I think it’s pretty safe to say while couples carefully planned all the details of their upcoming nuptials and us industry professionals immersed ourselves deep in to the wonderful world of weddings, none of us ever saw this coming.
What a ride it has been following the announcement in late March that weddings are subject to new restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The current restrictions allow a maximum of five people to be present for the ceremony, which includes the couple, the celebrant and the two witnesses. Celebrations after the ceremony are also currently facing restrictions due to social distancing rules.
Almost overnight, couples were left to face the heartbreaking reality that they needed to postpone their long planned wedding day, left to avidly contact their entire dream team of wedding vendors they carefully hand picked, with fingers, toes and legs crossed they would all be available again on a future date.
Meanwhile, every wedding industry professional worked tirelessly with many concerned couples to accommodate them as best as possible in rescheduling to a new date, and in the case of celebrants including us through our service Elope in Brisbane, sometimes working with them to adjust the plan to them having a small intimate elopement style wedding with the big celebration with guests to follow at a later date when the restrictions have eased.
The wedding industry is the industry of LOVE! It’s full of passionate professionals that continually seek to go above and beyond for their couples.
It’s been utterly heartwarming and inspiring to be a part of an industry that without question instinctively banded together and adapted their services to support their couples. From wedding caterers moving to online pre-prepared delivered meals (who doesn’t need those during isolation!) to photographers offering drive by family portraits on your doorstep. And the celebrants, happily offering complimentary postponements and ensuring couples still get the wedding they have been dreaming of, despite many experiencing their own small business (and their passion) unexpectedly coming to a complete standstill. We personally adapted to the restrictions by launching our new wedding offering elope designed to inform and equip couples that still intend to wed in a small elopement style ceremony under the current restrictions.
We realise as celebrants we are among the lucky few wedding professionals. Sure, only being permitted to officiate micro weddings is extremely limiting for our couples, however we are incredibly grateful we can still perform these and do our little part in ensuring these weddings are still incredibly special and memorable.
What precautions are the wedding industry taking to keep you safe during restrictions?
We believe it’s vital for wedding industry professionals to comply with the government’s restrictions and follow hygiene practices and social distancing.
While the following outlines procedures we have implemented for our clients, these will likely be similar to those of many other streams within the wedding industry, to ensure a safe environment and reduce the chance of any potential spread. You should be able to feel comfortable to be asking your other chosen vendors to be doing the same.
- Online meetings are now also available for local couples (in addition to our interstate and overseas based couples) we offer our clients a choice of video conferencing methods/ apps.
- If or when an ‘in person’ meeting is necessary, we advise clients before the meeting that we will be adhering to social distancing practices and that we will be unable to shake their hand. We have received an extremely positive response to this.
- We ask couples to advise us if they haven’t been feeling well or have arrived from overseas within the last two weeks, in which case ‘in person’ meetings can instead take place online.
- We have antibacterial gel available, and we continue to wash and sanitise our own hands before, after and between every meeting.
- We use antibacterial wipes to clean tables and chairs that are used for the ‘in person’ meeting, both before and after the meeting takes place.
- We use antibacterial wipes to clean the pens used during the meeting.
- If using a microphone, we sanitise this before and after use.
- We have hand sanitiser available for use, and we personally use this frequently.
- Before the wedding commences, we include a pre-wedding announcement to remind guests of social distancing requirements and advise them of the couples request to avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
- We respectfully aren’t shaking hands with or hugging clients or guests.
- We request the full legal names of the two witnesses, so these can be printed on the marriage certificates, minimising the time the witnesses are in contact with the marriage paperwork.
- We take a new signing pen out of a packet for the couple to use, and allow them to keep this at the end of the ceremony.
- Tablecloths from signing tables are washed at a hot temperature after every ceremony.
- If there is not a photographer stepping in after we leave, we will offer to take some photos for the couple on our own phone, to then send to them.
If our clients have any further requests that are in support of the health regulations for COVID-19, we will happily oblige.
We hope this post gives you some reassurance that you are in safe hands as you continue to plan your wedding during this time. If you have any concerns for your safety during the restrictions, we encourage you to raise these with your vendors who will appreciate your input.
All images: Twig & Fawn Photography