Limits on attending weddings, funerals and other acts of worship

Share this article

Read the latest advice from the United Reformed Church about the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other acts of worship in England, Scotland and Wales.


From 5 November small marriages and civil partnerships will only be possible where someone is ill and is not expected to recover. These are limited to six people.

Wedding and civil partnership receptions and celebrations are not permitted to take place.

For more advice visit the GOV.UK website and the page on guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic


The Scottish government recognises the importance of marriage and civil partnership to couples and to society more widely.

Scotland is currently in phase three of its route map for moving out of lockdown. As part of this, from 15 July it has been possible for marriages and civil partnerships to take place inside at public venues, including registration offices, hospitality venues and places of worship as well as outside.  

From 2 November, the Scottish government has implemented a new strategic approach based on five levels of protection. The protection levels can be applied either locally or nationally.

There are rules at all five levels of the strategic framework about how many people may attend a marriage ceremony or civil partnership:

  • Level 0: no more than 50 people should attend and receptions with up to 50 people are permitted.
  • Level 1, 2 or 3: no more than 20 people should attend and receptions with up to 20 people are allowed. 
  • Level 4: no more than 15 people should attend and receptions cannot take place. 

 For more advice visit the website.


The Wales firebreak has ended. The Frequently Asked Questions page on the Welsh government website says: 

The number who will be able to attend a ceremony indoors will be limited by the capacity of the venue where it is being held, once physical distancing measures have been taken into account.   

To ensure that the maximum number that can attend is observed attendance must be by invitation only.

A reception for up to 15 people can be held indoors, or for up to 30 people outdoors. Where the reception takes place indoors, it will need to take place in regulated premises (such as pubs, restaurants, hotels or community centres) and there are limits on the type of activity that can take place – for example loud music should not be played, and any food provided should be served at the table rather than at a buffet. The limits on those who can be present do not include children under 11 or staff working at the event.

For more information visit the GOV.Wales website and the page on Guidance for reopening places of worship in Wales.

09 November 2020

Share this article