Northern Eire Marriage ceremony Newest Covid-19 Restrictions Defined

Northern Ireland Wedding Latest Covid-19 Restrictions Explained

Many couples across Northern Ireland are eagerly awaiting to see if they can tie the knot in the originally planned way.

The executive has approved agreements for indoor weddings starting Monday April 12th.

Current restrictions state that the number of people allowed to attend weddings and civil partnerships must be determined through a risk assessment for the venue. This also applies to an outdoor marriage.

No events may take place before or after the celebration and no alcohol may be sold or consumed.

Resumption of receptions or events after the ceremony with a number of guests to be informed through a risk assessment for the venue has been given an indicative date of May 24th.

Current restrictions

  • Venues must take the risk of assessing and determining the maximum number of participants based on their ability to provide social distancing.
  • Face covering must be worn by all unless otherwise specified, except those in the spouse. Post-ceremony receptions or gatherings are currently not permitted.
  • All those involved in the ceremony, including attendees, guests, and public officials, should maintain social distancing from those they do not live with unless they are part of the same support bubble.
  • Whenever possible, the public is asked to keep a social distance of at least two meters between households.
  • Food and drink should not be consumed at the ceremony unless it is essential for religious purposes.
  • The executive stated that “Singing, playing musical instruments, and chanting prayer are important parts of many church services, but can increase the spread of the virus through aerosols and droplets”. If chanting or chanting is considered essential to an act of worship, it is recommended that it be limited to one person if possible. Communal singing should be avoided whenever possible, even if social distancing is observed and face covering is used.
  • Customers can view the facilities of marriage and partnership venues such as hotels and other venues, which are limited to a maximum of four customers per visit.
  • A marriage or civil partnership in which one partner is terminally ill can take place in a private apartment. A maximum of 10 people can participate, including all participants and the official.
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Restrictions from May 24th

  • This indicative date has been set for the resumption of receptions or events after the ceremony with a number of guests to be informed through a risk assessment for the venue. This is checked.

Here are some of your questions answered by the TEO about current restrictions:

Can I see a location for my marriage / civil partnership ceremony or reception (while expecting it will be allowed) before making a booking?

Yes, the couple and two other people are allowed to visit a venue with one employee. Damage controls such as hand disinfection, social distancing and wearing face coverings during the stay must be adhered to at all times.

Can people from two or more households travel with the same mode of transport?

Social distancing guidelines therefore remain in place. If the vehicle can allow this, it is allowed for short periods of time. Face covering should be worn and windows should be kept open.

Are spectators allowed to gather outside the venue?

There is a limit of up to 15 people who can gather outside. Social distancing and other extenuating requirements set by PHA must be followed.

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How many guests can the venue accommodate? Is it dependent on social distancing or a set number of guests?

The number of people attending marriages / civil ceremonies is determined by a risk assessment for the venue. Receptions or gatherings after the ceremony are not permitted.

Do we have to wear face covering during the service?

It is compulsory to wear face coverings inside a place of worship and when entering and leaving.

Face-covering must be worn for ceremonies held in other approved locations such as hotels.

There are exceptions for face covering. This does not apply to the person leading the service or to a couple attending a ceremony to celebrate their marriage or to form a civil partnership.

Can music be played during the ceremony, especially if the bride is walking down the aisle and the couple is walking back down the aisle?

Yes, music is allowed.

Can group photos, extended family photos, or friendship photos be taken indoors?

Large groups should not form for the purpose of photography unless social distancing can be maintained.

Can people talk?

No events may take place before or after the celebration.

You can find more information about weddings and civil partnerships HERE.

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