Summer is finally here, and the past couple of weeks have seen some beautiful, warm sunny weather along with the first phase of easing lockdown restrictions. The fight against Covid-19 is far from over but the hope that we can regain some sense of normality, however small, is shining through. For the thousands of couples who have had their weddings postponed, called off or pulled into question, the initial shock of the whole thing is wearing off a little and it now seems like a good time to start tentatively making plans again.
So how will weddings look over the coming months? For June 2020 most of the lockdown restrictions are still in place, however from 8th of June (Phase 2 of the restriction easing) you will be able to travel up to 20km from your home and up to 4 people may gather with those from another household which might allow some couples to have a brief registry-office style wedding where just the couple, witnesses and celebrant can attend. Even this is currently unclear and would need to be checked with your celebrant/local registry office beforehand. Social distancing, protective gear and increased hygiene will still be a requirement throughout every phase of the reopening, until otherwise stated.
From the 20th of July, Phase 3 of the Government’s planned reopening, might mean that small weddings will be permitted, if all is going well. These weddings will allow for small numbers, most likely meaning only family and close friends. Whether this will mean 10, 20 or 50 guests is unclear at present but for couples who are very flexible and open to a small affair this might be a good time to book something in.
From 10th August, Phase 4 of the reopening, it could be that larger weddings will be allowed, provided there is not a significant increase in infections between now and then. There has been no confirmation of numbers permitted, and it is likely that there will still be restrictions, but there will be more scope for inviting additional guests than during the earlier summer months, so those wishing to do so may be able to have a slightly larger wedding either indoors or outdoors, as long as social distancing requirements and increased hygiene necessities can be met.
The uncertainty around the phased easing of restrictions means that nothing is 100% clear or guaranteed. This makes it hard for couples who had been planning to marry between March and September to know whether to push on with their plans, however altered, or postpone the wedding altogether to a much later date.
Many couples have decided to book a new date for 2021 or even 2022, finding it easier to do that then to deal with the stressful uncertainty of this year. Many venues, bands and suppliers are indicating that they are already booking up for dates that are much further down the line as couples give up on the hope of a 2020 wedding altogether.
For those who decide to go ahead, significantly downsizing their guest list and accepting the new normal when it comes to social distancing, hand hygiene and face masks, they can very much still enjoy a small, intimate 2020 wedding with only close friends and family in attendance (or just a couple of witnesses!). For these couples it is all about sealing the deal and making it official, no matter what the circumstances. They are happy to take a gamble and book something in, and they know there is a number of ways that they can still make the day special, or even plan a two part wedding with a small do now and a larger do planned for 2021 or 2022 (when hopefully the World might be a bit more relaxed and ready to deal with the presence of Covid-19 in our lives).
Our tips for getting married in Ireland in 2020? Keep reading for some sweet ideas on how you can make the most of this strange year and your special day.
From June 8th 2020
Very small registry office wedding with just the couple, 2 witnesses and the celebrant/registrar:
- Dress up! You can still wear gorgeous outfits, full ballgowns or sparkly jumpsuits. If you can’t have the whole shebang but you can dress to the nines then go for it!
- Outdoor weddings are awesome if you can organise getting a venue and a celebrant at the last minute for something really beautiful in a picturesque spot.
- Write some beautiful heartfelt vows that will fill your special moment with as much romance and meaning as possible.
- Set up a video camera and livestream the event for friends and family who can’t be there. Get someone to take photos for you outside the venue and perhaps a witness or the celebrant can help you inside the venue.
- Use our beautiful, all-natural petal confetti to add a sense of fun and romance to the moment and to get some picture perfect photographs that will last a lifetime.
- Hold a (very) small reception back at your home afterwards with delicious food, cake and all the edible trimmings (cafes, restaurants and bars serving food are all due to reopen from the 29th of June with the usual social distancing and hygiene requirements).
From July 20th
- This is when smaller weddings (no numbers confirmed but thought to include close family and friends) might start happening again both indoors and outdoors across the country, but with social distancing and increased hygiene and protection required.
- Again, this is a good time to dress up, organise very personal vows, livestream for those who might be cocooning or cannot make it from another country
- If you get a venue at this time it would be possible to decorate both the ceremony and reception areas, create beautiful tablescapes (our petals are awesome for eco-friendly décor) and have a traditional cake as well as musicians and some of the other typical wedding norms like confetti tosses, first dances etc.
From August 10th
- All going well larger weddings will be permitted from August onwards. Again no indication of what a larger wedding is has been clarified in terms of numbers but the hope would be that people can invite upwards of 100 guests and carry out a wedding with most of the usual trimmings as long as social distancing and hygiene measures can be incorporated into that. All the suggestions above can be integrated into your big day to make it feel special and traditional.
The biggest thing to bear in mind for weddings in 2020 is that things can change and anything can potentially happen, so be sure to work closely with any suppliers to ensure that they are flexible and can rearrange things with you at the last minute if need be, without anyone suffering too great a financial loss.
For those who are ultra-flexible and chilled about their big day, open to having something small but blissfully romantic then there might be great potential for still having a beautiful day with some creative and resourceful planning.
Our thoughts on the whole thing? If it was us getting married again, we’d be going ahead and focusing on what we can have rather than what we would have to leave out. Just think of Kiera Knightly in Chanel Couture in a local town hall in the South of France way back in 2013 and you might just be on the right track to a dream day, in spite of all the craziness of 2020.
Oh… and petals… don’t forget to include our petals!
This article is based on our opinion and on the current government guidelines at the time of writing. We would urge anyone planning a wedding to keep up to date with any changes that might occur and work closely with suppliers and officials at all times to protect yourselves financially (and as much as possible from disappointment too). Good luck with all the planning!