Coronavirus Ceremony Guidance: September 2021 - Somerset Registration Services

Restrictions have been eased for a while and ceremonies are now looking more like normal again. However, Covid19 is still a real risk, and we are very aware of the need to protect staff and public as we learn to live with this virus. Government guidance for COVID secure ceremonies can change quite quickly. We will do our best to update our website and all our guidance should any changes be announced. The link below will take you to the most up to date information on the government website ahead of your ceremony.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations: guidance from Step 4 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Ceremony Rules In Brief

These are the major points regarding ceremonies after July 19th 2021. This is different to any rules for socialising at receptions:

  • No legal cap on guest numbers – liaise with your venue to check how many guests you can now have. Registration Office numbers are listed below.
  • No legal requirement for social distancing, but this is still something to consider as covid is still a risk
  • No legal requirement for masks, but this is still strongly recommended indoors or in crowded areas
  • Must not attend if showing any covid symptoms or have received instructions to self-isolate

What We Can All Do To Make Ceremonies Safer

What you can do to help make your ceremony a safer event:

  • Ask your guests to use the Test & Trace App
  • Encourage guests to take lateral flow tests (we will not be asking for results)
  • Wash hands and use sanitiser
  • Wear masks indoors (this is a personal choice but highly recommended)
  • Check if any of your guests have any concerns and would prefer to socially distance

 

What we will do to protect you, your guests and our staff:

  • Provide hand sanitiser at our own venues
  • Encourage our staff to wear masks indoors while not performing ceremonies
  • Enable our staff to practice social distancing during ceremonies
  • Provide good ventilation and regular cleaning at our own venues
  • Work with licensed venues to promote safe practices
  • Collect guest information for Test & Trace where necessary

Room Capacity At Register Office Venues

While there is no legal cap on guest numbers, we have a duty of care to our staff to provide a safe working environment. As our busy team conduct multiple ceremonies a day all through the week, it’s vital that we protect their wellbeing to ensure future ceremonies can go ahead. It’s also a bit of a catastrophe if our staff are forced to self isolate or fall ill, as we may struggle to find enough replacements at short notice. To balance this with the wishes of couples to include as many friends and family in their special day as they can, we are offering a choice.

Ceremony rooms that can be well ventilated by opening doors and windows during the ceremony can return to their pre-covid maximum capacities. Please be aware that all rooms will be ventilated while guests arrive and leave, however, if you choose to have more guests the doors and/or windows will also remain open during your ceremony while you are exchanging vows.  This could cause considerable noise and distraction at some venues, (particularly those in town centre environments) which is likely to impair the experience for you and your guests.

If you would prefer to keep doors and windows closed, reducing both noise and ventilation, then we have calculated a lower party size based on airflow tests. Please see the table below for your options, and let us know on your Pre Ceremony Check form which option you would prefer. Please note that the registrars are not included in these numbers. If you wish to have photographers, musicians etc, they should be included in the guest numbers. Children under 1 or “babes in arms” do not need to be included in these numbers, however all other children MUST be included.

 

Room Fee Guests Witnesses Couple Party Total
The Old Municipal Buildings, Taunton
Tudor Hall (closed) £350 36 + 2 + 2 = 40
Tudor Hall (ventilated) £350 96 2 2 = 100
Vivary Room

(ventilated – still less than normal limit of 40)

£200 24 + 2 + 2 = 28
The Old Town Hall, Weston Super Mare
Hutton Suite (closed) £150 8 + 2 + 2 = 12
Hutton Suite (ventilated) £150 36 + 2 + 2 = 40
Old Council Chamber

(closed)

£200 20 + 2 + 2 = 24
Old Council Chamber

(ventilated)

£200 56 + 2 + 2 = 60
Abbey Manor, Yeovil
Mandeville Room (downstairs – closed) £200 25 + 2 + 2 = 29
Mandeville Room (downstairs – ventilated) £200 36 + 2 + 2 = 40
Frome Town Hall, Frome
The Meeting Room

(closed)

£200 2 + 2 + 2 6
The Meeting Room

(ventilated)

£200 16 + 2 + 2 20
The Council Chamber

(closed)

£350 24 + 2 + 2 = 28
The Council Chamber

(ventilated)

£350 96 + 2 + 2 = 100