13 Apr 2020

Weddings aren't being encouraged at level 4, officials say

8:12 am on 13 April 2020

Couples are being told to think twice before going ahead with scaled back weddings during the covid-19 lockdown.

Just married couple holding hands on the beach, Hawaii Beach Wedding

Photo: 123RF

Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages Jeff Montgomery said marriage ceremonies aren't being encouraged or condoned at alert level 4.

But he said if people do decide their wedding is essential and needs to go ahead, they should only use a celebrant who is in their bubble, or lives very close by.

The ceremony can only be attended by the couple, their two witnesses and the celebrant, and physical distancing, protective equipment and hygiene requirements must be followed, Montgomery said.

Celebrants were being urged to carefully consider any requests to conduct marriages and whether it is the right thing to do at this time, taking into account the Ministry of Health guidance.

By law, a marriage can't occur virtually and the couple, celebrant and witnesses must be physically present in the same place.

Refunds are being offered to people who aren't able to use their marriage licence within three months of getting it because of Covid-19.

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