Guidelines for a wedding this year

Guidelines for a wedding this year

Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful things you may do in your life, throw in a global pandemic, constantly changing advice and shifting dates and you are all entitled to be a bit stressed.

However relax, take a breath and sit down.  Now more than ever is the time to have a clear head and clear plan.

If you are still planning for your wedding to take place this year, there are a few guidelines to be aware of.

Read the latest Updates for Monday 29th June 2020.

Article by Tara Fay, one of the leading Wedding planners in Ireland.

Guidelines for a wedding this year
Article updated on the 29th June 2020
The Irish government have published new guidelines for weddings in light of the Covid-19 crisis

From Monday, June 29th a group of 50 people can gather indoors and 200 people outside. From the 20th July groups of 100 may gather indoors and 500 people outdoors.

So what does that mean for your wedding?

I have listed some of the most frequently asked questions I have received in relation to the new guidelines. 

So on the 20th of July I can have 100 guests for my wedding?

The guidelines state you can have up to 100 people indoors.  So this number must include your venue staff as well.  So example if your venue needs to provide 10 staff members to serve food and drinks, then your guest numbers reduce to 90 people.

But my photographer and musicians are not in these 100 people then?

Any other wedding suppliers you would like in the room at any time must be included within this number.  So if your musicians need to set up in the room after the meal, then either guests or staff would have to leave to ensure you don’t go above 100 people in the space.

What about my table plan?

Social distancing must be maintained at a table.  So if for example, you have invited a couple or a family they can sit together.  If you have 4 friends for example who don’t live in the same house, they must be seated according to the current guidelines, which is 2m.

I am having a marquee wedding though so I don’t need to follow guidelines

A marquee is still listed as a wedding venue, so you still need to treat it as such.  Therefore you must maintain social distancing within the marquee and the max capacity is 100 people total.

But a marquee is outdoors surely 

Unless your marquee has no side and only partial roof, which is not really practical it’s still seen as a venue and still subject to the same guidelines

 My wedding is in November and I am still going to invite 150 people

Currently, the max number is 100 people inside a room.  If the numbers increase or the social distancing possibly changes, you may be able to have more people based on the size of the room.  However, for the moment the max amount allowed will be 100 people from 20th July.

 I had moved my wedding to May 2021, is social distancing still going to apply then?

Whilst there is no vaccine available, it would be assumed that there will still be social distancing and strict guidelines for weddings.  On a positive note, Ireland is one of the very few countries in the world where guidelines have been issued for weddings.  

 I have already invited 200 people for my wedding when I sent save the dates, do I have to disinvite them

That’s a tricky one, you have a few options:  One possibility is to have two wedding days, so, for example, have one set of guests on one day and the others on a second day.  However if the guidelines remain the same for the foreseeable future, 200 people will not be possible even over two days.  You still need to allow for venue service staff and also your wedding vendors, like your photographer, musicians etc.  You should also remember that you will always get some drop off on numbers.  You can always write a note to your guests and explain the situation to them, it’s not like it’s your choice.

Will guests want to even come to my wedding 

You need to trust in your venue that they have followed all protocols, then its up to each guest to decide if they want to attend.  At the end of the day, your guests do need to take responsibility for themselves.  

What about dancing

The guidelines state that social distancing has to be maintained on a dancefloor also.  What not be a bit creative here and encourage people to dance with their table.  You could have dance offs between different parts of the room.  Socially distant of course.

I thought I could have more people in a church

If you are having a religious style wedding ceremony, you are still required to follow the guidelines for maximum numbers for a wedding under the current guidelines.

Trust me I do know this is a lot to take in.  It is for me as well and I have been doing nothing else but working on and looking at these guidelines for weeks now.  Your wedding will still be beautiful and special and you will get to enjoy it.

Don’t forget that.


This article is written by Tara Fay

Recognized as an industry leader in Ireland, Tara has spent the past five years assisting the national tourism board develop Ireland as an international wedding destination. She pioneered and co-produced the global wedding summit, the Engage!18 Conference, bringing in industry leaders from dozens of countries to celebrate all that Ireland has to offer. Tara is known as the “Wedding Planner’s Wedding Planner,” and is a sought after industry speaker internationally.

Top Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland

5 Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland with something special

There is something undoubtedly transformative about stepping into a castle. Perhaps it’s the thick high battlements protecting you from the outside world, the history, or the secret passageways and hidden tunnels? Or even more so…sleeping in one and getting a feel for the romance of times gone by, experiencing the privilege that past occupants living their pampered lives with servants all around? Here are some of my top choices of Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland you might want to spend your wedding night in!

Article by Roger Masterson, Company Director of Celtic Castles

5 Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland 

Ashford Castle

No expense spared for the big day!

A celebrity favourite, this is the ultimate wedding destination in Ireland…just ask James Bond, Pierce Brosnan! Take the castle on an exclusive hire basis and really go for the full princess option! The castle offers 83 bedrooms, many facing Lough Corrib, plus a very romantic Lakeside Hideaway Cottage.

If you want privacy, Ashford allows you and your wedding party the full castle experience without interruption. Don’t miss out on the estate’s unforgettable activities, including falconry, equestrianism, golf, river cruising, fishing and spa treatments; you will not be bored and, in fact, you may want to stay for more than just the weekend!

Glin Castle

Traditional small family wedding

Overlooking the River Shannon and hills of County Clare, this unique historic property, home of the Knights of Glin for over 700 years, is Irish charm at its best. Compact, with 15+ en-suite bedrooms, perfect for a small family wedding; don’t just stay for one night, make it a proper celebration and stay for the week…you will not regret it!

Family portraits and Irish pictures line the walls, and the library bookcase has a secret door leading to the hall and the very rare flying staircase. Best of all, the village is just 5 minutes’ walk away; the locals will have a few stories to share with you!  Glin is so good, you will want to bring all the family back for your anniversary!

Turin Castle

Just the two of you

If you want the full fairytale wedding, then this is the real deal, with a grand hall complete with authentic armour and weapons. You can squeeze a few more into this castle, up to twelve, but why? Elope and just have the castle for an intimate wedding for two. If you want to go Medieval in County Mayo, the owners Marnie and Brendan know how to look after their wedding guests and there is a wonderful stone building at the back of the castle, perfect for the ceremony.

The Black Castle

Rustic wedding for two

If you just want to turn up to your private, historic 16th-century tower, with your own personal wedding planner, The Black Castle will allow you to experience a castle wedding as it was several centuries ago!  YES, this is “The Real McCoy“! The Great Hall takes you back into the 16th century, with no electricity, plumbing or wi-fi. You will have to save your Insta pics for later! 

Your ceremony takes place in the candlelit Great Hall, warmed by a huge cavernous fireplace with a roaring fire under a stone-vaulted ceiling. Overnight, you will be provided with candles and a supply of fuel for the fire. The bespoke oak, half-tester, king-size bed is supplied with Egyptian cotton sheets and luxurious bedding. Yes, you sleep in the Great Hall!

Belle Isle

Location on the shores of Lough Erne

Originally built in the 12th century as a Norman keep, Belle Isle, this now, 17th-century castle on an idyllic island in Northern Ireland’s Fermanagh Lakelands, is an enchanted hideaway offering a romantic, old-world charm, while the estate’s 400+ acres of rolling hills, flowering meadows, tranquil gardens, and views of Lough Erne take you to a different world. Twenty-seven overnight guests in thirteen individually, beautifully-decorated bedrooms, allow for a lovely, intimate family wedding. You can split the castle up into two parts if your group is smaller.

I think everyone would secretly love to feel like King and Queen on their wedding day! Well, now you can…all at these Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland!

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This article is written by Roger Masterson of Celtic Castles 

Celtic Castles delivers an award-winning castle booking service. Whatever you want from a castle experience, they can help. Short breaks for two, family holidays, weddings small and large or functions and events of various sizes and requirements; they have extensive experience of them all. Just tell them what you’re looking for and what’s important to you, and they recommend the best options.