Changing the date

A devastating reality for so many, and while others may have a more philosophical view, all that planning, excitement and future hope is now replaced with uncertainty. And it affects us, as celebrants too, our bank balance, our sense of empathy and compassion. We feel for our couples.  Disappointment is an understatement.

So, how can we support them and each other?

Communication and compassion are key and perhaps we should endeavour to create some certainty in these unpredictable times.  Even in lockdown, or maybe especially so, having a robust and planned approach to communication and engagement is important – whether this is on your social media platforms or directly with your affected couples.

We know that every couple’s situation is unique, as is the celebrant’s relationship with them. With that in mind, here are a few ideas to help support.

If you have a wedding coming up and the couple hasn’t yet contacted you about the possibility of a postponement, (perhaps in the hope the Covid-19 alert level will change) reach out to them.  Share the information from BDM (below) and let them know your availability.

Although some will have a new date in mind, without a crystal ball it’s not easy to commit. Tentatively book a couple of options (plan A, plan B).

Stay in touch.  Your couples will appreciate and take comfort in your supportive presence; a message on the planned wedding day, an email to check in…

This is a complex and quickly changing world. Take care. Be safe. Stay in touch.

Social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t be there for each other.


BDM state : Anyone that’s planning or already booked in for a marriage, is advised to delay the ceremony until the level has returned to 1 or 2. Couples have the options below as notified in last week’s newsletter.

Marriage licence refunds:

Marriage licences are valid until the date of expiry, that being 3 months from the date of issue. If couples want to postpone their wedding as a result of the pandemic, there are options:

  1. Delay having the marriage, but not later than when the marriage licence expires. This in the hope that the situation has improved within 3 months.
  2. If the couple plan to get married after their licence expires, they can apply for a refund now. If approved, the refund will include the licence fee and the marriage certificate, if ordered. When the couple are ready to get married they can apply for a new licence at
  3. Couples can request a refund by emailing with the subject heading "Request for marriage licence refund". In the body of the email include:
  • Reason for refund e.g. unable to enter the country.
  • Both partners’ full names and contact details (e.g., email, phone number etc.)

Refunds currently take about 4 weeks to process. For more information, click here