wedding venue in staging socially distant, yet creative, ceremony and reception groupings for guests, as large, dense crowds will still likely raise concerns. 

“Couples in early planning stages may consider incorporating outdoor elements to their celebrations to eliminate guests feeling confined.”

This could also see a rise in spring and summer weddings, when the weather is more favourable outdoors.

The impact of Coronavirus on weddings has been huge

Have the guest list arrive in shifts

The guest-list is usually one of the trickiest parts of a wedding, with agonising decisions over who makes the cut. 

Most weddings have a healthy number of guests, but if couples still want to include everyone safely, there could be ‘shift’ weddings. 

Bride and grooms may divide the guest list in half, and have one group of people attend the ceremony, and another come to the reception. 

There may also be staggered arrival and leaving times, or timed slots, to ensure everyone can attend.

Rise of weekday weddings due to backlog

When weddings resume again there will be a backlog of couples dying to tie the knot. 

With thousands of people rescheduling their nuptials, it’s like the most popular days – the weekend – will be snapped up. 

It’s likely that to cope with demand weekday weddings will be much more common, unless couples are willing to wait for a date far in the future.

Live-streaming the ceremony

Even when weddings are allowed again, it’s likely some people won’t be able to make it due to travelling restrictions, health or personal reasons. 

Live-streaming weddings was once a novel addition, but this could become much more popular as couples ensure family and friends who can’t make it in person can still enjoy the day. 

A phone or camera could be set up near the ceremony and at the reception to capture the ceremony and events.

Hitched survey into UK weddings

  • 87 per cent of couples with weddings planned for 2020 have postponed their big day
  • 76 per cent of couples with weddings planned for 2020 have rescheduled it for later this year
  • 44 per cent of couples with weddings planned for 2020 have moved it to 2021
  • 13 per cent of couples with weddings planned for 2020 have cancelled it altogether

Socially distanced seating and more standing room

Weddings were typically the scene of packed church pews or bridesmaids trying to source spare chairs for guests.

But with social distancing rules, it’s likely guests will have to sit far apart from each other. 

Hitched said: “For those who prefer to have a seat, expect to see ceremony venues accommodate social distancing with spaced-seating arrangements. 

“Wedding officiants may also request that couples stand a bit further away from them during the ceremony, and that wedding parties place more space in between individuals.”

They added shorter ceremonies with standing room only could also rise in popularity.

Multiple dance floors to socially distance

Social distancing will likely be a priority, which can be hard on a dance floor even with a reduced number of guests. 

To try and get around that, brides and grooms could have multiple dance floors, or entertainment areas, helping lower the concentration of people in one area. 

Hitched said: “When it comes to late-night celebrating, dancing will still be a part of weddings, and now couples can explore the concept of satellite dance floors and satellite bars to provide more than one space to bust a move or refresh their beverage.”

Ditching big celebrations for micro weddings 

Due to the unpredictability of the future, some couples may forgo a big wedding altogether. 

With the possibilities of future lockdowns and lost deposits, some couple may opt for ‘micro weddings’, meaning you may not be getting a save the date for a while.

Couples could also choose to get married legally in the meantime, then throw a big bash once restrictions have eased considerably.

Bounce back Britain

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With shops reopening, sport relaunching and families joyfully reuniting from next week, our major new Bounce Back Britain campaign intends to put people, communities and businesses back on their feet.

Check out how we're doing it here.

And this doctor and nurse who were forced to cancel their wedding due to coronavirus get married at their hospital as family watch online.

Plus this couple were devastated after having wedding date tattooed on their arms – before big day postponed by coronavirus.

Meanwhile knackered mums are putting on their wedding dresses to cheer themselves up during coronavirus lockdown.

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