I know it must be incredibly stressful planning your wedding during a pandemic. I understand there is a lot at play – emotions, logistics, and potentially even finances. I want you to know that I’ve got your back, and I’ll do whatever I can to help you. Keeping you, your guests, safe, healthy, and happy is my top priority.
I’ve put together this guide to help you navigate all of this. It includes information about governmental regulations for weddings, my policies for sessions and weddings, and links to helpful resources.
I am aiming to be flexible, helpful, and easy to work with, but it's also very important for my business to be responsible, safe, and legal during the pandemic. Please read this in detail and check back often since it includes the most up-to-date information.
I cannot participate in a wedding that does not comply with the governmental guidelines at the time of the wedding. Since I attend a number of weddings each year, my risk is high. I need to be especially careful and strict about distancing, mask wearing, and other precautions. This is also to protect you, your guests, and my future couples and their guests as well. If you choose to carry on with a non-compliant event, your payments will not be refunded due to voluntary cancellation of services.
How will wedding photography work during the pandemic?
Social Distancing: I will choose lenses that let me stay further away. I will need to maintain a minimum of 6’ distance from all guests. This might mean I can’t get to certain spots where I would normally photograph. Let’s discuss your ceremony and reception layouts to make sure I’ll be able to move around the space to get you the best photos possible.
Photography Impacts: Some aspects of the wedding will need to be photographed differently than usual. Examples: dancing - This is not allowed until phase 4, and I will not be able to photograph from the middle of the dance floor. Getting ready - To avoid tight spaces, we may move some parts of this to more open areas or ideally outside.
Ceremony - In order to photograph from the aisle, it will need to be wide enough to allow for 6' of distance from me to your guests. This means that for the most part, my style of shooting is in line with maintaining distance. In pandemic times though, we'll have to keep our distance 100% of the time, so you won't be getting the same variety of images you may be used to seeing in my work.
Drinks reception after ceremony and speeches - Unless there is ample room, I probably won't have space to walk between tables or walk through the crowd. I'll need to stay on the perimeter.
To be honest, your wedding photos are going to look different during the pandemic since I will be much more limited in my movements than normal.
Face Masks: I will wear a mask during weddings.
Official Government Guidance for your wedding - updated November 2020
Dancing should not be permitted.
Any performance of music etc. should try to take place outdoors. Again, it is suggested that any music should not be at a volume which causes people to raise their voices.
Activities, such as cake cutting, should take place with social distancing being maintained at all times and the numbers of guests involved limited wherever possible, with people remaining in their households/bubbles.
Activities that involve objects being thrown (such as confetti or bouquet toss) should be avoided to reduce the likelihood of transmission.
Speeches should be undertaken outside or in well-ventilated areas wherever possible. PA systems should be utilised wherever possible to help amplify speeches. Neither speakers nor participants should raise their voices, to avoid the increased risk.
Ventilation with external air should be maximised in all buildings. For example, windows and doors should be opened as much as possible, and the sides of marquees removed or rolled up, throughout the event.
Objects being touched by several people (such as guest books) should be minimised and hand sanitised both before and after contact. The exchange of cards and gifts during receptions and celebrations should be minimised wherever possible.
Level 1, 2, 3 or 4
No more than 20 people should attend.
These limits include:
the couple the witnesses guests, including children of any age any carers accompanying someone attending the ceremony any staff not employed by the venue, such as a photographer, musicians or others a couple has employed for the purpose of the ceremony. The celebrant and any required interpreter do not count towards these limits.
If your ceremony is taking place inside a private dwelling
A marriage ceremony should only take place inside a private dwelling if it is not possible for it to take place outside or at a public venue because, for example:
a party to the marriage or civil partnership is seriously ill disability prevents such a party from attending a ceremony or registration outside or at a public venue. Where a marriage ceremony takes place inside a private dwelling, no more than 6 people should attend. This means the couple, two witnesses, the celebrant, and where required, an interpreter. There is further information on the definition of a private dwelling.
Remote attendance In order to assist the most vulnerable, couples should discuss with the person managing their venue whether remote attendance is possible. This could mean livestreaming or recording of the event. If the couple employ staff for this purpose, they will count towards the limits on numbers set out in this guidance: see numbers attending.
Travel From 6pm on 20 November 2020, new restrictions will come into effect, in relation to travel into and out of local authority areas affected by levels 3 and 4 restrictions. To suppress the spread of COVID-19 it is essential that, with limited exceptions, there is no travel to or from areas where higher numbers of people may be carrying the virus.
People who live in a Level 3 or 4 local authority area in Scotland are now required to stay in that area unless they have a reasonable excuse to travel, such as work, education, or welfare reasons.
If you live in a Level 3 or 4 local authority area you must, by law, remain within that area unless you have a reasonable excuse. The regulations list a range of different things for which travel is permitted,
The list of examples of reasonable excuses includes some relevant to gatherings for a marriage ceremony or wedding reception.
For people living in a level 3 area, travel out of that area is permitted, to attend a marriage ceremony and for a wedding reception. (Wedding receptions must not take place in a Level 4 local authority area. )
For people living in a level 4 area, travel out of that area is permitted for the purpose of attending a marriage ceremony only.