EXPLAINER: What are the rules and guidelines for weddings in Ireland?
Failte Ireland has updated its rules and guidelines for wedding venues under the latest Government Public Health Advice.
So, what are the headline rules for wedding receptions?
- There can be a maximum of 50 people in the function area including employees
- The function area must be self-contained and only one function per area/room
- Businesses must follow updated Public Health advice to ensure that all wedding guests leave the function/bar areas by 11.30pm. Public Health advice states that these areas should be cleared of all guests by 11.30pm. However, this does not include staff members who will carry out closing procedures.
- Face coverings should be worn by employees in customer-facing roles where no other protective measures are in place e.g.
protective screens and where physical distancing of 2 metres* is not possible.
- Face coverings should also be worn by guests when arriving to and leaving their table.
What are the rules for guests on arrival?
- Where possible, guests must be directed to enter and exit through separate doors that are automated or manually operated by an employee. Doors may be propped open if fire regulations allow.
- Hand sanitisers (including touchless dispensers where possible) must be readily available at each access point. These must have a minimum alcohol content of 60%. Signage must encourage all guests to use this when they enter and leave.
- Prominent signage must explain current physical distancing practices. This must be accompanied by clear and visible
markings that illustrate the safe distancing protocol.
What about at the drinks reception?
- Service stations must use physical distancing queuing systems.
- Tea/coffee/drinks and canapé stations must be managed by service personnel. There must be no self-service stations. Canapés must be in individual portions.
- Remove as much loose furniture (e.g. sofas, etc.) from the room to ensure maximum space for physical distancing.
And what about at dinner?
- Entrance doors should be opened whilst guests are entering the dining area.
- Review the seating capacities to meet the current physical distancing guidance. There must be adequate spacing between customers at each table in accordance with Government physical distancing guidelines.
- Hand sanitisers (including touchless dispensers where possible) must be readily available. Consider providing hand sanitiser on each table. These must have a minimum alcohol content of 60%. Signage must encourage all guests to use this when they
enter and leave.
- Management must ensure appropriate signage is in place to welcome guests and reassure them that employees have been
trained in line with the Government’s Public Health advice.
- There must be no shared items at the table. Instead:
- Water jugs must be poured by service personnel only.
- Salt and pepper shakers, butter dishes should be available only on request.
- Instead, each guest should be given individual portions/sachets.
- Face coverings should be worn by staff during the service of the meal
- There must be no family-style service of food (i.e. no shared vegetable/gravy dishes, etc.).
- Wedding afters must be served directly to each guest fully plated.
And the dancing?
- Signage on tables and dance floors must ask guests to respect physical distancing guidelines.
- Employees must monitor and manage distancing.
- All third-party suppliers must ensure they adhere to the Governments Public Health advice.
- Multiple gatherings are allowed in venue facilities provided they are in separate defined spaces and there are systems to prevent intermingling in common spaces (e.g. entrances, exits and toilet facilities).
- Limit the number of service personnel per group of guests to the smallest number that is practical.
- Where at all practical, service personnel should provide services to only one gathering and should not move between multiple gatherings in different venue locations.
- Where possible, facilities such as toilets should not be used simultaneously by multiple gatherings. However, if they are cleaned in between usage, they may be used separately by different gatherings, within the same time period.