Anyone planning a wedding has had a tougher challenge than usual this past year. The date itself has been subject to changes and guest lists have had to be revised as changing levels of restrictions have come into place.
For this reason, the government’s roadmap out of lockdown has provided much-needed clarity for many, with the opportunity to make clearer decisions about the kind of wedding they want.
So it is that this week (starting March 29th), it has become possible for weddings to take place, however, at this stage, only six guests can attend.
Among those doing so are Hampshire couple Jess Warren-Basham and Jonny Cope. They told the BBC how the whole process has been fraught with change and uncertainty, including the cancellation of plans to marry last August and the rearrangement of their nuptials to March 28th – a date they then moved forward one day to enable half a dozen guests to attend.
This was quite a change from the original list of 180, but Mr Cope said reducing it to a mere six “made it a lot easier because it’s just inviting the parents really, whereas if it had been 15 or 30 it would have been more difficult to cut off”.
For others, the key is just to get the wedding done and be married as soon as possible, such as Dwain Daley and Nyasha Pitt, who met during the first lockdown and are taking the first opportunity to get down to Coventry Register Office.
Mr Daley said: “I do not care if it is a small ceremony because as long as we get the ceremony done and we are married, we are together.”
Many couples will feel the same, but not everyone will; the issue of who to leave out will cause many dilemmas and others might consider it worth the wait to be able to have friends and family there who they dearly want to be present on the day.
For those who want to wait to enable a bigger gathering to take place, wedding photo booth hire is a must. After all these months of separation and, in some cases, isolation, the opportunity for people to pose together for pictures after so long apart will provide particularly treasured memories of the day.
The options for couples on England, detailed in the roadmap, are to wait until April 12th when, if all is going well and the next phase of unlocking can take place, the number that can attend weddings in England rises to 15.
Similarly, from no sooner than May 17th, the number will rise to 30. For those who want a big wedding, the great hope will be that from June 21st, the remaining restrictions will be ended.
The arrangements for weddings in Wales are not yet certain, but first minister Mark Drakeford is planning an announcement this week on the next stage of unlocking, which may provide a clearer picture.
Of course, for some the most exciting way to do a wedding is to head north of the border to Gretna Green. For that, the most notable date to look for is April 26th, when up to 50 people can attend a wedding in Scotland.