Weddings during Lockdown Level 3 | Weddings are permitted!

Covid-19 has in many ways impacted weddings in South Africa for over 16 months. Some engaged couples or those couples waiting to renew their marriage vows have postponed their wedding more than 5 times over these months! South Africa moves into lockdown level 3 with immediate effect. So… can we have our wedding now? Yes! Weddings are permitted!

YES YOU CAN HAVE YOUR WEDDING NOW!… On condition that the regulations are closely adhered to. Mentioned below.

President Ramaphosa addressed the nation on 25 July 2021.

 Since President Ramaphosa national address about two weeks ago, the most part of the 3rd wave has past. The new daily Covid cases has decreased.  Last week there were 12,000 new infections daily.  Gauteng was the epicentre and now Gauteng’s daily new case numbers are declining steadily.

However, there are significant differences between each of the provinces.  KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape provinces continue to rise. There is also an increase in Northern Cape’s daily new cases – surprising since, Northern Cape has been relatively stable thus far.

President Ramaphosa informs that an overall decline means we can gradually ease restrictions.

The 3rd wave is passing!

So… Can we have our wedding now?

The short and sweet of it is that you can get married now STILL during lockdown level 3. However within the stipulated regulations and guidelines.  Regulations listed below.

The BIG Question Remains: If our wedding is scheduled in a few months time – will our wedding be permitted? What does the future of weddings look like?

We have received lots of questions from brides and grooms, their families and friends – asking this question. Our answer is based merely on our experience during the last 16 months of these episodes.  Based on this, we assume the following:

  • The 4th Covid-19 wave is anticipated during late November 2021-December 2021… HOWEVER and most important, consider the following:
    • the impact of the 4th wave will largely depend upon the number of vaccinations which our population has had by then.
    • South Africa’s economy will definitely NOT easily survive another lockdown.  Unfortunately now more so than ever before, due to the impact of firstly, Covid. And secondly, the devastation of the looting two weeks ago in KZN and Gauteng which has to date caused about 35 billion rand in damages – and still counting. It is very clear that South Africa’s economy will definitely NOT survive another lockdown of tight restrictions on any business.
  • So realistically, any kind of lockdown that intends to limit any kind of business cannot be afforded at this time of the game – 16 months AFTER the first case of Covid-19 in South Africa.
  • So… in a nutshell, yes we believe South Africa cannot afford any further restrictions on any business, which in turn responds that most likely, from now on, weddings will be fully permitted in South Africa – given that the wedding meets gathering size and health protocol regulations.

 This update follows President Ramaphosa’s national address on 25 July 2021:

  1. Wedding size:  Gatherings of no more than 50 people indoors and no more than 100 people at outdoors gatherings are permitted. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with social distancing, then no more than 50% of the venue may be used. This applies to religious, social, political gatherings too.
  2. The curfew now starts at 22h00 and ends at 04h00. Non-essential establishments (bars, restaurants, fitness centres) must close at 21h00 to allow people to travel home.
  3. Alcohol: Sale of alcohol for off-site consumption is permitted from 10h00 – 18h00 Monday to Thursday. Alcohol sale for on-site consumption is permitted, as per licensed conditions up to 20h00.
  4. All health protocols (mentioned later in this article) and social distancing must be implemented and adhered to. It is a criminal offense to not adhere to these health protocols.
  5. Inter-provincial travel may resume (for leisure too). Your wedding guests can travel to attend your wedding in person, in South Africa, with no inter-provincial restriction.

MOST IMPORTANTLY!! President Ramaphosa informs that ALL gatherings [events] must ensure good ventilation, everyone wears face masks and social distances.  Windows must stay open.  There must a constant air flow.

The vaccination programmes are gaining momentum and making great progress. President Ramaphosa informs that daily vaccines is approximately 240,000 every week day.  A month ago this was 100,000 every week day. To date, 10% of South Africa’s population have had vaccinations. From 1 September 2021, people between 18-34 years are eligible for vaccination.

Vaccinations in South Africa are gaining momentum. 

Certain changes will now need to be incorporated to ALL Weddings in South Africa. How weddings are performed has transformed. Here are some things to think about when planning your wedding: 

Both wedding ceremony and reception are required to fully adopt these practices and protocols with immediate effect.

  • For the next coming months, it remains unchanged that face masks are compulsory for all wedding guests, bride/groom, officials, all wedding participants and suppliers.  President Ramaphosa iterated that face masks must cover nose and mouth.
  • It is the responsibility of owners of public buildings, venues, shops, restaurants, taxi etc. to ensure people wear face masks in these areas, and the appropriate social distancing measures are adhered to. Everyone needs to be responsible to take necessary action to protect ourselves and others. To limit the risk to ourselves and others. 
Bride Bridal Wedding High-quality Face Mask

Bride Bridal Wedding quality Face Mask

The new wedding trend is personalised (and colour coded) wedding guest face masks. Click here for some wedding face mask ideas.
And here’s a few more things to consider when planning your wedding…
  • Social distancing impacts the ways in which dancing, live bands, DJs, karaoke  are performed.  Different themed music areas throughout the wedding venue may surface. For example, the outside veranda with the drummer, DJ inside, saxophonist in another area.  The dance floor will be larger to accommodate better social distancing.  New technology can be implemented such as the Silent Disco to keep the party going in a safe distance.
  • Food offering and drinks at weddings will always play a big part of the celebration. However the way drinks and food are presented to guests has shifted.  Food styles may move away from buffet style, and towards an ala carte menu or set menu plated options. If buffet is still an option, then it will  be set up differently, such as smaller food stations to avoid long lines.  Each food station of the buffet operated may be serviced by a Chef or servers, with gloves and face masks.

The goal is still to provide a delicious culinary experience for wedding guests, however obviously now with consideration that less hands are involved in plating and preparing.

  • Candy stations at weddings will have to individually wrap sweets, rather than scatter layouts of sweets and candies. Or alternatively the sweets could be served on dessert sampler plates to each guest.
And of course…
  • Table settings are adjusted. Instead of 10 seats at a round table, 5 or 6 seats around the 10 seater round table is the new norm.  Tables may also be distanced from one another by some metres. To encourage chair social distancing, consider some high-end trendy cocktail tables at your ceremony, instead of the traditional pew style chair.  Or if each guest has their own chair, simply adjust the distance between chairs.

Fewer wedding chairs are being used and more guests standing during the ceremony. Be considerate, scatter some bean bags or couches on the external ceremony perimeter, so guests don’t get tired of standing too long.

The wedding ceremony may become somewhat slightly shorter to consider the guest’s seating comfort.
Wedding Trending Seating Areas

Wedding Seating Areas

  • The way photoprop trucks operate now is impacted.  Guests may not be able to share photo props as easily in the small space of a photo truck. But it is still possible!  Simply open up the garden space and innovate new ways to incorporate the photo-props into wedding photos. Grab your wedding photo props here.
  • Wedding cakes could still be as decorative and large as before.  Perhaps this time guests will be dished up their own cake slices, instead of helping themselves from the cake table in a communal manner.  Another preference could be gourmet cupcakes, which could limit food sharing and food handling.
Wedding Cake with Cupcakes

Wedding Cake surrounded by Delicious Cupcakes

  • Gathering size is impacted by the number of people permitted at weddings. As mentioned above, 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.  Check with your venue. Does venue staffing, chef, photographer, pastor etc. add to your permitted venue gathering size?
Remember to:
  • Notify guests during the invitation stage that if any guest is unwell leading up to your wedding time, to let the bride or groom know. Remember to be accommodating to guests who may be unwell and not able to attend the wedding. Limit your exposure to people generally 2 weeks prior to your wedding, to avoid the 10 day quarantine if in contact with a Covid positive person.

If you discover a few days before your wedding that a guest does test positive for Corona OR a guest has been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid, then make plans to screen your wedding virtually Ask your videographer to virtually stream your wedding. Be inclusive during these times.

Virtual Wedding

  • Wedding Traditions can be adjusted to incorporate and respect the Covid rules. For example, the wedding garter or bouquet toss or rugby garter toss game may take on another approach, to incorporate social distancing.
Wedding Rugby Toss Game

Wedding Rugby Toss Game

  • Hen’s party or bachelor stag nights planned at nightclubs (not yet open) or at a restaurant may have limitations of their own. Consider your pre-celebratory festivities carefully before sending out invitations. Many couples are now opting for a weekend getaway with loved ones at a rental home.
  • Sanitisation stations are a legal requirement.
Find ways to dress up the wedding sanitisation stations with some quirky signs. Click here to view some awesome Wedding Covid-19 related signboards. 

Welcome kindly use provided hand sanitiser courtesy of the new Mr and Mrs

Be innovative
  • Many weddings celebrate with alcohol. Try prevent thick lines of queues at the bar, by implementing simple tactics such as increasing the number of bar attendants, or having a few small bar stations setup throughout the venue. Bars may also build in some trendy sneeze guards, so we may see bars redesigning their bar areas.
  • Another option is to offer guests bottled beverage stations on ice on tables or in the venue when replenishing their thirst. Click here to view some pretty awesome corona labelled groom/bestman/groomsman drinks. 

Personalised Customised Wedding Groomsman Gift

  • Signage is now more necessary than ever.  Couples can be supremely creative with their décor.  For example, signage with Covid cautious messages, placed near bathroom sinks to encourage sanitising and social distancing is trending at weddings. Click here for some wedding signage ideas.  

Love is Infectious

  • Wedding Guest Gift Favours for wedding guests are the perfect dual-gift idea.  Firstly, makes sure guests santitise regularly at the wedding and secondly, personalised wedding gift favour.
Click here for some pretty awesome personalised sanitiser wedding guest favour ideas: 
Personalised Wedding Gift Favour Hand Sanitiser

Personalised Wedding Gift Favour Hand Sanitiser

  • Lighting will play a larger role than ever before.  Some couples are expecting less guests, but at the same time want to make the reception room feel full and whole.  A great way to achieve this is by spreading out large chandeliers, increasing the number of accent walls, and placing spotlights on tables.

Wedding Lighting

  • Photographers will need longer lenses and consider shooting outdoors. This way making photography from a distance absolutely possible.
  • Honeymoon destination: International honeymoons will be possible once the global travel gateway opens fully. In the interim, consider a local honeymoon in South Africa. There are no inter-provincial travel regulations currently, and there are some absolutely beautiful honeymoon getaways in South Africa.  This way too, you’ll be contributing to igniting South Africa’s hospitality sector, post-impact from Corona.
Wedding Vendors are in full support of Brides and Grooms during this time:
  1. Most wedding venues offer great small group packages. 
  2. The Most Popular Online Wedding Shop has a great SALE ON now for Everything Needed Before, During, After Your Wedding!  Some wedding goodies are up to 80% discounted! This period is a fantastic time to take advantage of wedding sales! Click here to see the SALE!

In summary: 

Yes certainly, wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions are permitted now. However, with some adjusted measures.

The measures mostly impacting weddings during lockdown level 3 are gathering size, curfew times and alcohol sale times. Keeping up with the current health protocols of social distance, masks, sanitisers – which are required.

The big question thus far, how long this freedom to wed will last in South Africa. We foresee into the nearby future that due to the devastating consequences of the looting and Covid on South Africa’s economy thus far – it’s almost impossible to declare another hardcore lockdown on South Africa’s economy. So GO AHEAD and create and live out your wedding plans and agendas! (Of course, adhering to the regulations required).

*ENTER THE SALE! The Wedding Shop *

Weddings are permitted