Registry weddings, commonly known as civil ceremonies, are non-religious, legal marriage events presided over by a legal officialâ€” a judge, magistrate, justice of the peace, court clerk, or notary public. Unlike a religious ceremony, registry weddings are legally binding events. This reduces the inconvenience of going to the city hall to acquire your marriage license and validate its legality.
In New South Wales, a civil ceremony takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. You and your partner have to arrive 15 minutes before the wedding. General policies are as follows:
– Both of you have to waive and sign legal documents announcing that you are over 18 years of age, not legally married to someone else and are not directly related to one another.
– The marriage certificate is signed by both of you with the presence of two witnesses. This will then be shown to you as the married couple.
– Exchange of vows and wedding rings, if you desire.
Additionally, with the ongoing pandemic, there are other things to bear in mind to hold a safe and intimate ceremony. To facilitate this, keep reading for tips for getting married in these COVID times.
Contact and Visit Your Local Registry Office
Look upon registry office weddings in NSW and heed attention to the policies of a civil wedding. In addition to this, know the new set of rules to adhere to when conducting ceremonies during this pandemic. You may also read local and national recommendations when planning your registry wedding.
The local registry office can give you a framework for you to begin building upon for the event. Moreover, check updates from the Centers for Disease Control to become aware of what they are also suggesting for ceremonies. During this time, you need to be cautious and mindful when celebrating intimate events. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Work With Your Venue
Take note that the number of guests who can attend primarily relies on the size of your venue.
As celebrant weddings, explore various venues and know their rules regarding health measures and social distancing. This allows you to make an informed decision when considering things and guides you to create your own wedding expectation. Additionally, this gives you time to inform guests on how they can ready themselves for the big day.
Moreover, consider the space’s size to allow for proper social distancing. It would be better to have a small venue to cater only to a handful of guests during this time. Coordinate with your planner or the venue’s management to find alternatives on how guests can remain six feet apart from each other. They may have options for this; hence, be open to their ideas.
Communicate With Your Guests
With regards to the venue’s rules, you may place them in your wedding invitations so that guests may know what to expect. This includes regularly using a hand sanitizer throughout the event and staying home if they feel unwell.
With all of these adjustments, weddings can be pricey, particularly if you plan to shoulder the swab tests of your guests. Hence, to stay on budget, it may be a wonderful idea to incorporate some DIY props for your wedding.
Have A Few Guests
Registry weddings already have initiated capacity numbers. This includes the legal official, couple, witnesses, guests, and photographer. When it comes to witnesses, you are legally required to have two during the ceremony to witness and sign the marriage certificate.
Notably, the numbers are indicative only and can be changed due to adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. Even if you are allowed to have 50 guests or more, choose to have fewer guests to guarantee everyone’s safety. Be firm on guest limitations, so you don’t invite too many people.
Keep The Event Short
Instead of the common reception that goes late into the night, keep it short. For instance, you may intent a ten-minute ceremony followed by an hour or two of celebration.
The risk of COVID-19 spread is associated with the length of exposure. For this reason, a limited time spent in close contact may equate to lower risks for contamination.
The Bottom Line
As you plan for your big day, bear in mind that adherence to the proposed health and safety measures will influence its outcome. Though it can be challenging to conduct and hold a wedding, know that you are not alone. Many are experiencing the same dilemma.
Countless weddings, including civil marriage ceremonies, have been affected and postponed due to the challenges brought about by this pandemic. Despite this, know that love will never be cancelled. There are and will always be ways on how you can materialize the wedding of your dreams.