It's been a long time coming for those engaged couples who have had to postpone their big day. Some may have had to re-arrange more than once given that few of us anticipated the impact of Covid-19 on our lives when the pandemic first hit the UK almost a year ago.
Boris Johnson's announcement that weddings shall return to normal, with no limit on attendees from 21 June 2021, could not have come soon enough. There are still hurdles to overcome before that date is set in stone and there will be many who had re-arranged weddings from last year to pre-21 June dates this year who will be disappointed that they will have to remain very limited on guest numbers. However, it is anticipated that there will be a huge surge in couples finally celebrating their nuptials with lockdown fully lifted and social distancing measures abolished. And thank goodness, given the events industry generally is on its knees and desperately needs to be revived.
With this is likely to come an increase in couples entering pre-nuptial agreements in advance of their happy occasion. Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common where there is an imbalance in wealth between the parties. They are particularly useful where there is a family business to protect on one side or where one party is likely to inherit significantly in the future. Those entering second marriages would also be wise to consider entering one, essentially as an insurance policy, to seek to avoid a costly dispute second time around and to protect some of their existing pre-marital wealth for their children from their first marriage.
It is prudent to take advice early from a family law specialist to ensure that any such agreement can be completed in good time before the wedding date. Whilst a pre-nup is certainly unlikely to be at the top of a bride or groom's wedmin list, it can save an awful lot of emotional and financial expense in the future.
Step 1: 8 March - weddings continue to be limited to six attendees
Step 2: 12 April - weddings of up to 15 people are allowed. Hospitality opens up again
Step 3: 17 May - weddings of up to 30 people are allowed, coinciding with groups of 30 being able to gather outdoors. Indoor hospitality venues reopen
Step 4: 21 June - weddings return to normal, with no limit on attendees. Lockdown fully lifted and social distancing measures abolished