As you know, we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and it has affected so many aspects of our lives. At the present in Australia we have strict restrictions in place that limits our movements and reduces our contact with others and therefore reduces the chances of the Corona virus spreading further.
This has rippled out to have an impact on all aspects of lives, including our day to day activities. People are working from home, if they are lucky to have that opportunity and unfortunately lots of people have lost their jobs or source of income. Many of you know that my work as a celebrant is a moonlighting gig to my stable employment. So my family and I are lucky that during this pandemic we are able to continue to pay our bills and stay safe despite the lack of income from the celebrant work (I have had many weddings and naming day bookings postpone). Unfortunately, a lot of people in my industry work full time for themselves and are in an extremely stressful position.
I thought I would note a few things for people to consider as I am being asked the same questions. At present weddings are allowed to occur in Australia, under the strict guideline that only 5 people are in attendance. This includes the celebrant, the couple and 2 witnesses. These are and always have been the minimum requirements of who can attend a wedding and at the moment they are also the maximum attendees. Therefore, your two guests need to be legally able to witness the ceremony, i.e. they must be over the age of 18years old.
Due to the restrictions most couples are electing to post pone their wedding plans. My advice, and its only my opinion, is to consider waiting until at least 2021. We are unsure how long these restrictions will be place and when you are able to have large weddings (the first limitation to come in affect here was the reduce numbers of people in public gatherings, not that I have officiated any weddings with over 500 guests!). They may maintain the requirement of a 4meter square spacing per person. That’s not many in a gazebo!
Your other considerations include your guests and their ability to attend. I perform the majority of my bookings on the beautiful South Coast of NSW, Jervis Bay. Many of those couples are locals, however a lot of weddings are ‘destination style weddings’, with both the couple being from out of the area, as well as the guests. After this pandemic some of your guests may not be in a position to travel. This was brought to my attention by a bride who has postponed indefinitely stating that they were expecting many guests from overseas and they were unsure when those guests would now be in a position to be able to afford to travel to Australia to attend. While not everyone will want to wait, this couple have decided it is most important to them to have all their loved ones with them on their special day.
If you have decided to postpone your wedding until 2021, please also consider locking in a date sooner rather than later. You will find that there has already been couples who locked in their 2021 date, some since 2019 (!) not only will you be trying to find an available date you will now also been competing with the other 2020 couples who have postponed their wedding. AND you may also need to juggle all the services you already had booked, such as celebrant, photographer, catering etc etc – finding a date that suites all will take a substantial period of time.
For those of you who are going ahead with your wedding date, under the new restrictions. You might like to consider how you wish to capture that ceremony to share with your guests. You could arrange a tripod to record the service, this will allow you time to edit the video and perhaps present it at a later celebration. You could offer a Live video streaming for guests to watch who are not able to be there. For safety and compliance with guidelines it is suggested that you ensure your guests maintain the 1.5meter distance from the couple, there is to be no embrace after the ceremony. Also, each party could byo their own pen to sign with and have available hand santizer to pre-clean prior to signing the documents.
In the meantime, while in isolation you can still plan a lot of aspects of your wedding. If you are interested in participating in the online wedding planning workshop flick me a message. You can get yourself busy with DIY projects that wont age. Such as the thank you gifts (you can google lots of DIY things to make while you are at home), choosing your song list for both the ceremony and also for reception, you might need to do some online learning with Youtube to finally get those dance moves down pat, do you have room at home to practice the run up and leap into the overhead position, famously seen in Dirty Dancing.
Most importantly its time to stay home, keeping yourselves, your loved ones and your community safe. After all this time at home together you can really test those feelings and your ‘forever after intentions’, perhaps you could strengthen your relationship in preparation for your marriage bond by undertaking online pre-marital counselling.
I’m enjoying the ‘mini break’ I have from all those late nights doing administration and ceremony writing (as I have two young children and no time during the day to accomplish much other than keeping them happy and safe). I’m always available if you need to chat, otherwise, I’ll see you on the other side.
Take care, Love always, Tanya xxx