NEW SOCIAL distancing advice means weddings are now being restricted to just five people.

The Church of England is recommending ceremonies should be limited to the legal minimum of five people: the priest, the bride, the groom and two witnesses.

This is not good news to those planning a big wedding, but it is not just the restriction of guests.

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New guidance also makes clear that traditions such as the priest touching the rings or the couple's hands as part of prayer or blessings are not required.

The advice also suggests where possible couples could stream their wedding or postpone it.

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The Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, said: “Couples and parents, friends and families will have been planning for months, even years for their special moment, whether a wedding or a christening. 

“Now it can go ahead – but with only the minimum required in attendance. You may need to cancel or postpone."