Breaking out of Lockdown

Gloucestershire and Cotswolds Wedding Photography

Yesterday evening our Prime Minister and Team announced a cautious and balanced path out of lockdown for England.

Key points and dates are:

Weddings for up to 6 guests may take place from Monday 8th March 2021 in exceptional circumstances until we end National Lockdown on Monday 29th March 2021.

Weddings to resume with only 15 guests from Monday 12th April 2021.

Weddings with up to 30 guests from Monday 17th May 2021.

Weddings are set to reopen without restrictions from Monday 21st June 2021 – a date we are all yearning for.


There will be no regional tier systems – England will be treated as one in the easing of lockdown.

However, weddings with only up to 30 guests will still be financially unviable for many venues. When you are postponing and chatting to your venues please be mindful of this. The wedding industry has been through a gruelling 12 months already.

And I use the term ‘industry’ because that’s what it is. It must be said that it’s a beautiful industry and we work incredibly hard to make your wedding dreams and days a reality. It is the fees and costs you pay that directly pay our wages. Which in turn pays mortgages and rent, and puts food on the table for our families. It has been beyond challenging and so many are hanging on by their fingertips both financially and mentally. Many have already fallen by the wayside. Kindness and understanding is everything.

The dates are to be reviewed at five-weekly intervals to progress of roadmap to national recovery which means that we can plan but need to have flexibility.

So how will it work?

Step One A: 8th March – 29th March Micro Weddings in exceptional circumstances.

Step One B: 29th March – 11th April 2021 Micro Weddings

Weddings for up to 6 guests may take place from the 8th March in exceptional circumstances. From the 29th March when we are officially out of national lockdown in England, micro weddings with 6 guests can take place for couples who simply wish to get married and have a small, legal ceremony.

Gloucestershire and Cotswolds Wedding Photography

Step Two: 12th April – 16th May 2021 Micro Weddings

Weddings are to resume with only 15 guests from 12th April 2021.

This is a significant improvement for those planning micro weddings and elopements if the medical data allows.

Weddings and receptions with up to 15 guests will be permitted and outdoor settings such as beer gardens will be open. The hospitality curfews will end as will the requirement to eat a substantial meal alongside alcohol.

However wider social contact rules will continue to apply in all settings. This means no indoor mixing between different households will be allowed.

Gloucestershire and Cotswolds Wedding Photography

Key changes for Weddings for Step 2

Those getting married can use professional services for their hair, makeup and nail appointments. 

Bridal boutiques will be open and you will be able to have bridal alterations and fitting appointments. Menswear and hire wear will also be reopened.

Jewellers will be open!

You’ll be able to have a staycation honeymoon in self-contained holiday accommodation.

Step Three: 17th May – 20th June 2021

The third step out of lockdown will start on 17 May 2021, if the scientific data allows and we have all played our part to ensure improvements.

Weddings and wedding receptions will be allowed with 30 people.

Most social contact rules will be lifted when gathering outside however gatherings of more than 30 will be still be illegal.

If you are indoors the Rule of Six or a larger group made up of up to two households will be allowed.

Indoor hospitality in Covid secure environments will be allowed.


Key changes for Weddings for Step 3

We are waiting on the science data which will become clearer as we get closer to the time and hope that this will mean a lesser requirement for social distancing restrictions for outdoor ceremonies and receptions.

Guests will be able to stay in hotels before and after the event


“…a different world for weddings in the summer” Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Step Four: 21 June 2021 onwards

The fourth step in the plan starting on 21 June will potentially see all legal limits on social contact removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened.

It is the hope of the Government that from this date all restrictions on weddings and other social gatherings will be removed and life can carry on as before.

Slaughters Manor House Wedding Photographer Nikki Kirk

Key changes for Weddings for Step 4

We hope that this will allow for larger weddings over multiple days and although it is too early to be certain, the implications are that music, dancing and hugging will be part of weddings again!

Gloucestershire and Cotswolds Wedding Photography

Key Wedding Industry Stats

To put into context and perspective the challenges our industry has faced over the part 12 months have a look at these stats for interest…

The number of weddings across the UK taking place every year is 278,599 (figures from the Offices of National Statistics for England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).

Postponements and Rebooking

In 2020 more than 260,000 weddings were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 in the UK (based upon ONS average figures).

Businesses responding in January 2021 to a survey by the UK Weddings Taskforce reported catastrophic losses, with over three quarters of businesses have reporting revenues down by over 75%*  

An estimated 278,000 recently engaged couples are planning to marry from 2021 onwards. When you add this to the number of postponed weddings from 2020 this means that around 475,000 weddings are in the 2021 pipeline (25bn) and 349,000 are in the 2022 pipeline (circa £18.4bn).

With Clients postponing larger weddings for the second or third time to 2022 this means that there is now space in the diary for new and smaller weddings throughout the remainder of 2021.

Gloucestershire and Cotswolds Wedding Photography

Wedding Industry Worth & Workers

There is an estimated £14.7bn direct spend on weddings every year. This is broken down into a £9.4bn spend on the day itself with a £3.2bn spend on retail and £2.1bn spent on travel, tourism and pre-wedding events.

There are approximately 400,000 workers are involved in weddings in the UK with  250,000 of these depended on for delivering a wedding day itself. 150,000 more work in support functions.

For every couple who attends a wedding as a guest, depending upon the size of the wedding; between 1 and 4 people are involved in working to deliver the day itself. This is why for smaller weddings it will still not be financially viable for some venues to open.

*UK Weddings Taskforce Survey of over 3000 wedding businesses Dec 24th 2020 – 12th Jan 2021

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