Dodmoor Micro Weddings
Update further to the covid annoucements 22.02.21
We are still awaiting the official guidance on the exact rules but the registrars have confirmed that the numbers include children/babies, but not registrars, venue staff or any suppliers.
The restrictions regarding the early end time (before midnight) and the need to have ‘substantial food’ with any drinks seem to have been lifted, however we are expecting other rules to be the same as before, certainly in terms of guests remaining seated throughout the day/evening. Please bear with us we will update as soon as we know the details!
We understand Covid was not a part of your original wedding plan, however Dodmoor are keen to reassure you it will still be the day of your dreams.
Although there are a few rules and regulations to navigate, we are here to help find the best solution for you and to ensure that it is a wonderful day.
What does this mean for me?
Masks must be worn indoors (but only when guests aren't eating or drinking)
Possible restrictions on guest numbers
Guests are seated throughout to ensure safety, an array of seating plans can be used to mix people up
Guests from different household groups will need to be seated at a 1m+ distance
All food and drink will be served directly to your guests
Aisle walks, cake cutting and first dances can all still take place
Dance floors are still not possible, although live acoustic music can create a brilliant atmosphere
You can still get ready with your suppliers in the Bridal Suite (numbers may depend on the regulations at the time)
The Honeymoon Suite is available for you to stay overnight
The bar closing time could be restricted by 10pm/11pm
Currently, wedding receptions for '15' can take place in Tier 1 and 2, with ceremonies only in Tier 3. This 15 includes the two of you, and 13 guests (all children included), but any suppliers (registrars, photographers or waiting staff) are excluded.
For a short period between July and September 2020, wedding receptions were allowed for '30'. This 30 included the Happy Couple, their guests and any suppliers who were not venue or catering staff. Most couples therefore opted for 25 guests, themselves, 2 registrars and a photographer (the registrars could be replaced by further suppliers such as a musician later in the day). Anyone with a church wedding could invite two extra guests to Dodmoor (instead of the registrars).
Covid secure number -
The wedding industry are lobbying for venues to be allowed to set their own Covid secure maximum capacity ensuring guest safety in the venue (much like restaurants). We hope for this to be the standard in Tier 1 in the future, with 50% of this number in Tier 2. Under the current regulations we expect Dodmoor House to hold somewhere up to 50-60 guests if this change is introduced.
Ceremony attendees - The Registry Office will require a list of ceremony attendees, including their addresses and contact numbers on a form for track and trace purposes. We will use the same list for our health and safety records and to establish the household groupings for seating plans.
Labelling chairs - We would recommend that seating plans are provided in advance and all chairs have a named labelled on them. Ideally this could be tied to the chair to ensure guests keep the same chair when seated in this room later in the day.
Social media - Why not invite more guests to be a part of your big day via zoom or facebook live? You will just need access to a device with mobile data as there is no wifi in the barns. We suggest you nominate a guest to set this up on a laptop at the front of the ceremony or film from their seat with a phone.
Aisle walk - You will be able to walk side by side up the aisle with your father. He and any bridesmaids should not need to wear a mask until seated because the aisle walk is mostly outside.
Masks - While seated during the ceremony all guests must wear a mask, although the Happy Couple are exempt.
Confetti - Confetti is not recommended due to cross contamination, however if you supply this in ready made cones, guests can throw this safely without the need to touch it.
Micro Ceremony Layouts -
Outside ceremony layout -
Drinks - The same options pre-covid are available to you, bring your own drinks or use our drink packages. The only difference is that all drinks will be provided to guests in their seats by waitress service.
Canapés - Your caterer is still able to provide canapés, usually these would be served on platters to household groups at their seats.
Photos - We are sure your photographer will capture many photos of you in the grounds, we just ask that all group photos are appropriately distanced. You can have small group photos on the steps in the courtyard or even a large group photo of everyone on the driveway from the main house.
We would recommend that you have a seating plan for the drinks reception, either in the same barn as the ceremony or outside in the courtyard or at the lawn.
Catesby Barn drinks reception seating - download here
Courtyard Barn drinks reception seating - download here
Courtyard drinks reception seating - download here
The wedding breakfast will be held in the opposite barn to the ceremony. With smaller numbers you are able to include all the guests on one large banquet table, this can accommodate 15 in both barns and up to 30 in the Courtyard Barn. Again we recommend labelling the chairs so that the same chair can be used in the evening.
You may choose to increase the focus on the meal and expand your range of courses but please discuss any changes to your menu with your chosen caterer, especially if you are thinking of a buffet or sharing platters so they can ensure these are served in a Covid secure way.
15 people -
30 people -
Catesby Barn table layout -
Covid Secure -
For the wedding day to flow, we recommend that guests move between barns and areas in order to mix up more with different seating plans for different parts of the day (while remaining socially distanced). Therefore for speeches, it would be a fun idea to move to the opposite barn or an outside area after the meal. We have a microphone that can be used in all areas, including the lawn, this would of course be sanitised between uses.
Although dance floors are not permitted due to social distancing at the moment, this does not stop you having a fun evening with your friends and family.
First dance - You are still able to have your first dance as a married couple. You could cut the cake in the early evening and then take to the floor, in the summer months why not consider doing it outside! Due to circumstances, father - daughter dances are not possible if you are in different households, however we have seen some inventive original distanced dance routines performed for guests to enjoy or you could think about putting together a slideshow of special moments shared.
Games - Games and quizzes are a wonderful way to get the whole wedding party interacting with each other. There is no need for handwritten pub quizzes, if that is not you, but think outside the box to get people joining in by Kahoot quizzes, music quizzes or Would I Lie To You, just to name a few. Dodmoor House also have a traditional 'Mr & Mrs' Quiz kit, just ask your best man or bridesmaid to come up with some fun questions!
Acoustic music - Although your band may not be able to play to a packed dance floor, there is no reason why the guests cannot be entertained by live music, we just need to make sure there is a safe 2m gap around them. We ask that all live music is inside from 9pm onwards please and at a volume whereby guests can still chat to each other.
Seating - we can rearrange the seating in the courtyard to fit any combination of groups and can even change a large banquet table into smaller tables for a more 'pub style' evening. We would recommend labelling the chairs from the meal so that they can be used by the same person in the evening.
Evening Food - Current regulations dictate that some evening food must be served alongside the drinks that you and your guests will be enjoying from the bar. Don't worry if you have already booked a Dodmoor House evening food option such as a burger bar, we can work with our supplier to reduce the minimum numbers.
Finish time - this will be dependent on the rules at the time, currently drinks service has to finish at 10pm.
Evening seating plan after banquet table in Catesby Barn (15)- download here
Evening seating plan after banquet table in Courtyard Barn (15) - download here
Evening seating plan with round tables in Catesby Barn (30-50) - download here
Health and Safety
Covid cleaning - staff will carry out regular hand sanitising, the venue is rigorously cleaned between each function and high touch areas such as door handles, surfaces and the toilets will be regularly disinfected throughout the day. We have also invested in a hi-tech disinfecting atomiser which we will use whenever you and your guests leave a room to ensure that is safe for your return later in the day.
Masks - waiting staff will always be wearing a mask to ensure the safety of you and your guests, as well as themselves.
Suppliers - we will contact your suppliers to inform them of our own risk assessments and acknowledge any advisements from their own.
Guests - we ask for you to email all guests in advance with a 'Code of Conduct', this will answer all their questions and reassure any nervous guests that their safety is paramount. This will be tailored specially to your wedding after the planning meeting.
Abi and Dale - "We still can't believe how magical our wedding day was. It was more than we could have hoped it would be with the restrictions that were in place. Dodmoor is amazing, it will forever hold a special place in our hearts, and we are so grateful to you all for all you have done to allow us to get married."
Jacqueline and Steve - "Don’t let the virus change how you feel about your special day if you have to face restrictions. Our wedding changed so many times and at first it was very sad that we couldn’t have the day we originally planned, but as our new date approached and we put together a different plan, it ended up being just as special if not more special on the day. The most important thing is we were able to get married, and we have so many beautiful photos to show those who couldn’t be there with us. Once all the lockdowns and tiers are a thing of the past then there will be more reason to celebrate with everyone then."