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Small Wedding Venues for 30 Guests

Updated: Jul 2



Small Wedding Venues for 30 Guests

From 4 July, gatherings of more than 30 people will be permitted but only in certain public places as set out in law. This will include all licensed venues where legal marriage ceremonies can take place however it is strongly advised that numbers are restricted to 30 for public health reasons.


"So I am delighted that places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services –including weddings with a maximum of 30 people, all subject to social distancing." Prime Minister, 23rd June 2020.


With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to list the best small wedding venues that I have worked at. Most of these small wedding venues are in Hampshire, so they are easily accessible for anyone getting married here. I can give a little insight into your options when choosing the best place to have a small wedding. These venues have the ability to host small weddings. All the while without it looking out of place and most of them have outside spaces to get married in. Not only is getting married outside a wonderful experience, but it is also safer during this COVID-19 era.

Places To Have Small Weddings


Outside wedding at Pitt Hall Barn

Have you ever wanted to get married in a forest, surrounded by swaying trees and the birds singing? Ditching the aisle for a woodland track and you're halfway to a fairytale wedding. This is a unique wedding venue, to say the least, and should be up there even if you were planning a wedding without considering social distancing.


Intimate Tipi Weddings

Real Wedding: Tipi Wedding Hampshire

I am guilty of saying that many weddings I have attended have been in my top selection (not that I keep score, honest). But Mea and Toby did what they wanted to do, they looked at what was important to them and went with it. They hired a field, put a couple of tipis in it, filled it with different food vendors and an eclectic mix of musician and even a comedian! Voila! You have your very own festival. The bonus of a festival wedding is that it can easily adhere to the government's rules on social distancing at weddings.

Quote from Philippa at Love Tipi: "Tipis not only provide a stunning venue for your Wedding but are also versatile structures. The sides of the Tipis can be lifted to create more space for social distancing Wedding guests, with smaller Tipis available for more intimate ceremonies"



Small Wedding at Three Choirs Vineyard

Real Wedding: Three Choirs Vineyard Wedding Photography

Three Choirs Vineyard is one of my favourite venues, it's located in Shedfield near Southampton. To start with it has 4 different locations to get married in, two of which are located outside. You have The Gazebo, The Vine Room, Byre (outside), and the Old Winery (outside). Sam and the staff pay close attention to the detail and what is important to you. I have no doubt that they would have this cosy venue adjusted to suit the current situation.



Outside Wedding at Field Place Manor

Real Wedding: Field Place Manor Wedding Photography

Field Place Manor is another wedding venue that can host a more compact wedding assembly. The best part is that you don't have to compromise either, the outside area is beautiful! The elegant outside ceremony location is braced by a stunning wildflower garden on the peripherals. This compliments the barn backdrop perfectly.



Outside Wedding at Southend Barns

Real Wedding: Southend Barns Wedding Photography

Southend Barns have always been a top wedding venue in West Sussex, this is due to it's impeccably kept grounds and very attentive staff. Now, with small outside ceremonies being the go-to for 2020, I'm sure they will be able to host a perfect wedding for anyone that wants to book. There is no compromise when comparing either the inside or outside location, both are incredible choices for a small wedding.



Outside Wedding Reception at Cain Manor

Cain Manor, hosted by Bijou which translates to small and elegant. This barn certainly does live up to being small and elegant, with its beautiful barn on the chic grounds it is one of the finest venues I have worked at. A Cosy Country House is how they describe themselves and it does fit that description perfectly. The barn has huge doors that lead to the courtyard so you could have them open providing a nice breeze throughout. Alternatively, you can choose to have your wedding outside on the patio or next to The Music Room.



Spacious Wedding at Clock Barn

Real Wedding: Clock Barn Wedding Photography

Clock Barn is likened Cain Manor in the fact that they have an impressive barn and outside area. The barn has plenty of space to accommodate up to 30 guests safely whilst still adhering to the government guidance. Once you have said the I do's you have the exclusive use of the grounds and can take the time to mingle with your friends and family.


Intimate Wedding at Bartholomew Barn

Real Wedding: Bartholomew Barn Wedding Photography

If I was going to choose a venue for a small wedding Bartholomew Barn would be high on my list. It allows for all your guests to gather around the large fish pond in the courtyard. All the while you stand inside the intimate barn to exchange your vows.



When will weddings be allowed again?

The government has said small weddings with up to 30 guests can take place in England from 4 July – this is for wedding ceremonies only. Larger more traditional wedding receptions, ceremonies and parties cannot take place. There is the option to celebrate the wedding after your intimate ceremony. This will have to be in accordance with government guidelines. That is, with up to six people outdoors, within support bubbles indoors or outdoors, or between two households indoors or outdoors. In Northern Ireland, wedding ceremonies have been allowed since early June, but only held outdoors and with a maximum of 10 people. Wales began allowing wedding ceremonies on 22 June, but social distancing rules must be followed, and only a small number of people are allowed. People are allowed to travel any distance to attend a wedding ceremony. Weddings in Scotland are currently still not permitted.

What Are the Current Rules?

As of 23rd June, the UK is on its way to entering phase three of lockdown easing, which will begin on 4th July. This phase will allow places of worship, such as churches, mosques and synagogues, to reopen and host wedding ceremonies. Venues that host civil ceremonies await more clarification on whether they will be allowed to host weddings too. Also reopening will be pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars, hair salons and hotels, paving the way for larger weddings to return at a later date. However, businesses like nail bars, nightclubs and gyms will not be allowed to reopen yet.


Wedding photography at small weddings during Covid-19

Providing it is safe to do so I hope the restrictions are eased even further to allow couples to get married in front of all of their loved ones. But for the time being I guess we are restricted for finding small wedding venues for 30 people. When photographing weddings during this time I will be taking all of the necessary precautions to protect the people around me and myself. This will include wearing a facemask, keeping to the 1/2 meter social distancing and washing me hands regularly.


Key principles for planning COVID-19 secure Marriages and Civil Partnerships

During all activity linked to the marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation, all parties should adhere to social distancing guidelines. From 4 July, 2 meters or 1 meter with risk mitigation (where 2 meters is not viable), are acceptable.

From 4 July, gatherings of more than 30 people will be permitted but only in certain public places as set out in law. This will include all licensed venues where legal marriage ceremonies can take place however it is strongly advised that numbers are restricted to 30 for public health reasons.

Those operating venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings or mass events from taking place.



The marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation:

  • Should only take place in COVID-19 secure environments. Where a marriage ceremony can take place legally in other places not covered by this guidance (such as outdoor weddings that are permitted under the Marriage Act), the legal restrictions on gatherings must be followed for that place.

  • It is advised that the ceremonies and services should be concluded in the shortest reasonable time, and limited as far as reasonably possible to the parts of the marriage or civil partnership that are required in order to be legally binding under the law of England and Wales.

  • Religious communities should therefore adapt traditional religious aspects, especially where celebrations would otherwise have taken place over a number of hours, or even days, to ensure the safety of those present and minimal spread of infection.

  • Large wedding receptions or parties after should not take place after the marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation. See restaurants and other hospitality industries guidance for further information.

  • No food or drink should be consumed as a part of the event unless required for the purposes of solemnisation.

  • Where the exchanging of rings is required or desired for the solemnisation of the marriage or the formation of the civil partnership, hands should be washed before and after. The rings should be handled by as few people as possible.

  • Where an infant is involved in proceedings a parent/guardian or member of the infant’s household should hold the infant.

Singing, Chanting and the use of musical instruments

  • People should avoid singing, shouting, raising voices and/or playing music at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult or that may encourage shouting. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission from aerosol and droplets.

  • Therefore, spoken responses during marriages or civil partnerships should also not be in a raised voice.

  • Activities such as singing, chanting, shouting and/or playing of instruments that are blown into should be specifically avoided. This is because there is a possible additional risk of infection in environments where individuals are singing or chanting as a group, and this applies even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used.

  • Where required for the marriage or civil partnership, only one individual should be permitted to sing or chant, and the use of plexi-glass screens should be considered to protect guests, as this will further prevent transmission and the screen can be easily cleaned.

  • We recognise the importance of communal singing in marriages or civil partnerships, and as this should not happen at this time, we suggest you consider using recordings that may be available to you.

  • You are advised only to play musical instruments that are not blown into. Organs can be played for a ceremony, as well as general maintenance, but should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use.

  • The government and the medical and scientific communities are urgently engaged in research around transmission risk and how such activities can best be managed safely, and further guidance will follow when available.

Social distancing measures

  • All individuals involved in the ceremony (including attendees, guests and officiants) should be signposted to the current stay alert and social distancing guidance and that they or members of their household should not attend the marriage or civil partnership if they are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19. If either member of the couple have symptoms of COVID-19 the ceremony should not go ahead.

  • Wherever possible, adhere to social distancing of at least 2 metres, or 1 meter with risk mitigation (where 2 meters is not viable), between households. For frequently used venues, mark areas using floor tape or paint to help people maintain social distance.

  • You should consider and set out the mitigations you will introduce in your risk assessment. These could include, for instance, avoiding any face-to-face seating by changing layouts, reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces, improving ventilation, using protective screens and face coverings, and closing non-essential social spaces, as outlined throughout this guidance.

  • People from different households should maintain social distancing between one another. This may require marriages or civil partnerships to be adapted to remove practices that would otherwise have brought people into contact with one another, unless required for the marriage or civil partnership to be legally binding. Where this is the case precautions should be put in place to minimise contact and ensure the timeframe is as short as possible.

  • Visitors should avoid touching property belonging to others, such as shoes which, if removed, should be placed and collected by their owner while adhering to social distancing principles.

The information above has been pulled directly from the latest government guidance as of Monday 29th June 2020: COVID-19: Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships


If you are planning a small wedding I would love to talk with you about photographing it. Contact me to find out if your date is available. Contact.

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33 Grove Rd,

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