Coronavirus Will My Wedding Be Affected
By CAROLINE LANGHAM
Coronavirus and your wedding
Updated 15 May 2020
After Boris’s announcements earlier this week we know the governemnt is planning to gently unfold weddings from 01 June 2020, but we are still waiting clarity on numbers in respect to their terminology for “small” weddings. We are governed in most cases by the policies adopted by the Registration Service.
Here is their latest update received 14th May at 6pm.
The Government published its latest guidance on coronavirus recovery on 11th May. It included “examining how to enable slightly larger groups to gather for events such as small weddings”. This is positive news that ceremonies are being considered BUT it is proposed that this happens during stage 2, which will not be before 1 June and only if the correct conditions are met.
No further detail is available to us as yet, we are monitoring the situation closely and are awaiting further information as to how this may operate to ensure the safety of our couples, our staff and the wider general public.
Government guidance currently indicates that the hospitality industry will only possibly begin to be open no earlier than July 4th, and then only if conditions are met.
We would like to be able to give more definite information about ceremonies in June and beyond and if they will go ahead but we must await further instructions from the Government and our governing body the General Registration Office before we can make a decision.
We thank you for your patience.
Please check our website for regular updates: – www.cumbria.gov.uk/weddings
We will of course update you if your wedidng is directly affected, but in the meantime keep checking in here for more info as we get it.
Take Care and Stay Safe
Caroline & Steve
Updated 30 April 2020
We thought we’d write a new blog to put some venue perspective out there following the largely negative and unbalanced reporting that has been painting wedding venues as the ‘devil in disguise.’ We understand the need for a good news story, but feel it has been one sided, and on occaasion reporting headline news that is misleading at best!
While considering the content of this blog we came across this newly published article by lovemydress. In our opinion it very eloquently provides some balance, is written with input from some of the most respected industry professionals, and paints a very realistic picture of the impact Corona virus is having, not only on wedding couples, but on their wedding venues too.
Rather than reiterate this well considered article, we thought it best to let you read it for yourselves and make up your own mind.
A VOICE FOR VENUES
We would like to echo a couple of sentiments however;
It is in no ones interest if venues are unable to continue to operate and;
As stated in the opening of the linked article, we are in ‘unprecedented times’, there is no parallel, no instruction manual and we are all trying to find the best way through this situation with fairness for all. We will all need to make sacrifices to achieve forward movement and we all may not hit the mark first time every time. Added to this is the huge uncertainty that exists. There are lots of scenarios being mooted, many by journalists hunting for a sensational headline, but in truth, there are very few facts out there to allow any form of plan to be put together. Patience and flexibility by all is the overarching message.
We hope you’ll find the linked article informative, as it quite accurately sums up our worries, concerns and outlines some very real issues.
As always if you wish to discuss your specific wedding situation with us then we are happy to do so. We continue to focus our attention on those weddings that are, or look most likely to be impacted, by the current form of lock-down.
If your wedding is more than two months away, we would for the most part, be guessing at how your wedding will be impacted. The possibilities range from no effect at all to an unknown length of postponement. To this end, it is virtually impossible to offer you any form of definitive
response until further guidance has been issued by both Government and subsequently the Registration Service.
Take Care and Stay Safe
Caroline & Steve
Updated 21 April 2020
We hope you are all well and keeping safe, wherever you may be.
We are all making changes to the way we work, and here at Cote How we are no different. We have a wonderful wedding venue right in the heart of the Lake District National Park, amid some of the UK’s most stunning scenery, and we want to be able to share it’s beauty with you.
We are really excited to be able to offer you our new HOT OFF THE PRESS virtual tours of Cote How.
Have you found a gem of a wedding venue and so want to visit?
Today we are talking about making a virtual show around a small & intimate Lake District wedding venue….
Caroline & Steve
Updated 20 April 2020
We have received this official notification from Cumbria Registration Services which we will keep updated. This of course unfortunately means that all our ceremonies for April and May are directly affected and will need to be rearranged.
Rest assured that we are doing all that we can to ease the strain and navigate these difficult times. By working together with our couples our aim is still to make sure that each has the best wedding possible in these difficult circumstances.
We have been in touch with all directly affected couples to offer help, advice, and support in whatever way we are able.
If you need to get in touch, please email us at any time and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Registrars attending ceremonies in Cumbria
Current Government advice is that ceremonies are not to take place until further notice. At this time, we cannot give you a timeframe as to when these sanctions will be lifted. We are sorry for not being able to offer you any clearer guidance but we are continually reviewing this in line with Government advice.
We have made the difficult decision to contact all couples due to have a ceremony in May to re-schedule their booking to a later date.
Please check our website for regular updates.
Caroline & Steve
Updated 16.00 on 9 April 2020
As many of you already know, we are in touch with many wedding venues across the UK and have been campaigning for a fairer deal when it comes to insurance payouts for couples and venues alike, amid this horrendous Covid-Chaos.
Hamish Sheppard – Co-Founder of Bridebook and Wedding Industry Spokesperson has put together a letter and petition to help our case collectively.
Please take the time to read his letter and sign and share the petition:
Dear Members of the UK Wedding Industry,
These are unprecedented times with government regulations closing the doors of weddings and our professional livelihoods.
As a proud member of this industry with ties to thousands of local businesses, we have written an open letter to the British Government on behalf of our community to illustrate the severity of the challenges the wedding industry is facing. We ask you to please sign this petition.
Read (also copied below): An open letter to the British Government on behalf of the UK Wedding Professional Community
SIGN THE PETITION
Please forward this letter and petition to colleagues, staff, friends and wedding couples and post on your social media to show support for our industry and help us reach our goal of 50,000 signatures.
I’m extremely grateful for your support. I am incredibly proud to be a part of this collaborative and caring community, and I wish you and your families well during these incredibly difficult times.
Founder of Bridebook
Partner of family-run wedding venue, Hedsor House
Caroline & Steve
Updated 12.00 on 30 March 2020
Following the recent hints on the news regarding a 6 month plan, we are fearing that our summer weddings may now be affected. This combined with the registration service announcement (see below)
Ceremonies and notice appointments will NOT be taking place until further notice
We think it prudent to now start thinking alternative plans for the weddings due to take place in June and July. We are in the process of writing to all of our couples affected directly, but if you are concerned about your own wedding and haven’t yet heard from us please get in touch.
Caroline & Steve
Updated 12.00 on 24 March 2020
We thought we would share this very valuable article that helps to add a little perspective in these troubling times from the team at Bridebook
NEW ADVICE FROM CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL:
Following the announcement by the Government last night, ceremonies and notice appointments will NOT be taking place until further notice.
You will be contacted with further information around your options. As we’re sure you will understand we are dealing with a huge amount of calls and emails. Please be patient and only call to rearrange if your ceremony was booked in the next 7 days and you have not already rescheduled. Alternatively please email us on [email protected]
Our website will be updated with further information as we get it, please check there before you contact us: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/registrationservice/marriages/covid19.asp
Caroline & Steve
Updated 17.00 on 23 March 2020
Today we have had information from Cumbria County Council and have been contacting our couples directly affected by this change.
All wedding ceremonies upto the end of May may still go ahead but with only the wedding couple plus 2 witnesses. This means that weddings can still take place on the original date planned, but as an elopement style ceremony only.
In line with this and with the current ban on social gatherings, we are happy to continue with elopement weddings only until the end of May, but we are closing to weddings over 4 people.
Steve and I are currently making plans with each affected couple to re-arrange all weddings that were planned for up to the end of May 2020, where the couples do not wish to change to an elopement style of wedding.
Please contact us if you are effected and would like to chat things through.
Caroline & Steve
Here is the information from Cumbria County Council…
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - wedding and civil partnership ceremonies
COVID-19 – Important Changes to Registration Services
In light of Government guidance around mass gatherings and avoiding non-essential contact with others, ceremonies delivered by the Cumbria Registration Service, such as marriages and civil ceremonies, will now only take place in the presence of the couple and two witnesses.
This does not affect reception plans at your chosen venue – just the numbers of people allowed to be present at the ceremony itself.
This takes immediate effect and applies for all ceremonies that have been booked until the end of May 2020.
For further information on the Registration Service please visit their website page for Births, Deaths and Marriages
Updated 17.35 on 21 March 2020
It appears that many wedding insurance companies are swerving their responsibilities and refusing to pay out during Coronavirus unless the immediate bridal party get ill or die!
This link is for a petition to insist the government make insurance companies pay out so please sign it and share it: PETITION
Updated 17.00 on 19 March 2020
We would like to thank all our wonderful couples for their continued support and best wishes at this very trying time for everybody. We are so lucky to have fabulous new and existing couples, who are keeping their faith in us – including the two lovely couples who have booked with us this week!
Due to the current pandemic new wedding couples are unable to purchase wedding insurance for new bookings. We have therefore decided to make amendments to our current Terms and Conditions for all new bookings made from today. This will hopefully increase confidence in continuing with your wedding planning journey with us.
Caroline & Steve
Updated 16.00 on 19 March 2020
We are still watching the media and keeping in touch with other wedding venues
and industry experts to help us to make informed decisions.
Our immediate worries are that even though many of our weddings are smaller
gatherings or elopements, constituting a maximum of 6 people in the room, we
are in the hands of the Registrars as to whether they will continue to
We appreciate that no one wishes to cancel or postpone their wedding but there
is increasing pressure to do the right thing, and keep everyone safe.
This then asks the question – Who has wedding insurance in place?
Under the current guidelines, the Coronavirus COVID-19 is a notifiable disease
and most insurers should honour this. With this in mind, couples may wish to
cancel now and re-arrange at a later date, than remain in an uncertain position.
Caroline & Steve
Updated 19.00 on 17 March 2020
We have been avidly following every news update today and have contacted Cumbria Registration Service for advice on our imminent weddings and whether their staff will be attending to perform the ceremony and legal part of the wedding. We understand that the registrars worked today and the situation “business as usual” until they are told otherwise.
We are therefore also continuing with “business as usual”.
Updated 19.00 on 16 March 2020
Today’s Goverment advice leaves us in a very uncertain position regarding non-essential social gatherings, and minimising non-essential travel. As a private wedding venue, Government advice remains very unclear.
We are currently reviewing the implications of this advice on our clients, staff and suppliers including the ability of the Registrar service to attend the weddings at Cote How.
We will update this page as soon as we have specific information on how we may proceed.
We will begin contacting the couples most likely to be immediately affected by this advice in the coming days and in date order. Please understand that it is an ever changing and unclear situation and we have no idea how long this may extend. Please be patient as we take advice and try to find the best solutions for all involved.
Updated 15.13 on 16 March 2020
The current Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is giving us all cause for concern. Steve and I would like to reassure all of our existing and future couples that at the time of writing, we have had no known contact with those affected, either staff or customers and we remain OPEN FOR BUSINESS. We are doing everything we can to continue to operate as normal.
As a wedding-only business specialising in smaller family focused weddings we consider Cote How to be a low risk venue. It is our intention that all 2020 weddings currently booked with us, will go ahead as planned and we are continuing to take new bookings for 2020 onwards.
As you will appreciate, this is a very fluid situation and things could change at any time. While we would like to guarantee that your wedding with us will go ahead as planned, on the date that it is booked for, there are many factors, including your own health / risk of infection, which mean we cannot provide any guarantee that your wedding will go ahead as intended.
Advice and guidance given to us from various government agencies is varied and oftentimes opposing but be assured that we are taking many additional precautions (see our “Cote How Covid-19 Precautionary Measures” below) to limit our exposure to the virus and that of our couples and team.
Please keep an eye on this blog as we will be updating it as and when we get more information. If you have any concerns about your Cote How wedding, please get in touch.
Caroline & Steve
Cote How Covid-19 Precautionary Measures
MEETINGS: As of 16th March 2020, we have ceased all non-essential face to face meetings; such as new clients show arounds and final planning meetings. These will be arranged via video link using Skype or Zoom, in order to remove the risk of person to person transmission.
CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION: We will update this blog as we receive additional information. We will communicate directly with our existing clients via email with any information that may specifically influence their wedding.
STAFF HYGIENE PRECAUTIONS: Additional hygiene procedures have been put in place – Use of gloves, double hand washing, double glass washing, surface cleaning and anti-bacterial cleansing of all touch points both before, during and after each event.
CLEANING SCHEDULES: We have revised all our cleaning schedules for each area of the business.
GUEST HYGIENE PRECAUTIONS: We will make available hand sanitisers, anti-bacterial soap, extra tissues, paper towels in place of hand towels and signage to remind of hand washing.
TRAVEL: Checking the recent travel movements of our team to ensure they have not recently visited officially designated infected countries or been in contact with any know virus carriers. If so, self-isolation for 14 days will be imposed.
YOUR HOSTS: Caroline and Steve have cancelled all travel plans for the foreseeable future to reduce the risk of exposure and will take our own temperatures daily to ensure early detection, should we become infected.
SELF-ISOLATION: If we need to self-isolate, we have contingency plans and you will be informed.
SUPPLIER PLANNING: We have put in place additional measures to ensure that all food and drink supplies, which are key to your wedding, will remain available.
LIVE VIDEO LINKS: We will help you to set up LIVE Video links during the wedding ceremony for all guests in the “AT RISK” groups unable to travel.
REDUCING THE RISKS: Things to you may wish to think about:
Your own suppliers – Registrars, entertainers, florists, photographers etc. Have you thought about contingency plans should any of your suppliers be unavailable?
If for any reason, the local authorities restrict the movement of registrars, it may be worth considering continuing with your wedding, maybe as a humanist celebration, and getting officially married at your home county registry office on an alternative date. Your notice to marry will still remain valid provided your official ceremony is performed within a year from the date you gave it.
As both an outdoor and indoor venue – If you have planned your ceremony indoors, maybe think about having it outdoors (weather permitting)
Reduce your guest numbers – to limit your potential exposure to the virus and that of your guests. In particular, those in the “At Risk” categories – older guests, school aged children or those who are immunocompromised.
Do not be tempted to invite new guests to pad out your guest list!
COUPLES AND GUESTS TRAVELLING FROM ABROAD: If you are travelling here to get married, please check your travel insurance for terms relevant to COVID-19 and any impending travel bans to the UK.
Think about travelling earlier than planned to enable quarantine should it be imposed (usually 14 days).
Guests – Maybe consider not travelling at all and use video link instead.
WEDDING INSURANCE: If you haven’t already done so, please carefully read the Terms and Conditions of your insurance policy, especially as many insurers are now adding clauses relative to COVID-19.
After reading many industry blogs and websites, and at the time of writing 16 March 2020:
Most wedding insurances will only be valid for the wedding couples (not your guests). Should you need to cancel your wedding due to your ill health or the ill health of a close relative, it should still stand (but make sure to check).
If you are considering cancelling your wedding, as you are nervous about continuing, you are unlikely to be covered by your wedding insurance.
SOURCES AND ADDITIONAL READING:
The following links provide the most up to date and relevant information that we feel will be useful to you.
GOVERNMENT LATEST ADVICE
National Government Guidance on the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK. Find out what to do if you have symptoms, and what the government is doing about the virus
SHOW ROUNDS & FINAL PLANNING MEETINGS
At present due to risks associated with Coronavirus, and in an effort to protect our currently booked weddings, we are no longer offering face to face on site meetings.
This applies to both Final Planning Meetings and Show Rounds.
We will be offering video links via either Skype or Zoom, or telephone calls until further notice.
If you require instructions for Skype or Zoom please contact me.
My email for Skype is [email protected].uk
Thank you for your understanding – Caroline & Steve