The world’s been turned upside down and arranging a wedding during a pandemic isn’t easy. Here’s the latest guidance and how I want to help you. – Updated 03/11/20

Latest Coronavirus and Wedding Guidance for Ireland – Update 03/11/20

With the ongoing Coronavirus and weddings battle the Irish Government released its Plan for living with Covid. This has a 5 level roadmap which includes specific information for weddings. As of it’s release Ireland is at level 5.

Before at level 2 meant you could have up to 50 people in attendance, which includes the couple and staff. Originally a move to level 4 & 5 meant only 6 guests, as of 21st October though the Government has given special exemption to weddings. Instead of 6, you can now have 25 guests. This number doesn’t include the couple getting married and the suppliers, so that’s 25 actual guests you can invite. Also before the changes only the couple could travel to a different county to get married with guests not being allowed to do so. The update also means guests can travel outside their county to attend the wedding.

Other points to notice are –

  • Overnight accommodation is permitted as well for the couple and 25 guests
  • Wedding suppliers are allowed to travel to the wedding venue
  • No music and dancing are allowed
  • Hair & Make-up services aren’t permitted at venue or home
  • Weddings must finish at 11pm with everyone vacated the reception space by 11.30pm
  • Restrictions to last 6 weeks until 2nd December, although there will be a review after 4 weeks.

Social distancing guidelines and health protection protocols are in place and these will affect how your day will be celebrated. Another area to look at is the guidelines for the hospitality industry released by Failte Ireland. These have specific recommendations for weddings also.

Here is a quick guide to show the amount of guests depending on the Covid Level –

Guests

Travel restrictions

Level 1

Up to 100 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

No Travel Restrictions

Level 2

Up to 50 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

No Travel Restrictions

Level 3

Up to 25 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

Can travel outside county to attend wedding.

Level 4

Up to 25 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

Can travel outside county to attend wedding.

Level 5

Up to 25 guests for wedding ceremony and reception.

Can travel outside county to attend wedding.

Failte Ireland Hospitality Industry Guidelines

  • Under Government Public Health Advice there can be a maximum of 50 people in the function area including employees.
  • The function area must be self-contained and only one function per area / room.
  • Businesses must follow updated Public Health advice to ensure that all wedding guests leave the function/bar areas by 11.30pm.
    Public Health advice states that these areas should be cleared of all guests by 11.30pm. However, this does not include staff members who will carry out closing procedures.
  • Face coverings should be worn by employees in customer facing roles where no other protective measures are in place e.g.
    protective screens and where physical distancing of 2 metres* is not possible.
  • Face coverings should also be worn by guests when arriving to and leaving their table.

On Arrival

  • Where possible, guests must be directed to enter and exit through separate doors that are automated or manually operated by an employee. Doors may be propped open if fire regulations allow.
  • Hand sanitisers (including touchless dispensers where possible) must be readily available at each access point. These must have a minimum alcohol content of 60%. Signage must encourage all guests to use this when they enter and leave.
  • Prominent signage must explain current physical distancing practices. This must be accompanied by clear and visible markings that illustrate the safe distancing protocol.

Drinks Reception

  • Service stations must use physical distancing queuing systems.
  • Tea/coffee/drinks and canapé stations must be managed by service personnel. There must be no self-service stations. Canapés must be in individual portions.
  • Remove as much loose furniture (e.g. sofas, etc.) from the room to ensure maximum space for physical distancing.

Dinner Reception

  • Entrance doors should be opened whilst guests are entering the dining area.
  • Review the seating capacities to meet the current physical distancing guidance. There must be adequate spacing between customers at each table in accordance with Government physical distancing guidelines.
  • Hand sanitisers (including touchless dispensers where possible) must be readily available. Consider providing hand sanitiser on each table. These must have a minimum alcohol content of 60%. Signage must encourage all guests to use this when they enter and leave.
  • Management must ensure appropriate signage is in place to welcome guests and reassure them that employees have been trained in line with the Government’s Public Health advice.
  • There must be no shared items at the table. Instead:
  1. Water jugs must be poured by service personnel only.
  2. Salt and pepper shakers, butter dishes should be available only on request.
  3. Instead each guest should be given individual portions/sachets.
  • For the meal service:
  1. Face coverings should be worn by staff during the service of the meal
  2. There must be no family-style service of food
    (i.e. no shared vegetable/gravy dishes, etc.).
  3. Wedding afters must be served directly to each guest fully plated.
  • Ensuring distancing on the dance floors:
  1. Signage on tables and dance floors must ask guests
    to respect physical distancing guidelines.
  2. Employees must monitor and manage distancing.

Additional Considerations

  • All third-party suppliers must ensure they adhere to the Governments Public Health advice.
  • Multiple gatherings are allowed in venue facilities provided they are in separate defined spaces and there are systems to prevent intermingling in common spaces (e.g. entrances, exits and toilet facilities).
  • Limit the number of service personnel per group of guests to the smallest number that is practical.
  • Where at all practical, service personnel should provide services to only one gathering and should not move between multiple gatherings in different venue locations.
  • Where possible, facilities such as toilets should not be used simultaneously by multiple gatherings. However if they are cleaned in between usage, they may be used separately by different gatherings, within the same time period.

To view Government Public Health measures currently in place, click HERE

Jamie Gillies / My Real Name Is James Wedding Photography Fini  & Harley Fernhill House  Cork  2020

Coronavirus & How I Want To Help

The issue for alot of people I have spoken to is that of the unknown. Even though we have these mid-term guidelines, it doesn’t mean that anyone can plan for the real wedding they want. It might be you have to or want to postpone the wedding to another date, so you can have all those you love there for the big day.

It would be a shame that you can’t have the day you want because you’re locked into using a particular venue date, or you lose money because a supplier isn’t willing to work with you. Not only can these things result in losing money and frustration but also a bad taste in your mouth about how a supplier has dealt with you.

Jamie Gillies / My Real Name Is James Wedding Photography Fini  & Harley Fernhill House  Cork  2020

Because of this and because I really want you to really enjoy your day I have been following these principles –

  • Work with you rather than against you.
  • Be flexible with moving dates.
  • Issue refunds if I dont have a new date available.
  • Open to changing and tailoring to your photography needs if things suddenly change.

Ultimately I want you to know that I’ll do my best to look after you, help make arranging your wedding smoother and help you avoid unnecessary headaches!

Award Winning Documentary Wedding Photographer Limerick Ireland

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