Ceremonies at Approved Venues during Covid-19 restrictions

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In order to protect all parties, guests and staff there will be a number of restrictions in place on the ceremony day to comply with government guidelines.

Room capacity

The government has stated the total amount of people in the ceremony party cannot exceed 15.  This includes the couple and 13 guests (including witnesses). In addition, a photographer is allowed. All members of the ceremony party must maintain 2m social distancing at all times whilst in the ceremony room with the exception of the couple. Children/babies are included in the 15 and cannot be admitted as extra guests.  All guests must remain seated throughout the ceremony unless leaving the room.

The maximum capacity of the room will be determined by the 2m social distancing requirement and may be less than 15. You must advise all couples of your maximum capacity.

The ‘Rule of 15’ applies only to legal marriage and civil partnership ceremonies attended by Register Office staff.  Any other form of non legal ceremony e.g renewal of vows or marriage celebration ceremony, remains subject to the local lockdown restrictions.

Liverpool City Council’s requirement is that 2m social distancing will be observed.

Registrars reserve the right to reduce the capacity of the room on the ceremony day if these guidelines are not complied with by the venue.


All guests must wait to be invited into the ceremony room/area by the registrars.  They should not be allowed to freely drift in and out prior to the ceremony.

Face coverings must be worn by everyone entering the ceremony room aged 11 or over, with the exception of the couple and anyone who is exempt. Anyone else not wearing a face covering will be refused entry. All members of the ceremony party must use hand sanitiser as they enter the ceremony room. The venue is responsible for providing the sanitiser and a staff member to dispense.

The registrars will confirm that all members of the party are not showing any symptoms of Covid-19 or have not been in contact with anyone who has symptoms.  Anyone showing symptoms or having contact with anyone who has will be refused entry.

If guests are wearing flowers please make sure they have them before entering the room. Unnecessary bags or presents should not be brought into the ceremony room.

Only 1 photographer will be allowed into the room and must remain static during the ceremony.  No photographs will be permitted signing the register. An unattended static video camera mounted on a tripod will be allowed.


Registrars will not visit private bedrooms to see either party.  If either party wishes to make an entrance after the guests (see below) the pre ceremony interview will take place outside of the ceremony room.  Please ensure this area is large enough to maintain 2m social distancing.

Either party may make an entrance into the room after the guests, accompanied by someone from the same household or support bubble. The couple may enter together if they wish.

Exchange of rings will be allowed. The rings will be placed in a sanitised dish prior to the ceremony starting and can only be handled by the couple.  Please ensure you have a suitable dish available for use.

Short readings will be allowed providing the reader remains in their allocated seat.  Candle ceremonies are not allowed.

Children’s promises will be allowed but the children must remain in their seats as the promises are made to them.

Photographs during the proceedings will be allowed providing guests remain in their allocated seats.

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