If you’re planning your wedding, you’ve probably been madly searching for the latest Covid-19 restrictions to see how they will affect you. Here’s a snapshot of the latest rules for weddings in Victoria.
Metropolitan Melbourne — Stage 4 Restrictions
Sadly weddings were taken off the table for Melbourne couples on 2 August 2020. If you live in metropolitan Melbourne then you can’t participate in a wedding at all (i.e. get married or be a guest). This includes the small elopement style weddings which have become popular recently and were previously allowed.
The only exception is if you have a reason to marry on compassionate grounds, such as limited life span. If authorities do allow a wedding to proceed for compassionate reasons, only 5 people can be at the ceremony. This includes the couple, 2 witnesses and a celebrant.
Importantly, you can’t leave metropolitan Melbourne to get married in another part of Victoria. People who live in metropolitan Melbourne also can’t travel to attend weddings held outside of this area.
Regional Victoria — Stage 3 Restrictions
From Thursday 6th August 2020, regional Victoria will re-enter stage 3 ‘stay at home’ restrictions. Weddings are still allowed (yay!) however only 5 people can attend. This means the couple, 2 witnesses and the celebrant. Ideally you can find a good friend to be a witness AND your photographer!
Attending a wedding is a permitted reason to leave home. If you live in regional Victoria, couples can travel within regional VIC to get married within regional VIC, but you can’t go into metropolitan Melbourne.
So if you’re one of the lucky few who can still make it happen, where exactly can you get married? Well you can get married in a church (places for religious services are closed but may open to hold weddings, funerals or public services). Given that you now aren’t allowed visitors at your home, it implies you can’t hold your wedding there either. It's still unclear whether you can get married in other non-religious wedding venues e.g. vineyards. The safest option right now would be to hold your wedding in a public open space such as a park or reserve where all 5 people can maintain the correct social distancing.
Remember that masks are mandatory when outside your home, so they must be worn during your ceremony. It’s going to make for some interesting wedding photos in 2020 (and something to tell the grandkids about – we were the generation who married during Covid-19!)
Victorians are definitely doing the hard yards at the moment. My hearts are with all of the couples who have had to postpone their special days (some over and over again)… it’s overwhelming, draining, disappointing and just plain old cr*p for everyone involved. But we are doing this for the greater good and it will end, eventually... it has to!
Hang there everyone and stay safe.