This article looks mostly at how COVID-19 will affect people looking to plan their wedding in 2020 and 2021. This article is written with the most up to date information on the 21st of July 2020. There will be further blog posts regarding any changes to keep everyone updated.
Firstly, here at Sugar and Spice Events we offer our deepest and genuine heartfelt sympathies to those affected by the virus and the now compounded stress of planning or postponing a wedding in 2020. If you’re from Australia, you may be looking back since the beginning of the year at the bushfires and all the crazy things that have been happening and be wondering, like us, “What happened to 2020?”. But, here in the event and wedding planning and styling industry we have learnt to prevail and push through what is thrown at us and it is amazing to see Australians staying positive and doing the same through this pandemic. We can beat this if we stick together and no matter what your wedding will also prevail!
Now for those of you who might be wondering…
How will COVID-19 affect weddings in 2020 and 2021? Well let’s just say, weddings now have more contingency plans than ever before! There have been many rules, regulations and updates since COVID-19 hit and we are here to help everyone understand the most recent updates regarding weddings. Now, usually these blogs will be short, fun and give you great insights to behind the scenes of weddings, but bear with us since it is important to know the most recent updates regarding your wedding and COVID-19! The Australian Government has made many new changes and updates since the beginning of the pandemic; so, let’s have a look at the most recent rules are regulations, as of the 20/07/2020 for each state; starting with Queensland, the home of us here at Sugar and Spice Events of the Gold Coast/Brisbane region. Contact our event manager in Brisbane.
- Social distancing rules must be adhered to throughout the continuity of the wedding and guests who are unwell should not attend (possibly speak to your wedding planner or stylist to plan to have them attend via video).
- A maximum of 100 guests can attend a wedding as of the 3rd of July 2020.
- The marrying couple is allowed to dance with each other and/or their parents.
- Guests details, including their name, contact number, email address and the date and time of arrival of each guest, must be recorded and kept for 56 days and be available if required by public health officers for contact tracing.
- Buffet self-service style meals are not allowed and it is encouraged to have a sit-down reception where meals are individually served to each guest.
- Further information regarding Queensland weddings, cancellations, postponement and insurance can be found here: please click here.
New South Wales
- Wedding services held on a residential premise must not exceed 20 guests, unless the size of the venue is sufficient enough to ensure the one person per 4 square meters is adhered to.
- In general, the maximum number of people who may attend a wedding is limited to 150 or the total number of people allowed on the venue premise whilst adhering to the 1:4 per square meter rule.
- Contact details of guests attending, conducting or contributing to the wedding must be recorded and kept for 4 weeks, including their name and phone number incase they are required for contact tracing. This is regardless of whether the venue is residential or commercial premises.
- If dancing is included at the wedding, it must be restricted to only the wedding couple and wedding party.
- The venue must have a dancefloor of decent size to accommodate space between couples dancing and drinks of any sort must not be taken on the dancefloor.
- If singing (including group singing) and/or wind instruments are included in the wedding at the ceremony or reception, there must be protection in place for guests including a 3-meter distance from the performer. Remember, if a performer has COVID-19, it can be spread while performing to the guests.
- Check with the venue in your state on the number of guests allowed at one table, there may be a maximum of 10 guests; however, this may change depending on the venue and its size.
- The New South Wales government also suggest placing guests of the same household next to each other, having photography sessions before the ceremony rather than between to decrease the amount of time guests are in contact with each other and suggests speaking to your wedding planner about a COVID-19 safety plan for the wedding.
- For more information about NSW wedding please click here.
- Weddings within the metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire area are limited to five people per wedding (the couple, the celebrant and two witnesses). You cannot travel outside of these two areas to attend a wedding as a guest; however, you can travel if you are attending as a witness, the celebrant or if you are getting married, these weddings will still adhere to the five-person limit.
- Private residence weddings within the metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire area, are restricted to members of the household, the couple and the celebrant.
- Outside of these areas, if the wedding venue is on private residence, the maximum guests allowed is restricted to the members of the household, the celebrant and five additional attendees.
- Places of worship are permitted to hold a small religious ceremony for up to 20 people, in addition to the minimum amount of people required to perform the ceremony. The one person per 4 square meter rules must also be adhered to.
- If the wedding takes place within a commercial venue, café or restaurant, the maximum guest count is also 20 people, in addition to the celebrant and the couple. The one person per 4 square meter must be able to still be adhered to with the size of the venue. If the café, cannot hold 20 guests whilst following this rule, the maximum number of guests will have to be adjusted.
- Guests who are sick should not be allowed to attend the wedding and no matter where the wedding is held, the one person per 4 square meter rule must be adhered to.
- For more information please click here.
- The maximum number of people must not exceed one person per 2 square meters and everyone must adhere to the 1.5 meters social distancing principles. The maximum number of people within the venue will be determined by the size of the venue.
- Almost all venues will be required to record details of anyone at the wedding, these details include phone numbers, email addresses, time and date of attendance. These details must be recorded for the use of only contact tracing performed by an authorised officer.
- Shared utensils are not permitted in the process of serving food and beverage.
- Communal food or beverage service areas are not permitted to operate, these include communal water /beverage dispensers, buffets, salad and dessert bars etc.
- Please click here for further information about weddings in South Australia.
- The maximum number of people within a venue will be determined by the size of the venue in accordance to the one person per 2 square meters rule. Staff members of the venue are only included in this total count when the venue holds more than 500 people. The previous rule on gathering limits at 100/300 has been removed.
- There is no requirement to maintain a guest register for contact tracing at licensed and food business premises.
- Alcohol may be served as a part of unseated service arrangements.
- There are no seated service requirements at food businesses and licensed premises.
- Further information on weddings in South Australia can be found here.
- There is a maximum of one person per 2 square meters at a wedding. According to venue size, the lowest number between venue capacity and one person per 2 square meters applies for capacity.
- Venues of mixed use must adhere to a capacity per single undivided space, with 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. In venues with divided and separate indoor spaces, 250 people is the permitted capacity for each section.
- Guests and staff must adhere to the 1.5 meter rule at the wedding ceremony and reception where physically possible. Discuss with your wedding planner, the table layout to ensure guests from one table are 1.5 meters away from guests at another table.
- Also discuss with your wedding planner how to coordinate arrival times and the seating of guests so crowding is avoided in arriving/waiting areas.
- For further information on weddings in Tasmania, please click here.
- Currently, no limit is applied to the number of guests allowed.
- For weddings with a guest list of 100-500 people, it is required to complete a COVID-19 safety checklist, your wedding planner will be able to assist you with this.
- Wedding with a guestlist under 100 are not required to complete this checklist; however, no matter the maximum capacity, physical distancing and general hygiene must be implemented.
- Northern Territory wedding information can be found here: please click here.
Australian Capital Territory
- As of the 19th of June, 2020, wedding ceremonies and receptions allow a 100 person capacity (which excludes those conducting the wedding or included in conducting the wedding) or one person per 4 square meters, whichever is lesser.
- Wedding planners must record guest contact details including names and numbers in case of contact tracing, these can be safely destroyed only after 28 days.
- There must be a formulated COVID-19 Safety plan, your wedding planner will be able to create or assist you with creating this.
- Wedding celebrations must be held in accordance to the rules in place for the hospitality sector.
- Both indoor and outdoor receptions must also comply with ACT’s restrictions on public gatherings and/or hospitality venues and function spaces.
- For further information on ACT weddings, please click here.
All of these rules and regulations may make everything feel even more nerve-wracking than normal but don’t stop planning! There was a pre-COVID-19 time and there will be post-COVID-19 time, so be ready! Please recognise that we as wedding and event planners and stylists, completely understand the frustration and we are here to help you make sure your wedding still happens and that it will be as magical as you always hoped. So, keep an eye out for our new blog posts that come out as more updates are issued, we just need to be sure to adjust your wedding as we go. But you can bet, we will be celebrating your love no matter what!
I hope this article helps clear up any confusions you may have been feeling about rules and restrictions and how COVID-19 will affect your wedding; believe us, even us wedding planners are still learning to understand it all too so you are not alone!
The Sugar & Spice Event Planning Team