What does the Phase 4 delay mean for couples awaiting their wedding?

Couples who have had to postpone their wedding are still in the dark about when they can tie the knot

If you or someone you know was planning to have their wedding this year, odds are it's been a very stressful number of months. The initial fear of Covid-19, mixed with having to postpone a once-in-a-lifetime event has left couples around the country heartbroken. As we begin to move back towards normality, a lack of clarity around big events like weddings is causing yet more stress and anxiety for couples.

If you were planning your wedding for 2020, odds are you will have already discussed postponing it, either to later this year or to 2021. If you are still hoping to hold your wedding before the summer is out, and are confused at the recent changes to the roadmap for reopening the country, we're here to help.

If your wedding is scheduled between now and August 10


Originally, the Government had laid out a five-phase roadmap to reopen the country. In early June, due to our progress in fighting the disease, the Government made changes to that roadmap, and scrapped Phase 5 of the measures, bringing a number of them forward in line with the beginning of Phase 4 on July 20.

However, due to the rising number of cases over the past week, the Government has decided to revise its plan, and push back a number of measures to their original dates on the roadmap.

This means that the current restrictions around mass gatherings, which allows no more than 50 people at indoor gatherings, and 200 people at outdoor gatherings, are being extended to August 10. If you are planning on having more than 50 (indoors) or 200 (outdoors) guests at your wedding, it unfortunately looks like the event will have to be postponed.

Hotel bars, pubs and nightclubs have also had their reopening pushed back to August 10.

If your wedding is scheduled after August 10

If your wedding is taking place later in the summer, the roadmap currently advises that the restrictions around mass gatherings will ease on August 10. From that date, up to 100 people will be allowed to gather indoors and 500 people outdoors. At that time, according to current guidelines, hotel bars and pubs will be allowed to reopen, as long as they adhere to social distancing measures.

Things to note


If you think you may be able to go ahead with your wedding plans this year, that's fabulous news! But remember, every phase's reopening measures is subject to social distancing measures and other health protocols. This will affect how you are able to celebrate on your special day — it's worth speaking to your venue about how this will work.

You should also note that the Government's roadmap is subject to change — it has already been updated several times since its initial launch, and may be altered again before August 10, depending on the country's levels of Covid-19 transmission. If your wedding is scheduled for mid-August, you may need to get comfortable with making last-minute decisions, and rolling with the roadmap as it changes.

Read more: What you need to know about planning your post-Covid wedding, according to 4 wedding experts

Read more: 10 celebrity wedding dress choices that beautifully break from tradition

Read more: Your friends' wedding may have been cancelled, but here's why you should still send a gift now

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