By Lauren Edwards
This month, the government have legalised outdoor weddings and civil partnerships in a bid to offer a sweetener to couples who have been forced to put their plans on hold over the last year. Permitted wedding venues include beaches, parks, and private gardens as an alternative to the current diluted indoor plans that are allowed.
One of the biggest draws of an outdoor wedding is that there will be no restrictions on the number of guests you can invite to the service. Although, if you are holding a wedding at a local park, I would be concerned at the uninvited guests that may stroll over to watch, or perhaps a stray football whacking the bride on the back of the head or a delinquent dog causing havoc off lead and inviting himself to the ceremony and probably proceeding to defecate in front of the guests. Obviously, I am picturing my own dog Chester in the latter example. You can read about his embarrassing exploits here: My delinquent dog – and in other news
Under current restrictions, weddings can now go ahead without a limit on guests. Prior to the 21st June, congregations were strictly a maximum of 30. However, all receptions are still sit-down only affairs with table service. Discos are banned as dancing indoors is forbidden, as is singing. This also applies to guests singing hymns during the service, so All things bright and beautiful will have to remain unsung for the time being.
So, why not take your wedding outside? If you have a garden big enough or know of a quiet beach tucked away. Obviously, weather may be an issue, but no-one can see a pair of wellies under a wedding dress and after months of shivering in pub gardens, us Brits have invested in thermal wear and I’m sure we could handle an outdoor shindig in the name of love.
Couples choosing the outdoor option have also found a way to be able to dance at their wedding, by booking silent discos for their big day. The concept is each participant is given a set of headphones and a choice of several different music channels to tune in to. So, whilst your Mum is shimmying to Neil Diamond, you can be pogoing to The Prodigy.
Furthermore, having no DJ means no shouting to be heard, babies and toddlers can snooze undisturbed in their buggies, and no-one can hear you singing off key. You won’t have to sit out the songs you don’t like, or feel disappointed when the DJ ends his set to go home. Although, you can’t beat a good old wedding disco, complete with little boys sliding across the dance floor on their knees, aunties gathering in a circle to ‘Mum-dance’ and an end of the night sing-along to New York New York.
But in these strange times, where we can’t all link arms in a big circle and kick our legs high to the dulcet tones of Frank Sinatra, we must be more inventive. And by opting for a silent disco, with everyone wearing headphones at an outdoor venue and not crammed on a dancefloor, people can socially distance more easily and a loophole in dancing at your wedding presents itself.