How to have a COVID-safe wedding and reception

This guide will help you create and maintain a safe environment for you and your guests when planning a wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 wedding restrictions in your state or territory, please refer to the latest legislation or public health order. For NSW, please visit

Wellbeing of COVID-19 Wedding Attendees

  • Ensure your guests are aware they should only attend if they are feeling well and do not have any respiratory or COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Consider sending out messages as the event draws closer to remind your wedding guests it’s important they don’t attend if they are feeling unwell, and encourage them to get tested.
  • If a guest has symptoms and asks if they should attend your wedding, encourage them to see their GP or attend a local fever clinic.
  • Think about ways your guests can be involved through a video broadcast or live stream, if they can’t attend due to illness or travel restrictions.
  • If you are hiring a venue for the ceremony or wedding reception, talk to the event planner or facility about any available options to stream the event.
  • If you have wedding guests who are at high-risk of developing COVID-19 complications such as elderly people or people with conditions affecting their immunity, consider discussing the option of attending the ceremony only, which is lower risk than the reception.
  • If you serve alcohol at your wedding, consider ways to encourage responsible use, such as limiting bar tabs or drink packages.

Physical Distancing for COVID-19 Weddings

  • Current COVID-19 wedding restrictions state guest capacity must not exceed one person per 4 square metres.
  • If you want to have singing or live music at the wedding ceremony or reception, consider having solo singers, rather than group singing – which is higher risk, and consider alternatives to wind instruments (such as a flute, oboe or clarinet) which are also higher risk. When choosing the venue, make sure there is extra room for singers (at least 3 metres from other people).
  • Consider seating guests from the same household next to each other, to make it easier to fit everyone safely together.
  • Consider having wedding photos taken before the ceremony (rather than in between the ceremony and reception) to decrease the amount of time between each.
How to have a COVID safe wedding in NSW.

Wedding & Reception COVID-19 Hygiene & Cleaning

  • Consider alternatives to physical gifts or wishing wells, such as online gift registries, direct delivery or electronic funds transfer.
  • Think about how other hygiene risks could be minimised, such as not sharing food or cigarettes/e-cigarettes and making sure people can remember which glassware is theirs.
  • If you would like a guest book, consider asking guests to bring their own pen, or have a plan to clean any shared pens and the area around the book in-between guests signing. Consider alternatives like a digital guestbook that can be filled in from home.

COVID-19 Record Keeping

  • Keep a record of wedding guests who attend, including a full name and mobile number or email address. Make sure you also keep a record of additional attendees such as photographers. Keep this list for 28 days after the event. If there is a guest at your wedding who gets diagnosed with COVID-19, public health will ask that you provide this record to assist with contact tracing.
  • Encourage your guests to download the COVIDSafe app to support contact tracing if required.
  • Cooperate with your state Health Department if contacted in relation to a positive case of COVID-19.


Are you planning a wedding during the health pandemic?
What precautions are you taking to keep everyone safe?

The Ultimate COVID-19 Safety Plan for Weddings and Receptions
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One Comment

  1. Son is getting married in a morning wedding January 4th. We are planning a micro-wedding for the wedding party and mostly immediate family – 30 in total. Very short ceremony with seating in alternate pews and staggared placement along the rows. Reception is “stationary” (go straight to your seat and stay there!) with assigned seating socially-distanced and by family groups/wedding party with no more than four to each long table all facing forward in staggard rows. Bride, groom, BM, MOH at head table facing the other tables. All the food, and drinks are in closed containers pre-placed at every seat along with individual sized hand sanitizer and anti-bac wipes. Drinks are in sealed bottles with personalized labels. Goblets set at each place upside down for toasting with individual mini-sparkling cider. Plates are doily covered and utensils pre-wrapped covering the eating surface. One cake for the couple to cut on a domed cake plate, and boxed cupcakes for each guest at their seat. Reception will last only as long as it takes to eat, cut cake, make toasts and wave goodbye with ribbon-bell wands. Mask required of all except the wedding party during the ceremony, and when eating/drinking. I feel like we’ve thought of everything! I hope so!

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