(COVID-19 and your wedding – last updated on 8th January 2021. Further updates as and when there are any changes to government advice/legislation).
Firstly, and most importantly, we hope that you and your families are all safe and well.
We know that there’s a lot of uncertainty around weddings (and life!) at the moment. We know it’s hugely stressful.
Under the current English lockdown, wedding ceremonies are not permitted (other than for exceptional circumstances, i.e. under “deathbed” criteria). The lockdown will be reviewed on 15th February. Until that happens, we won’t know when weddings might be allowed again.
Assuming England returns to the tier system at some point, wedding ceremonies will be allowed to take place in tiers 1-3, subject to social distancing. A maximum of 15 people (couple + guests) can attend. Anyone working isn’t included in this number (e.g us as your photographers!)
Sit-down receptions will be allowed in tiers 1 and 2 under the same 15 person restrictions, however receptions will not be allowed in tier 3.
Tier 4 will only allow wedding ceremonies for up to 6 people in exceptional circumstances (again under “deathbed” criteria). Regional tiers will be reviewed by the government every 14 days.
All hospitality businesses, such as pubs and restaurants must close in tier 3 and 4. Household mixing is not allowed indoors, with the exception of support bubbles.
Our advice is to speak to your venue as they’ll be able to advise how many guests they can actually accommodate, with social distancing, and tell you what the venue can or cannot provide for you.
Weddings must take place within a Covid secure environment, i.e. with social distancing measures and all other safety precautions in place. These guidelines should be observed to keep you, your family and friends, and your suppliers as safe as possible. See the full guidance from the Gov.uk website on ceremonies here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships and receptions here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-wedding-and-civil-partnership-receptions-and-celebrations.
There is also a requirement for guests (but not the couple) to wear a face covering during the ceremony at a church, register office or venue.
Will you still photograph our wedding?
Outside of a full lockdown, if your wedding is able to go ahead and follows the above linked guidelines (as well as any localised tier measures) we can also be there. Please note that we are unable to photograph events that will not be adhering to these guidelines. We wouldn’t be covered under our insurance, and in all honesty we don’t believe it’s safe for you or us!
Nothing else has changed and your contract with us remains the same, with the same payment deadlines. However, we’re also happy to discuss reduced coverage, if necessary (micro weddings are the new normal!) and any other changes to your plans. Just drop us a line.
If you do still want to go ahead, your wedding day may be a little different to the one you had originally planned. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a wonderful, intimate celebration with those closest to you. We’re experienced with smaller weddings and reduced coverage, and happy to give advice on what will be possible in terms of your photography. We’ve now photographed several ‘Covid weddings’ as well, so if you’re not sure about something, please just ask.
What happens if we decide to postpone our wedding?
It’s now likely that smaller weddings will become the new normal, for at least the next few months. We would encourage those couples who want to be married to consider a smaller celebration that we can still capture for you, however we realise that’s not right for everyone.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you are thinking of postponing. We want to do everything we can to work with our couples who want to move to a later date. In the current circumstances we’re happy to move your booking to a new date, providing that we’re available.
Most importantly, we still want to photograph your wedding, so PLEASE work with us and check our availability before booking a new date. We really want to be there!
What happens if the government stops weddings again, or our venue tells us we have to postpone?
We completely understand that this will be a huge disappointment for you both. We’ll be happy to transfer your booking to a new date, providing we’re available. Please keep in regular contact with us so we can find a date that suits all of your suppliers’ availability.
What happens if you catch COVID-19?
We’re taking all the precautions we can to stay fit and healthy for your big day. However, should the worst happen we will follow the government guidelines by self-isolating and will not be photographing your wedding. Your health, and that of your guests, is of the utmost importance. We don’t want to put anyone at risk of infection. To be prepared, we already have potential back up photographers (of a similar style to us) to cover your wedding should this happen. We would then edit the photographs from the back up photographer(s) and deliver your final images as normal.
We are part of a very large network of wedding photographers (and other industry professionals) and it has been amazing to see how everyone has been coming together to help each other this year.
Pre-wedding shoots and meetings–let’s stay safe!
Outside of any national lockdowns or local restrictions, we’re able to go ahead with pre-wedding shoots, if your wedding is still going ahead.
We’re currently conducting all meetings over Skype/video to make it easier to comply with social distancing. So we’ll chat to you this way some time before or after your shoot to go through all your plans and the schedule for your wedding day.
We’ll all need to adhere to social distancing on the shoot, keeping two metres apart where possible. The good news is that that shouldn’t affect what we do. Just don’t be offended if we don’t hug or shake hands with you as we usually would!
Of course, please do tell us if you start to have any symptoms before the shoot, or have tested positive and need to self-isolate. We need to stay healthy for all of our couples if we can. Let’s face it, none of us want to be ill if we can avoid it! Shoots can always be re-scheduled; it’s not the end of the world.
If you’re considering postponing your wedding, it’s probably a good idea to postpone the pre-wedding shoot as well. We usually do the shoot a couple of months before your big day. That way the experience will be fresh in your mind and it’s a lovely part of the build up to your wedding.
Do we need to book in for our pre-wedding shoot?
If you’ve booked a pre-wedding shoot with us, we’ll be in touch with you around three months before your wedding date. We’ll touch base and see what’s happening with your plans.
If you’re not quite sure what’s happening with your wedding yet, don’t worry. We have plenty of availability for shoots (especially now that we only have a very limited number of weddings in the next few months!) so please be patient for now. If your wedding is able to go ahead, we’ll be more than happy to schedule in a shoot, and at short notice if necessary.
Overall, try not to panic (I know that’s easier said than done!) These are unusual circumstances but you will get through it. You will still get married, and it will be amazing!
Please do get in contact if you have any questions or need to talk about things on a more individual basis. Whatever we can do to help, we will, even if you just want someone to listen. We’re all in this together!
Heather & Colin
We are wedding photographers in Yorkshire and Lancashire.
For new enquiries, please fill out our contact form – we’d love to hear from you!
Natural, relaxed, creative wedding photography from a husband and wife team based in Skipton, North Yorkshire. Serving Yorkshire, Lancashire and the UK.