COVID-19 – Do I need to complete a risk assessment for my wedding?

This entry was posted in For you, News on by .

When restrictions surrounding the number of guests permitted at weddings were lifted on 21st June 2021, couples across the UK that had been eagerly awaiting their big day jumped into action and wasted little time in getting all of the necessary preparations in place. One thing they may not have anticipated, however, is the need to complete a risk assessment for the event. 

The Government has indicated that to-be-weds may now invite an unlimited number of guests to their wedding, as long as the venue will allow for social distancing rules to be followed. Additional restrictions have also been put into place for those in attendance, which include food and drink served directly to tables with no option to order at the bar, and with a limit of six people to a table. There’s also a risk of the newlyweds incurring a £10,000 fine if any guests break social distancing rules. 

 

The Government has outlined that the risk assessment should be completed by the organiser, who should be someone who is not only able to implement the practical steps required by the risk assessment in the planning stages to ensure the event is COVID-compliant, but also someone who is able to attend the event to ensure everyone sticks to COVID guidelines on the big day itself. 

The sample risk assessment form posted on the Government website sees wedding organisers also burdened with enforcing a ‘no dancing’ rule, and ensuring all guests remain seated while eating and drinking.

If the designated organiser is unable to attend the event, it’s then up to the happy couple to select a stand-in, who will be present on the day to make sure the event runs in compliance with all COVID regulations. Government guidance adds: “This may be the couple if the event is being organised in the garden of a private home, but could be another person involved in organising or managing the event, such as a wedding planner.” 

 

Couples across the UK remain hopeful that these restrictions will be lifted, and the need to complete a risk assessment made redundant, on 19th July, which is the date the Prime Minister is working towards for an end to all COVID restrictions. 

 

How soon do I need to complete a risk assessment for my wedding? 

The form needs to be completed in good time before the event, and retained for at least 28 days after it. 

It is advisable to conduct the risk assessment as early as possible to allow plenty of time to implement any safety measures necessary to ensure compliance with the restrictions currently in place. 

 

I’m having my wedding at home. Will I still need a risk assessment? 

Yes – if more than 30 people will be in attendance, you will still need to complete a risk assessment for a wedding held on private land. 

 

What is allowed at my wedding? 

  • Unlimited number of guests, as long as the venue can allow for social distancing measures and be made COVID-compliant before the big day 
  • Live bands and musical entertainment, with a group of up to six performers allowed indoors, and up to 30 performers allowed outdoors 
  • The first dance 
  • Speeches (preferably taking place outdoors or in a well ventilated room, with the use of a PA to mitigate the need for raised voices) 
  • Cutting the cake 
  • Guest books and games, but with minimal contact and hand sanitiser made readily available 
  • Stand-up drinks receptions on private land, provided they are socially distanced 

 

What is not allowed at my wedding? 

  • Indoor dancefloors 
  • Stand-up drinks receptions at indoor and outdoor hospitality venues 

The Government has also indicated that some activities are advised against, including: 

  • Dancing indoors and outdoors 
  • Communal singing, including hymns, indoors 
  • Reusable service booklets and devotional material 
  • Cash donations (online giving should be encouraged instead) 
  • More than six guests to a table 

Mask wearing is also mandatory for guests during the ceremony and reception, except when eating and drinking. Newlyweds should also wear a mask, but may remove it whilst the ceremony is being conducted. 

 

Accreditations