THE owner of a Bicester wedding venue says it is a 'big relief' that the 30 guest-limit on weddings will finally be lifted from June 21.

Wedding venues have struggled as a result of cancellations, but they are now able to host more people again following Boris Johnson's announcement on Monday.

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The Tythe Barn in Launton, near Bicester, says it is a step in the right direction, but that couples are still not sure about whether they want to go ahead with their wedding with other restrictions still in place.

Director Emma Deeley said: "To be able to open up the barn again to weddings of more than 30 guests is a big relief. The barn is 14th Century and offers a big open and well-ventilated space so it lends itself very well to larger weddings.

"The social distancing rules that still remain in place, particularly the tables of six and the restriction on no dancing in the evening has, however, left many of our couples undecided about whether to go ahead or to postpone to a later date."

Singing is also not allowed and face coverings must be worn indoors by everyone aged 11 and over when not eating or drinking, unless they are exempt.

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The Tythe Barn had to switch-up the way it worked during lockdowns in order to keep business going.

The site was transformed into workspaces called Tythe Works and aimed to attract those seeking a Covid-safe workspace away from home.

Ms Deeley added: "As a venue, we have been hit very hard by the pandemic and the last 15 months has been an incredibly emotional time, both for us and all of our couples.

"Many of the suppliers that we have had working at the barn over the last 20 years have closed due to the difficulties caused by the pandemic and many venues have lost huge sums of money through being unable to operate under the very tight restrictions within the wedding sector.

"Our barn is family run and we have adapted how we have worked, often on a weekly or monthly basis to allow the venue to continue but it has not been easy."

Ms Deely and her team spent the best part of Tuesday brainstorming ideas for how they can facilitate weddings at the barn from June 21 that both adhere to the guidelines while also allowing couples to have a wedding that is as close to the day they planned for.

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She added: "We are thinking outside the box and adapting and tweaking our formats so that we can safely host weddings for couples who had planned for a day with no restrictions. This is including how best to set up ‘seated reception drinks’ and a wonderful festoon-lit dance floor for the First Dance outdoors.

"Whatever happens we feel confident that The Tythe Barn will provide a wonderful day for our couples and their guests and we will enjoy every minute."

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