After 18 months of wedding uncertainty, NSW finally has a path out of lockdowns and back to ‘covid’ normal.
With this information you can now plan your wedding with minimal stress and uncertainty.
Author: Meggan Brummer
If we haven’t met before, my name is Meggan Brummer - I am an award-winning Celebrant in Sydney, Australia.
I’ve married hundreds of couples over the last 10 years.
I have 20 years experience in professional writing.
What Are The Current COVID Restrictions For Weddings In NSW? (October 2021)
Initially, when the Delta variant outbreak arrived in Sydney and plunged us back into a lockdown all weddings stopped.
Effective 3rd September 2021 small outdoor weddings were once again allowed.
A small wedding’ being one with no more than 5 guests plus the wedding party (the couple getting married, two witnesses, the celebrant, and a photographer). No more than 11 people are allowed to be in attendance under any circumstances.
On the 11th October, stage 1 of the roadmap kicked in when the state reached 70% double-vaccinated.
Even better news has now followed just one week later, having now achieved 80% double-vaccinated, stage 2 of the roadmap would become effective from Monday 18th October
What Are The COVID Restrictions For Weddings In NSW at 80% Double Vaccinated (Stage 2 of the Roadmap)
At this stage, restrictions ease further to allow;
- Uncapped guest numbers (one person to 4sqm). The 5 person limit remains if there is anyone in attendance who is still unvaccinated.
- Eating and drinking while standing
- Up to 20 visitors will be allowed in a home (not including children 12 and under)
(Dancing was allowed already at phase 1, as was carpooling and getting your hair and makeup done professionally. Only hospitality staff need to wear masks at your venue).
Regional travel will resume on 1st November. Also, from 1st November quarantine requirements will be scrapped for fully vaccinated international arrivals. Airlines are starting to announce the resumption of some flight services, but it looks like these will take some months to ramp up.
What Are The COVID Restrictions For Weddings In NSW from December 1st 2021 (Stage 3 of the Roadmap)
At that time, restrictions will ease further still and apply regardless of anyones vaccination status;
- Uncapped guest numbers (one person to 2sqm)
- Churches and places of worship also move to a 2sqm rule with singing allowed.
- Unlimited guests in your home
The main unknown at this point is now just when the other states will reopen their borders.
How To Plan A Wedding During COVID
1. Review agreements with prospective vendors carefully.
Ensure in each case, you have a contract that clearly covers rescheduling, postponements and other changes. Bare in mind that not being able to have the wedding you first imagined with family or friends travelling from overseas or interstate will not automatically entitle you to postpone or cancel without cost. Knowing where you stand upfront is the single most valuable way to avoid stress later. This advice holds true at any time, as I have previously written about when dealing with complaints with Celebrants.
2. Don’t delay finding and booking vendors.
With the added need to understand COVID contingencies from each supplier, you’ll need to allow additional time for your search. Also, your preferred suppliers will likely have a backlog of rescheduled bookings, plus all the couples who have previously been holding off, waiting and watching before commencing their planning will combine to make for a very busy period that is going to limit availability more than normal.
3. Consider a weekday wedding.
If you did need to reschedule due to a tightening of restrictions, your best prospects of keeping your existing venue and team of suppliers together is by having your wedding on a weekday, as demand is lower then. To that end, if you also opt for a weekday initially, you’re more likely to have your first pick of venue and suppliers and in the event of a reschedule it’s doesn’t become another compromise you need to make. You might even save some money.
4. Keep it small.
If you keep your wedding small, should restrictions that limit the number of guests who can attend be in effect on the date of your ceremony, you’re less likely to have to un-invite some of your guests or reschedule. Small weddings can also feel more intimate, be less stressful, and have you feel more present throughout your day.
5. Stay local.
Travel restrictions especially interstate remain the main uncertainty and avoiding a border crossing is prudent when possible.
6. Live stream your ceremony.
Friends and family who are unable to travel or who are vulnerable (with low immune systems) can still be part of your wedding day if you live-stream them in on your ceremony.
7. Remind your guests “No Hugging.”
Social distancing is hard when people’s natural tendency is to hug you and congratulate you. To avoid a flurry of hugs after your ceremony, speak to your celebrant about letting your guests know in a warm and friendly way that they can hug you with their hearts, not their hands.
8. Consider elderly guests or who are otherwise higher-risk.
Think about whether it’s better for your 96-year-old gran to also be at the reception or just the ceremony. Try where possible to have people from the same household seated together.
9. Review the NSW Government’s Wedding COVID-19 Safety Plan.
You can download a copy of this plan here. It contains all the information you need to think about to maintain a safe environment at your wedding.
10. Ask your Celebrant for advise.
Use the knowledge and experience of your celebrant, don’t hesitate to bounce questions off them or sound out your current thinking.
How have I adapted My Services During COVID?
- I’m fully vaccinated.
- I’ve added a live-streaming service to my ceremonies and during COVID I’m offering this to my couples for FREE with my most popular packages.
- I am registered as a COVID-Safe business, as required by NSW regulations. Accordingly, I will only perform ceremonies that comply with the current guidelines on guest numbers, etc.
- I will have a QR code check-in at the ceremony to support contract tracing should it be required.
- I am discussing with my couples how they are styling their ceremony to ensure that all of their guests are seated and suggesting that members of the same household are seated together.
- I am perfectly happy to accommodate wherever possible a change of date or location subject to availability and will work with my couples as necessary to find a new date that works for everyone.
- I conduct all my meetings online over Zoom to minimise travel and practice good social distancing.
- I sanitise my microphone and pen before and after the ceremony and have hand sanitiser available for anyone to use.
- Lastly, know that I will still be hugging you with my heart at the ceremony, but not my hands.
Since the start of covid, I have been amazed at how my couples have quickly adapted to the changing requirements necessary to keep the pandemic under control. It really has shown that it’s better to move forward with planning and respond to change if it occurs rather than to keep putting off getting started. So stay safe and move forward.
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