Can I get married during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

If you are wondering how the Coronavirus pandemic will impact your weddings plans, you are not alone. With our everyday lives turned on their heads, many Australian couples have been left wondering if they can still get married during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The simple answer to this question is 'yes', but there are a lot of things you should consider. Read on to find out about the restrictions related to weddings and how COVID-19 may affect your marriage plans in 2020 and beyond.


 

COVID-19 has destroyed  wedding dreams that have been months or even years in the making. Social distancing has made celebratory hugs and kisses obsolete and hand sanitiser has become precious.

 

Please note: all information is correct as of 14th May 2020, but due to frequent changes in regulations, it is recommended that you check government information and speak to Laura before finalising arrangements for your wedding.

Can I get married during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Yes, you most certainly can get married during COVID-19, but you may need to adjust how and where the marriage takes place.

As of 15th May 2020, weddings are limited to 10 people (this includes children, guests and suppliers), plus the celebrant and the marrying couple. This allows for 13 people in total at the marriage.

People at the wedding are required to follow government COVID-19 recommendations which includes practicing physical distancing (1.5m) and good hygiene including washing hands regularly. For indoor weddings 4 square metres of space is required for each person on the premises. It is recommended that people with a higher risk of infection, or anyone who is ill (even those with mild symptoms) do not attend.

The NSW government is requiring marrying couples to keep of the names and contact details of all people attending the wedding (this includes guests and suppliers). It is requested that you provide a copy of this list to your celebrant prior to the marriage taking place.

What are the options for my dream wedding?

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions you can still have a dream wedding. Here are the options:

  • Get married now, then have a 'non-legal wedding' later
    This option gives you the pleasure and security of being married now, without having to miss out on your dream wedding... it's simply being postponed for a while. In essence you make a private commitment now, followed by a public commitment later. A non-legal wedding can look and feel just like a regular wedding, but without the paperwork. It is sometimes described as a 'renewal of vows' or 'blessing of the marriage'

  • Get married now, then have a big party later
    Similar to the option above, but instead of a non-legal wedding, you just skip straight to the party of a lifetime!

  • Postpone the whole thing
    If you want to wait you can. Find out more about postponing your wedding during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

How will COVID-19 affect my wedding plans?

The impacts of COVID-19 have been devastating. We've all been left reeling as life changes dramatically, with weddings being especially hard-hit. Large public gatherings are banned, wedding venues have been forcibly closed and travel has essentially ground to a halt. Social distancing has even made celebratory hugs and kisses a thing of the past.

New rules limit outdoor gathering to 10 people and at-home gatherings of up to 5 visitors at any one time. Non-essential travel is frowned upon and we are all being asked not to go too far from home to minimize the risk of spread.

 
How can I share my wedding with family and friends?

While they won't be there to share with you in person, filming or 'live-streaming' your your marriage ceremony is one way of sharing the love. Simply bring a camera or recording device and get connected. If you want a professional-quality recording you may consider having a photographer or videographer to act as one of your legal witnesses.

 
What happens if you (our celebrant) get sick?

If your celebrant gets sick there’s a process for transferring the ceremony script and legal documents prepared. Laura has a network of like-minded celebrants that she can call-on to assist in times like these. Or, if you would prefer to find your own replacement celebrant, Laura will refund your balance payment. The booking payment is retained to cover legal paperwork, meeting(s) and work already completed.

What happens if we (or one of our witnesses) get sick?

If you or your partner is unwell or are required to isolate then we will need to postpone and make alternative arrangements. If one of your guests becomes unwell (and you have not had direct contact with them in the weeks prior), you can select new witnesses and proceed as planned. Please let Laura know the full legal names and contact numbers for your replacement witnesses.

Can I postpone my wedding because of COVID-19?

Your legal paperwork is valid for up to 18-months from the date of first signing and can easily be transferred to another date. Any preparatory work already completed can also be deferred. Rescheduling usually incurs a fee, however this is currently being waived. Please coordinate with your celebrant, venue and other suppliers to find a date that works to ensure your dream wedding will still go ahead.

 
Why are weddings linked to the spread Coronavirus?

Weddings are a time of closeness and celebration. Hugs, kisses, dancing and group photos all involve close contact amongs large groups of people. Large gatherings involving people from a wide geographical area means you have an increased chance of exposure to Coronavirus. It also provides a chance for this potentially deadly virus to be spread far and wide in the days after the wedding.

 

Please note: all information is correct as of 1st April 2020, but due to frequent changes in Government regulations, it is recommended that you speak to Laura before finalising arrangements for your wedding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

© 2020 Laura Craddock, Modern Sydney Celebrant