New wedding rules: No singing

New wedding rules: No singing


norman lebrecht

June 29, 2020

Latest Government rules on weddings in England (you really couldn’t make this up):

– Ceremonies should be kept “as short as reasonably possible” and limited as much as possible to just the parts that are legally binding
– No more than 30 people should attend
– Everyone should follow the 2m rule if possible, or 1m with extra safety measures
– No food and drink should be consumed as part of the event
– Hands should be washed before and after the exchanging of rings, and the rings should be handled by as few people as possible
– Singing, shouting or playing music at a volume that means people have to raise their voice should all be avoided.
– Instead of singing, recordings are suggested
– Speaking during the ceremony – for example saying the responses to the vows – should not be in a raised voice
– Playing instruments that are blown into should be avoided
– When singing or chanting is required, only one person is allowed to and the couple or venue should consider installing a clear screen
– Venues frequently used for weddings should mark the floor with tape or paint to help people maintain social distance.


  • Ian McMillan says:

    What a load of twoddle!

    Typically, this half thought through plan doesn’t mention the use of the organ and organists…. or do electronically blown organs count as not being allowed?
    Pity the poor organists and singers who continue to be deprived of earning a living when recordings take priority – something that has been slowly taking over in any case.
    Most weddings and funerals I used to play the organ for, now expects organists to flick a switch or press a button for recorded music instead of playing live music…

  • caranome says:

    what about rules for the wedding night?

  • Dennis says:

    Will any sane adult please stop the madness? The world is being destroyed by this viral paranoia.

  • José Bergher says:

    Weddings can be virtual. Why worry about social distancing, the masks, the hand washing, the number of guests, etc? Each of the persons who make up the wedding ceremony’s dramatis personae should stay home: the bride iu hers, the bridegroom in his, the in-laws in theirs, the priest in his, and so on. The necessary paper work, the signing and the yes-I-do-till-death-or-divorce-or-whatever-do-us-part, the broadcast of the Mendelssohn and Wagner tunes should be done by internet and zoom. The wedding rings, the cake, the flowers should be artificial, that is to say, mere illustrations e-mailed to the interested parties; no need to spend money on actual tri-dimensional objects.
    Modern technology must be put to use.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    They should just incorporate a BLM protest, with violence, in the middle of the ceremony and all will be allowed.

  • Just saying says:

    “No food or drink should be consumed as part of the event.”

    Don’t they know the best part of any wedding is the open bar reception?

  • V.Lind says:

    Oh, how I wish someone would do an animated video of this ideal “new normal” wedding.

    I especially like the bit about handwashing after the exchange of rings. Nothing says “I love you” like clean hands. Actually, that’s the main message of “stay alert.”

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    So you would all prefer to catch this awful disease would you?

    • Maria says:

      Oh, for goodness sake, find your sense of humour! It helps the world to go round in a crisis to.see the funny or odd side of life. No one wants to get the virus but you don’t have choice. It doesn’t mean you are necessarily going to die of it or with it but one might die of a heart attack instead much sooner! Laugh!

      • Tiredofitall says:

        Maria, you are SO right…510,048 deaths to date and increasing in excess of 3,000 per day worldwide. Yes, this is truly the “funny or odd side of life”.

        Stay well dear.

        • Maria says:

          We’re talking about my country’s cranky rules about getting married, and not about making light of any deaths
          One death is too many but, as Norman said, also based in England, you couldn’t make it up if you tried. Mercifully we see the funny side of it. A cartoon will come next. Thank you for your best wishes. I have recovered now.

  • E. says:

    In one European country, the two spouses are requested to wear masks throughout the ceremony.

  • Francis says:

    Is pub’s only allowing 30 people?????

  • Henry williams says:

    Better to just live together

    • Maria says:

      Nothing like making a commitment in life, and that is what a wedding should be, not just a free party for 150 guests in fancy dress and stupid hats, and divorce a few years later!!!

  • Diana Tozer says:

    Absolute cobblers. Who wants to marry like that? Why washing hands with the rings? Wouldn’t it be better for only the bride and groom to handle the rings instead? I doubt many couples will take this up. Unless there’s a real pressing reason. It sounds absolutely horrible!

  • Lorelie says:

    Seeing that photo of Dame Kiri brings back memories of Charles and Diana’s spectacular wedding, where she sang, Let the Bright Seraphim by Handel. That gig was a once in a lifetime event, and she sang splendidly. Looked really pretty too. Nerve wracking? Naw, just a billion people tuning in.