Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the 2020 wedding season, and many people have been forced to either cancel or postpone their dream day. We had put together a guide which originally had food and drink on the table, now that advice has changed!

The government was currently looking at allowing small weddings to take place again in England, and under the latest advice issued, it’s now time to get out those wedding planners and work out a way to make your dream day a reality.

One way of doing just this is by scaling down your wedding and finding a creative way to say ‘I do’ in style. So, rather than doing a ‘lift and shift’ and moving your wedding to 2021 or beyond, here are five great tips on how you can hold a low-key wedding this year with the latest advice from the government.

#1 Refine the Guest List 

Sadly, if you’d like to tie the knot in 2020, then you’ll need to scale down the guest list. A maximum of 30 people will be allowed to attend and due to social distancing measures, we can’t pack people into churches and reception venues in the way that we used to, so you’re probably going to need to limit your guests to close family and friends only. This may mean no plus ones and no friends of friends.

However, just because you can’t have everyone there physically doesn’t mean that everyone can’t join in the fun. So, why not consider setting up a video link so virtual guests can still enjoy the occasion? This is a great idea to avoid people shouting in person and singing which are the latest things to avoid according to government guidelines.

#2 Carefully Consider Outdoor and Indoor Ceremony Options 

If you’d like to have a large guest list, then hosting the wedding outdoors will allow you to invite more people, as you’ll have more room to spread out. With any venue, new advice from the government states you will need to mark the floor areas with tape. The government advice states that ceremonies should be kept "as short as reasonably possible" and limited as much as possible to just the parts that are legally binding.

To make your unique outdoor wedding even more fun, you could encourage a friend or a family member to become ordained as a celebrant, but please remember... they can't shout or sing as part of the process! Not only will this make the moment extra special, but it will also minimise the number of external people who are present.

If you don’t fancy an outdoor ceremony because you have weather worries, then you could hold a small ceremony at a registry office to satisfy the legal requirements before holding a socially distanced ceremony for all your family and friends.  

Whether you choose the indoor or the outdoor option, try to keep your ceremony and reception venues within walking distance of each other. The 2 metre distance rule will still apply. Social distancing makes car sharing and public transport problematic, so try to keep things close by or find one venue where you can do both bits.

#3 Remove Food and Drink Menu  - they are off limits!

Grazing boards, mezze platters and canapes are usually the orders of the day at a wedding. However, buffets and all forms of shared foods are now off limits. In fact, even the sharing of cutlery should be forbidden and with the latest government advice, no food and drink should be consumed as part of the event.

#4 Think About Reception Layout and Fun Activities (but no singing!)

You may have spent months scouring Pinterest and locating the perfect reception layout, but you may need to make some changes to allow for social distancing. 

For instance, to correctly keep spacing, you may need to opt for long tables rather than circular ones. Plus, you’ll need to leave plenty of room for hand sanitiser (although there’s nothing stopping you from making this look pretty). 

Similarly, you’ll have to think about any fun activities you have planned for your evening do. While photo booths are currently a popular trend, they require people to share items and pack in tightly together, so they’re better avoided.  

In addition, you may need to rethink the alcohol intake of your guests. The more alcohol people drink, the more likely they are to flout social distancing. So, if you’re concerned about this, then a dry or low-alcohol wedding may be the best way forward. 

#5 Picking the Perfect Wedding Rings (hand washing mandatory!)

Social distancing still makes all forms of shopping difficult. Thankfully, you’ll find plenty of beautiful wedding rings online. Just make sure you follow all of our dos and don'ts when picking your bands. In addition, thanks to our measuring guide, you’ll find it easy to work out your ring size. The latest government advice states that before and after ring exchanges, hands should be washed. Also, the rings should be handled by as few people as possible to avoid possible transmission of germs.

When it comes to choosing your ring, you should invest in quality materials that will last you a lifetime, such as platinum. However, if your budget doesn’t stretch this far, then white gold (which wears over time) may be a better option for you. If you prefer traditional colours, then consider both 24ct gold and 18ct gold. 

Follow these five tops tips and you’ll have no problem planning a low-key wedding that will be remembered for all the right reasons.