What is the ‘new normal’ for weddings during COVID-19?

One of our lovely humanist celebrants Johnny Coleman details his experience at a recent Covid-19 wedding where the new norm includes a maximum of 30 people, social distancing and not raising your voice. Doesn’t sound like your cup of tea? Wait until you read just how magical this couple made it.

When Covid-19 hit us, everything changed. Weddings, as we know and love them, came to an abrupt halt. For the time being, we now face a ‘new normal’ when it comes to a lot of things and weddings, of course, are no exception. So, what does a wedding during the Covid-19 pandemic look like?

 You’ve been planning for ages and suddenly your venue had to cancel, and you were forced to review your date. But things are now loosening up a bit and weddings (with restrictions) are allowed once again. So, what are you going to do? Postpone until the situation improves? Or go ahead regardless?

It’s a difficult choice. What’s most important is that you love each other, you want to marry, and you want to share the commitment to the person you love most in the world with the people who really matter to you. Whatever you choose, you’ve now got to regroup, reconsider and replan.

If you decide to go ahead now, your wedding might have to be smaller than you originally wanted (30 people max, including the couple, celebrant and any 3rd parties (like the photographer for example)). But then, a great wedding is not all about size – it’s ‘quality’, rather than ‘quantity’ that counts! Safety is, of course, also a top priority and, for the time being, you will have to consider stuff like social distancing and hand sanitising measures. But, with a bit of flexibility, some imaginative planning, the right location and by choosing the right wedding suppliers, once everything is in place, there is no reason why you can’t still have the best wedding ever!

What does a real-life wedding during Covid-19 look like?

Photo credit: Blooming Photography

Despite not having what they originally envisaged, Nick and Emma chose to go ahead. Their humanist ceremony at the fabulous Kingscote Barn near Tetbury in mid-August turned out, after all, to be their perfect day. Choosing to be outdoors meant there was no need for face masks, they had plenty of space to ensure their guests were safely distanced (grouped into households) and they were able to include more friends and family from all over the world via an excellent, no-limit, live streaming service.

Having a humanist ceremony meant that it was designed exclusively for them, making it truly personal. Despite ceremonies needing to be shorter than usual and some activities that might involve close contact/touching or raised voices being out of the question, they were still able to have all the things most important to them – including writing their own vows, choosing significant readings, exchanging rings and sharing their commitment with their friends and family. All these things showcased aspects of their relationship that reflected why marriage was the next, momentous step in their relationship. They completed their legal paperwork afterwards with the registrar, then rounded the day off with a socially distanced reception with their guests.

Photo credit: Blooming Photography

What was it like getting married during the new norm?

Here’s what Emma and Nick said:

“Our ceremony had such a personal feel to it that, if anything, it made it all the more special. With just our closest family and friends in attendance, we had a special ceremony that we could share with the people closest to us. Johnny [Coleman] was pivotal in this and his delivery perfectly suited the environment that was created with our guest numbers. In a practical sense, having less than half of our original numbers allowed everyone to be relatively close to us in comparison to what we were originally expecting, and this only added to the atmosphere throughout our ceremony.”

We have no way of knowing when this ‘new normal’ will return to the ‘old normal’ or, indeed, if things will be any sort of ‘normal’ again. But the good news is that, despite current regulations, your wedding can still go ahead now, if you want it to. Like Nick and Emma’s, it will still be amazing, and, even if it’s different to how you originally intended, it will take on a whole new level of meaning and can be even more sensational, appreciated and fabulous as a consequence!

Find detailed/up-to-date information on current regulations for small marriages and civil partnerships here.
Click here to book Johnny Coleman as your humanist celebrant. Or see his listing with us here.
Photos by Blooming Photography at: www.bloomingphotography.co.uk

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