Coronavirus and your wedding
This page contains important information about how the COVID-19 coronavirus may impact your wedding (or other) ceremony booked with Stephen Lee Celebrancy.
Last update: January 3rd 2021
What’s the current situation?
The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 states:
The maximum number of people who may attend a wedding held in a private venue or public place (inside or outside) in the Greater Sydney area is 100.
Social distancing rules mean the actual number of people allowed may be less than 100, depending on the size of your venue. If indoors, the venue must allow one person per four square metres. If you are outside, it’s one person per two square metres.
If your wedding is at a private home: up to 5 visitors from any number of households may attend. The total number of visitors includes adults and children. (A member of the hosting household is not counted as a visitor.)
What’s the Greater Sydney area?
The Greater Sydney Region comprises the following local government areas — Bayside, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Burwood, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Central Coast, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Hunter’s Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Mosman, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, Sydney, The Hills Shire, Waverley, Willoughby, Wollondilly, Wollongong and Woollahra.
Who must wear a face mask?
In a hospitality venue (such as a restaurant, wine bar, pub etc) the requirement to wear masks is only for staff in customer facing roles, such as waiters and bar tenders. Guests are not required to wear masks in these type of premises.
If your ceremony takes place in a venue that does require masks:
The Celebrant may remove their mask under the exception that “the person is at work and the nature of the person’s work means clear enunciation or visibility of the person’s mouth is essential”.
The marrying couple may remove their masks under the exception “to ascertain the person’s identity” because the Marriage Act stipulates that the identities of the marrying couple must be established.
Do we have to sign in?
People attending are required to provide their name and contact details so that they can be used for contact tracing. You’ll be asked to check in using the Service NSW app. Please ensure it’s installed and active on your phone BEFORE arriving at the ceremony venue.
Guests must only attend if they are feeling well and do not have any respiratory or COVID-19 symptoms.
Restrictions on dancing at weddings have also been reintroduced. A maximum of 20 people can dance and they must be part of the wedding party. Rotation of the 20 people is not allowed.
What about social distancing measures?
Government advice remains the same – people should stay a safe distance apart at all times. Inside, there must be 1 person per 4 square metres and outside there can be one person per 2 square metres.
Can we get married in a small ceremony now and have a bigger ceremony later?
Yes. Many couples have chosen to do this.
I can legally marry you in a small, simple and quick ceremony now, postponing the big celebration and wedding reception to a later date. The second ceremony then becomes a Reaffirmation of Vows. Contact me for more details.
Can we postpone our wedding ceremony?
Postponement is possible, subject to my availability. A Rescheduling Fee may apply.
Can I cancel my ceremony booking?
If you decide to cancel your booking, my standard cancellation terms apply:
(a) If you cancel this agreement after you have paid the Booking Fee, the Booking Fee is non-refundable (Tailor-Made Ceremonies only).
(b) If you cancel this agreement after you have paid the Ceremony Fee and any other associated fees, and the cancellation date is more than one month before your ceremony date, a Cancellation Fee will apply to cover work already undertaken.
(c) If you cancel this agreement within one month of your ceremony date, all fees are non-refundable.
What advice is the Government offering about cancellations under Australian Consumer Law?
According to NSW Fair Trading:
“The impact of COVID-19 is being felt by consumers and businesses across Australia as events and travel are cancelled.
Consumer rights will depend on whether a business has decided to cancel a product or service, or whether government restrictions caused the cancellation which is outside of the business’ control.
Australian Consumer Law (ACL) provides guarantees for products and services purchased in Australia. Business’s have responsibilities if they fail to meet their obligations. Under the ACL, if a business fails to meet its obligations under a consumer guarantee, consumers have a right to remedies.
Consumers do not have the same right to a remedy if their individual circumstances change and/or they decide to cancel a product or service.
Where the cancellation is because of a government ban, the consumer is unlikely to be entitled to a refund under the Australian Consumer Law and their rights are determined by the terms and conditions of the agreement.”
We are overseas and were planning to travel to Australia for our wedding. What can we do?
Australia’s borders remain closed to anyone who is not a citizen, resident, or close family member of an Australian citizen or resident.
Additionally, everyone who enters Australia is required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Contact me to discuss your options.
What if we feel unwell?
If you feel unwell on your wedding day, contact me immediately.
If any of your guests feel unwell, ask them to stay at home.
What if you (the Celebrant) becomes ill?
Should I be unable to perform the ceremony due to illness, I will make every endeavour to minimise any disruption to your ceremony by locating an alternative like-minded celebrant with as much notice as possible in conjunction with you.
How COVID-19 coronavirus is changing the way I work
As your Marriage Celebrant, I have altered some of the ways I work to focus on the health of all of us at your marriage ceremony, while also complying with current restrictions.
Health advice training
I have completed a special COVID-19 coronavirus training course provided by the Australian Department of Health and continue to monitor the latest advice.
Online meeting option
Most of the ceremony booking and planning is already done online via my website.
If you are considering booking one of my Tailor-Made Weddings, we would normally meet face-to-face to help you decide if you’d like to go-ahead. This meeting can be switched to an online video meeting. I have a video conference facility on my website, or we can hook up via FaceTime or WhatsApp.
If you have booked a Tailor-Made Wedding, we have a second meeting nearer the wedding date to discuss and plan ceremony content. This meeting can also take place online.
Meetings to sign legal paperwork
We meet to sign the first of your pre-marriage legal forms – the Notice of Intended Marriage – at least one month before your wedding date. The law requires that this form must still be signed and witnessed in person.
This meeting can be completed quickly and at the required social distances.
All my equipment used during your marriage ceremony, such as the microphone, PA and pen, is cleaned and sanitised between each use. I bring a disinfectant kit to all ceremonies and provide hand sanitiser.
I’m also washing my hands frequently and thoroughly before and after each ceremony.
On your wedding day, I’ll keep the required distance between myself, your guests and you. I’ll find the best place to position myself to present the ceremony which fits the bill.
Department of Home Affairs – for the latest Australian Government travel restrictions for people overseas
Smart Traveller – travel advice for Australians
Department of Health – general advice on COVID-19
NSW Fair Trading – for consumer advice