We are experiencing a new “normal”. Restrictions being eased in the UK and social bubbles being allowed to meet, outside, in small numbers. But how does that affect your wedding plans? At the time of writing this post (8 June 2020), no weddings are currently allowed in the UK except in extreme circumstances where you can apply for a special dispensation. But the “word on the street” is that the government is working to allow smaller, outdoors weddings to begin. However there is no definitive date set as yet.

So how might a socially distanced wedding look? I have to make certain assumptions. I have to assume that you, as a couple, have been in close contact during the pandemic and are therefore termed as a “household”. And that family groupings who have been living under the same room will also be households. I have been keeping my eye on venues and their plans to allow them to host a socially distanced wedding. Much of it is based on the household unit, ie if you are a family of four who have been living together during the pandemic, then you would sit together, be able to have photographs together but still remain socially distanced.

So how does this apply to photographs? As far as I can see, normal rules would apply when it comes to photographing my couples by themselves and with each other. So beautiful, candid portraits are still on the menu:

But when it comes to family photographs, with parents and bridesmaids, best men, etc, then as far as I can envisage it, at the current time of writing, unless you have all been living together, then it can’t/won’t happen. However, I would be able to take photographs of family units to ensure that you would still have photographs of your guests. But a big group shot would be out. Detail shots would be fine, such as flowers, cake, table decorations but my usual images of brides and bridesmaids or grooms and groomsmen … I’m afraid, not right now.

Weddings will be changing for the foreseeable future. We are waiting for guidance from our local registrars as to how and when they will restart. The government has allowed us to meet outside and so outdoors weddings will surely be able to go ahead at some point. This may be with limited numbers and probably no evening reception. How soon indoor wedding ceremonies or wedding breakfasts will start to take place, well, that’s a whole different subject

Here’s a graphic to show what a socially distanced wedding might look like. There are currently very few wedding venues which have a covered structure large enough to allow a wedding in this format to take place. But again, there are whispers and rumours that the government might be making changes to the restriction that you have to have your registrar led ceremony under a covered structure. So who knows, one of the benefits coming out of this pandemic might be that you can have your wedding in the outdoors, with no covered area restrictions.

At the moment, the only way that you would have been able to celebrate in this way is by having a celebrant led wedding. And that’s not a bad thing …

I can’t wait to be back behind the lens, capturing the love and emotion that is so evident for my wonderful couples. I can’t wait to be back getting “golden hour” photographs, making memories, seeing tears, love and laughter.

I’m ready.

Faversham wedding wedding at Stonelees Kent

Wedding at Cooling Castle Barn

I’d love to hear from you if you are planning to go ahead with your 2020 wedding if and when they go ahead. I’m on sam@samanthajonesphotography.co.uk … tell me your plans!