Engaged couples are erring on the side of caution when it comes to the safety of their guests, a new survey by Hitched revealed.
As social distancing restrictions are lifted in England and eased in the rest of the UK, couples are now having to make personal decisions about requirements for masks, vaccinations and testing for their guests.
57% of couples said that they would be requesting their guests take lateral flow tests ahead of their wedding in a move that shows safety is first and foremost in their minds. The other 43% said they would leave it at their guests' discretion. A positive test would require the guest to isolate and miss the wedding, but reduces the risk of spreading COVID at an event where there may be vulnerable or elderly loved ones.
With a number of weddings being cancelled due to the couple being 'pinged' by the Track and Trace app, half of couples said they would also be entering a self-imposed isolation before their wedding to ensure they had no contact with anyone carrying COVID.
A total of 51% of couples said they would optionally be isolating before their big day to reduce the risk of being forced into isolation and cancelling their day, while 49% will be hoping that acting sensibly and being fully vaccinated means they can go without isolating in those crucial and busy days before the wedding.
Understandably the lead-up to the wedding is heavy with admin that often needs to be dealt with in person - such as final fittings and collecting wedding outfits - so many couples are choosing to reduce the risk of catching COVID by delaying hen and stag parties until after the wedding.
The Prime Minister has predicted that the UK could experience up to 100,000 cases of COVID a day by late summer which has left couples worried about whether they may catch it before the big day.
You can find Hitched's advice here on how to protect yourself as best you can from COVID before your big day, for example, asking to work from home in the upcoming weeks and getting pamper sessions done earlier than you normally would.
We'd also advise you to follow the NHS guidelines on how to avoid catching COVID which contain practical steps to reduce your risk, such as:
- Get vaccinated – everyone aged 18 or over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now
- Meet people outside if possible
- Open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
- Limit the number of people you meet and avoid crowded places
- Wear a face covering when it's hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places like public transport
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
Some venues and visiting registrars are still insisting on mandatory masks to reduce COVID transmission and risk to staff members. You're advised to check with your venue, suppliers and officiant ahead of your big day what rules they have in place.
*Results from a survey on Instagram of Hitched followers. Of 1158 users, 600 said they would be isolating and 568 said they would not be. Of 1187 users, 673 said they would be asking for lateral flow tests from their guests and 514 said they would not be.