I have registered as a COVID Safe Business with the New South Wales Government. As the celebrant and working alongside the couple and their venue, there are responsibilities we all have in keeping everyone safe and well. We all want marriage ceremonies and celebrations to continue during these changing times.
The COVID PLAN for my business outlines how I will interact with the couple, the bridal parties and guests on the day of your ceremony. Details of the plan are listed below and may change to work within the current situation and any restrictions that are in place
PRIOR TO THE DAY ADVICE TO COUPLES…
- Email couple the Guidelines for weddings & Receptions for NSW.
• Ask the couple if they have any guests travelling from or who have visited a known hotspot recently?
• Obtain a confirmed guest list with contact details from the couple (list to be held for four weeks after the event).
• Liaise with the venue regarding spacing of seating etc.
ARRIVAL & SET UP…
I arrive, greet any guests & venue staff while staying 1.5 metres from all involved – smiles only no physical contact.
SIGNING THE DECLARATION (at the ceremony)…
I will email the declaration to the couple to check & highlight on the document the line they sign on the day. On the day, I will remind them of the document’s significance and point to where they are each sign. Both parties sign. The couple use a separate pen to the one I use. Pens are wiped down after use.
ADDRESSING THOSE GATHERED…
I move to an appropriate distance away, ensure the others are standing an appropriate distance from each other (Family groups or anyone who lives together do not need to be separated)
“I ask you to be aware of the social distancing rules to keep us all safe. There is also an attendance list that I ask you all to have your details added to – if, in the unfortunate event that one of us happens to contract Covid-19 you can be contacted for testing. This list will be only available for the next 4 weeks”.
WITHIN THE CEREMONY…
- No sharing of microphones at larger weddings.
• Set up hand held for couple & corded microphone & stand for myself.
• Have the hand held microphone with the groom or somewhere nearby within easy reach so that the guests can still hear the vows etc.
• At an elopement ceremony, a microphone is not necessary because even though we are spaced appropriately, there are only five people present so everyone can hear.
THE GIVING OF RINGS…
- As the celebrant, I will not touch the rings or the ring box as the couple are responsible for managing that entire process.
• At an elopement ceremony, if the couple wants to exchange rings, they will manage the entire process.
• For a larger ceremony, the best man can still hold & open the ring boxes so the couple may take their individual rings (I am assuming that the best man & groom have spent a considerable amount of time together prior on the day)
CONGRATULATIONS – YOU’RE MARRIED!
If they want to, the couple share a kiss.
- On the signing table is my folder, numerous pens, hand sanitizer and wipes. The couple, the witnesses & I clean our hands.
• I point to where each person is to sign on all three marriage documents. I then move away as each party signs.
• The couple can share a pen but each witness can clean the pen with an antibacterial wipe & place the pen they have used in a clip lock bag I will provide.
CLOSING THE CEREMONY…
Congratulations from a safe distance.
GOOD BYE & BEST WISHES…
After all the signing is done, I put the Form 15 in an envelope and hand it to the couple, then I leave: sadly, no selfie, no photo, no handshake, high five or elbow tap. A simple wave goodbye & wish them well.
FOR SHORT & SWEET CEREMONIES…
The entire process takes a maximum of 15 minutes. I have ensured physical distancing where possible, and I have minimised the time I am in the presence of others.
FOR HEARTFELT CEREMONIES…
As these are a more personalised ceremony, they are slightly longer in content, however, the time I spend in close contact with others is only for again for the signing and witnessing of signatures on the day.
AFTER THE CEREMONY…
- My PA, stand & microphones, table, tablecloth, folder, pens are all sanitized ready for the next ceremony.
• The contact list is kept in a secure location.
• After a period of 4 weeks and in confirmation with the couple, I will shred their contact list as there has not been a case of COVID-19 reported from their wedding.
Any antibacterial wipes that are used are placed in a plastic bag that I have brought for this purpose, which I then seal by tying a knot in the handles and dispose of appropriately.