Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.52 29 Jun 2020


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Consumer expert Sinead Ryan says weddings will still be heavily monitored and restricted, even as Ireland re-opens further.

Ireland entered phase three on Monday, which saw hairdressers, barbers, nail and brow salons, beauty salons, spas, gyms and others re-open their doors.

The host of The Home Show on Newstalk told The Hard Shoulder: "For people getting married in a church, the Government restrictions generally speaking on mass gatherings are easing now - and again on the 20th of July.

"So from now, you can have 50 people indoors - say at a wedding - and then 100 when it comes to the 20th of July.

"And here is what I'm finding people are not understanding: that 50 or 100 [people] is only permissible where there's social distancing.

"So everybody has to be two metres apart.

"So 50 people, two metres apart: it has to be a huge room, it's going to be a bit cavernous because everybody's going to be dotted around it - so the atmosphere may not be the same".

"People of the same household could sit together, but some places might take the view that they're not allowing that even at the moment".

The total number of people must also include staff at the venue.

"The other thing of course is the marriage licence - you need to give three months notice in Ireland with the registry office.

"That licence, which a lot of couples do not realise - only lasts for six months.

"So if your new wedding date is going to take place more than six months after the original wedding date, you have to get a new licence.

"You've to apply to the registry office and you've to go in in person to get that".

The €200 fee for the licence is to be waived for those affected by COVID-19 - however they still have to apply three months ahead.

On venue restrictions, Sinead said: "Anything that was shared: a buffet, canapes, dessert counters, that's all gone

"You can't have a bottle of wine and leave it on the table - wine and water will have to be served to the table by a server.

"Drinks at the bar, there'll be none of that.

"You'll be sitting at the table with an app and ordering the drinks at the bar and then going up to a collection point and getting them".

"And there'll be no congregating for the smokes outside, heading off with the bridesmaid down the corridor: forget it".

"The problem I think with weddings and rearranging them... it's not just that kind of day out in one place because you're juggling all these suppliers.

"Everything from photographers, to flowers, to hairdressers, to venues, to churches - all that kind of thing.

"And that's what makes it really, really difficult.

"It's like organising an army campaign to try and get everything on the one day at the same time.

"And of course lots of people book them together for years in advance or months in advance, so it can be difficult."

"You can buy wedding insurance... and what it means is if any aspect of the wedding doesn't take place or is cancelled, you can get a refund on it.

"If that insurance was in place before the 10th of March, which is when the lockdown was announced, the COVID stuff will be covered in that in terms of refunds.

"But it won't be after that, and it may not indeed cover COVID from here on in for new couples who are buying it".

She also warned that any couples travelling against Government advice will also not be covered by insurance.

People who attend gatherings will also have to provide names and addresses for contact tracing purposes, which will be held by the venue for one month.

"I'm told for weddings that doesn't mean all 50 or 100 people, that might mean just one person at each table".

Sinead has had to cancel her own wedding planned for September.

She explained: "We had planned to have around 90 people at the wedding - but our venue tells us now that, with social distancing, we can only have between 25 and 30.

"Sure that's not even two families, two Irish families".

What will weddings look like under the latest COVID-19 restrictions?

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image: A bride and groom as they take their wedding vows. Picture by: Zoe Jay/EMPICS Entertainment

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COVID-19 Restrictions Consumer Expert Guests Sinead Ryan The Hard Shoulder Venues Wedding Insurance Wedding Restrictions Weddings

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