First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today unveiled a four-phase “route map” outlining how the Scottish Government intends to navigate the coronavirus crisis over the months ahead.
The 46-page document broadly details what may happen during each phase, with information pertaining to the most significant areas of our lives.
Gatherings and occasions have been addressed in the guidance, and we now have an approximate idea as to when weddings might be able to take place again in Scotland.
Here is what you need to know about each lockdown phase and how it may affect your wedding plans.
We entered phase one on 28 May.
During this phase, no public gatherings will be permitted.
You will be allowed to meet with one other household, but you will only be able to meet them outdoors and you must be physically distanced from them by at least two metres.
Under normal circumstances in Scotland you can get married outside and you only require two witnesses plus your celebrant.
Scottish Wedding reached out to the Scottish Government to ask if it would therefore be possible for a wedding ceremony to take place outdoors during phase one.
However, a government spokesperson responded and said that no, this would not be permitted.
In an email to Scottish Wedding, the spokesperson said:
“The document published today suggests that at phase 2: ‘Allow marriages and civil partnerships and other types of ceremonies to take place with minimal number of attendees.’
“This is in the table on page 44.
“But phase two can only come after phase one – and it’s phase one that may start on 28 May.”
Marriages, civil partnerships and other types of ceremonies will be able to take place from 29 June onwards.
Marriages can only take place outside and with a limited number of attendees.
Whereas previously we could only meet with one other household outside in groups of up to eight people, we are now allowed to meet with two other households outside – but that eight-person limitation remains.
To be clear, this means that your wedding should be an outdoor public gathering where all participants, including the couple and the witnesses, come from no more than three households and the group should consist of no more than eight people.
Scottish Wedding has spoken to a government representative, who has clarified that the celebrant or registrar will not count as one of the households. If necessary the services of an interpreter can also be used by the celebrant or registrar.
Read more about phase two in our dedicated post.
Phase three – now active
From 15th July, weddings can take place in Scotland indoors or outdoors, with a maximum of 20 people able to attend the ceremony.
There are stricter restrictions on wedding receptions, however.
Outdoor wedding receptions can have 15 people in attendance from a maximum of five households.
Indoor wedding receptions can have eight people in attendance from a maximum of three households.
Read more about phase three weddings in our dedicated post.
Again, it’s not possible to determine at this stage when exactly phase four will commence.
It is expected at this point that mass gatherings would be able to resume, in line with public health advice.
All ceremonies will be able to take place at this point with any necessary precautions.
So, really, phase four is when we can expect weddings to look something akin to the celebrations we were accustomed to prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
Things to bear in mind
These are just guidelines.
The government will be closely monitoring progress and it’s possible that the guidance will change over time.
It’s also been suggested that there is potential for regional variation, which could mean that some parts of Scotland would progress to the next phase faster than others.
Scottish Wedding will continue to update you on the latest news in the dedicated ‘Covid weddings‘ section of our site.
If you require any help or advice, you can email email@example.com and we will do our best to assist where possible.