Only five people are recommended to attend church weddings during the coronavirus outbreak.
That’s according to the Church of England, who announced on Thursday that only the bride, groom, vicar and two witnesses are advised to attend – the legal minimum.
“Apart from the couple themselves, everyone else should observe a social distance as far as possible,” a statement of the Church of England’s website reads.
“The guidance makes clear that traditions such as the priest touching the rings or the couple’s hands as part of a prayer or blessing are not required.”
The reading of banns will not be possible as public worship services have been suspended. But, couples can apply for a licence through a different procedure and those whose banns have already been read can proceed.
Streaming of wedding services is allowed however this news will likely cause many upcoming nuptials to be postponed.
The church has also released guidance for baptisms, with numbers limited to the person being baptised, their parents (or guardians or carers), the godparents and the minister.
“Only the clergy and parents should join the candidate at the font, with godparents maintaining a social distance,” the statement reads.
“There is also detailed guidance on hygiene, including making clear that the priest should not hold the child and that water should be administered with an appropriate implement such as a shell.”
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Princess Beatrice’s wedding likely to be impacted
The Queen’s granddaughter, Princess Beatrice, is set to marry fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on 29 May.
However, as the 31-year-old royal is scheduled to wed in a religious ceremony at St James’ Palace, her service will be impacted should she follow the Church of England’s guidance.
Beatrice announced earlier this week that her Buckingham Palace gardens reception has been called off but there’s been no confirmation as to whether the marriage ceremony itself will proceed.
The royals were planning a much smaller affair than their recent predecessors, getting married in the Chapel Royal with about 150 guests.
Has your wedding been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak? Let us know in the comments below.