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Celebrating Births, Deaths & Marriages during COVID-19

ARTICLE 1: 20 April 2020

Welcome to this crazy new way of living in New Zealand. Congratulations, you’ve done well and together we’re kicking this nasty COVID-19 out of the country.

While our lives seem to be on PAUSE, babies keep on coming and other people are sadly passing away.

The cycle of life does not pause – it doesn’t wait for ‘life to go back to normal, the way it used to be’. And it may never be so again. COVID-19 has kept people apart, separated and locked down in their own private ‘bubble’. Today the Prime Minister announced what Alert Level 3 will look like. Click the link to see the Alert Level 3 Details. lt looks similar to Level 4 but the big difference will be that you can expand your bubble a little and you could hold a funeral or a wedding ceremony. It must only be a service, a ceremony, no ‘after function’ with food or meals can be served and no large gathering. Travel restriction will remain but regional travel can take place. You can travel to permitted gatherings in your local area only. No overseas guests?.

Alert Level 3 - Gatherings of up to 10 people at a time for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga.

Wedding receptions and other celebrations are not allowed. Consumption of food/drink not permitted. Workplaces, education facilities, public transport and supermarkets are not considered gatherings.

Additional conditions on gatherings:

  • Physical distancing and infection prevention and control requirements must be met.

  • All gatherings must record attendees to ensure contact tracing can be conducted if necessary.

  • No participants allowed who have COVID-19 symptoms or who need to be in isolation/ quarantine for any reason.

But we’re not there yet. While we remain at Alert Level 4, now is the time to take this opportunity to re-evaluate what’s important to you – how and with whom do you want to celebrate this important event in your life. It may be better to postpone things until all restrictions are lifted. Level 3 will be much like a ‘waiting room’ and for many that’s something you may be familiar with, having had to put on hold the celebration of your wedding, say farewell to or hold a funeral service for a loved one or to celebrate the birth of a new baby.

Living like this can be a stressful and difficult time for some, for others it provides time to enjoy the solitude and get thing sorted.

What you want matters – you matter so think of this as a new opportunity.

  • Births - how do you want to celebrate the arrival of your beautiful new baby? A baby naming ceremony?

  • Deaths - how do you want to celebrate, honour, and acknowledge the life of a loved one or close friend who has passed away? A memorial service with all their friends gathered? Or something more private?

  • Marriages - would you prefer to reschedule your wedding until all restrictions are lifted now that you’re unable to have your wedding as planned with all your family and friends? Or get married when we move to Alert Level 3 and celebrate with a party later?

These are some of the most significant events in any person’s life. A time when people should be together celebrating, supporting each other, holding hands, soothing brows, and whispering sweet words of love. It is a time when we need to “feel the love” not a time to feel guilty for being unable to be there with and for your loved ones. Sadly a number of people are facing these moments on their own.

Take a deep breath - change is not easy. Now may be the time when you need a skilled hand to re-craft your ceremony to reflect these changes in your life.

Celebrant Services

It would be an honour to work with you and your family to create a personalised and meaningful ceremony or to simply enhance what you already have, be it for a baby naming, a marriage or a memorial service. Let’s get ready, the rules will change and we can again gather in our circles of love, family and friendship.

If you do prefer to wait until the majority of restrictions are lifted, then I recommend you rebook your venue and celebrant. The demand for celebrant services are increasing especially from October onward – I have several bookings for early 2021.

You’ll find more information on how you can celebrate a birth, a death and a marriage during and post COVID-19 in my other upcoming articles.

Please get in touch

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