Dads will be able to walk their daughters down the aisle during weddings under new government plans.
As part of the easing of Covid restrictions, guests at wedding receptions may also be able to move between tables in new measures being drawn up.
Penny Mordaunt, the Cabinet Office minister, and Paul Scully, the business minister have been working together with the weddings industry to see how couples’ big days could be made easier for them, reports The Telegraph.
The 30-guest limit was already lifted for ceremonies in England earlier this week, meaning any number of guests can now be invited to a wedding reception or ceremony as long as it is outside.
Ministers are now also trying to make additional changes – which are due to be announced over the next few days – to make sure couples’ weddings aren’t ruined by overly strict Covid-19 rules.
Venues do still have to comply with social distancing rules however, which will limit how many people they can host. They must also provide table service and face coverings have to be worn by everyone under 11 with the only exceptions being the bride and groom, those who are exempt, and the person conducting the ceremony.
Dancing and singing is also not allowed – the married couple are allowed to perform a first dance however.
Under the plans proposed by Ms Mordaunt and Mr Scully, the father of the bride would not be required to wear a mask when walking the bride down the aisle before the exchange of vows.
They also plan to ease restrictions on so-called “vertical drinking”, which currently means guests aren’t allowed to walk between tables clutching a drink.
Last month, The Telegraph revealed concerns in Whitehall about a large backlog of weddings that have been unable to take place during the pandemic. In Worcestershire alone, more than 2,000 couples are now waiting to tie the knot.
One idea was for an army of temporary registrars to be hired to carry out the weddings and stop frustrated couples having to wait for months to tie the knot.
There were also concerns that some families would get round the rules by asking people to get together, socially distanced, in a pub.