Non-religious weddings | New rules for coming out of lockdown in England

On 22 February, the PM Boris Johnson unveiled plans to ease lockdown restrictions in England. Here’s how the new rules will impact on non-religious weddings between now and the end of June 2021.


Humanist wedding England

Hester and Joe by Duncan McCall Photography

Since the first lockdown, the rules on attending weddings have kept changing – and there are more changes ahead in England as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

Planning a wedding can be stressful at any time, but the additional rules and safety measures during this pandemic have made the planning process even more complicated.

So that you have one less thing to worry about, we’ve summarised all the key dates and information from the government announcement into a handy guide.

Your guide to key dates and rule changes on weddings

Despite humanist weddings not yet being legally recognised in England, the rules below do include humanist ceremonies.

Until 8 March

There will be no immediate changes to the rules on weddings. Weddings will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. There can be no more than six people in attendance.

Step 1: From 8 March

If all is going well, weddings will no longer be limited to exceptional circumstances. Weddings will be permitted with a maximum of six attendees.

Wedding receptions will not be permitted.

Step 2: From 12 April

If all is going well, weddings and receptions will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).

Step 3: From 17 May

If all is going well, weddings and receptions will be able to take place with up to 30 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).

Step 4: From 21 June

Subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme (a piece of research to test reopening large events), all limits will be removed on attendance at weddings and receptions.

Humanist wedding reception - Anna Clarke Photography

Kat and Giz by Anna Clarke Photography


Humanist weddings

humanist wedding is ideal for you if you’d like a non-religious wedding that is unique, personalised, and meaningful.

Wedding ideas and inspiration

Whatever stage the lockdown is at when you get wed, we hope our online guides will help you plan your perfect wedding — and give you ideas about what you might like to include in the ceremony.

For more inspiration for your humanist wedding, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

Next steps

If you’re thinking of having a humanist wedding, the next step is to find your ideal celebrant.

Our weddings

Your ceremony will focus on your love story. It can include unique vows, readings, poems, and any symbolic acts you choose.

Ideas and inspiration

Are you at the beginning of your wedding planning journey? We have top tips and real wedding stories to inspire you.

Find your wedding celebrant

There are exciting times ahead as you choose your humanist celebrant and plan a personalised wedding that's unique to you.