Weddings and civil unions

Advice for people planning to get married or form a civil union, people attending a wedding or civil union, and venues hosting these events.

Weddings and civil unions at Alert Level 1

There is no limit on the number of people who can attend a wedding, civil union or reception. 

Do not go to a wedding or civil union ceremony if you are unwell or have been asked to self-isolate. This includes the couple, attendees, and anyone working or involved in the ceremony or reception. 

Weddings and civil unions at Alert Level 2

There are different rules on the number of people who can attend a wedding or civil union ceremony, depending on if the venue is indoors or outdoors.

A maximum of 100 people can attend a wedding or civil union ceremony in any indoor or outdoor defined space.

Defined spaces (external link)

The gathering limits do not include people working at the wedding — for example, servers.

If you are serving food or drinks, provide table service if you can. Try to seat extended household bubbles together at one table. Serve food individually if possible so guests do not have to share utensils or plates.

People working at a wedding or civil union ceremony must wear a face covering and should try to keep a safe distance from the guests. Guests do not have to wear a face covering, but we encourage everyone to wear one.

If you are planning to host a wedding reception or party at a restaurant, pub or other public venue, please follow the establishment’s safety measures.

Your guests can dance, sing or perform at the wedding or civil union service. People should try to keep a safe distance from each other.

Keeping yourself and others safe

Do not attend a wedding or civil union ceremony if you are feeling unwell. 

If there are people at the wedding you do not know, make sure you scan the QR code or give your contact details to the organiser. This is to help support contact tracing.

We recommend avoiding physical contact such as harirū, hongi, kissing, and hugging except if you:

  • live with them
  • are whānau
  • are close friends.

Keep up good health behaviours like regular handwashing and coughing or sneezing into your elbow. Your host should provide hand sanitiser around the venue and make sure there is plenty of soap available for everyone to wash their hands.

Try not to share food or drinks.

Travelling to a wedding or civil union at Alert Level 2

You can travel to other regions that are at Alert Level 1 or 2 to attend a wedding or civil union. If the wedding or civil union is in an Alert Level 2 region, the gathering limits apply.

If you are travelling to an Alert Level 1 region to attend a wedding or civil union, make sure you do it in a safe way. This includes:

  • keeping a record of who you have been in contact with, and what transport services you used
  • wearing a face covering on public transport services and flights
  • keeping a 2 metre distance from people you do not know
  • regularly washing or sanitising your hands.

Travelling across an Alert Level 3 area 

You can travel into and out of an Alert Level 3 area (in 1 trip) to attend a wedding or civil union service.

Your place of departure or destination cannot be in the Alert Level 3 area, and your travel must be necessary to get to the service.

You must not stop, so far as reasonably practicable, on your journey. You can stop in an emergency, to use a toilet or get petrol, but you must follow Alert Level 3 guidance.

Weddings and civil unions at Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3, you can get married or attend a wedding or civil union ceremony but these are limited to 10 people. The 10 person limit does not include:

  • the person conducting the wedding or civil union
  • anyone working at the service — for example, a photographer.

This means you can have a total of 15 people at your wedding or civil union ceremony — 10 guests, including the couple getting married and 5 workers.

Weddings can be held at an indoor or outdoor venue  —  including at a private home.

You cannot serve food or drink.

If you are attending a wedding or civil union, we recommend you:

  • keep 2 metres away from people you do not live with
  • avoid physical contact with people outside your bubble, including harirū, hongi, kissing and hugging.

Do not attend a wedding or civil union if you are unwell.

If you are at Step 1

At Step 1, weddings and civil union ceremonies are still limited to 10 people plus 5 staff. You can have a wedding indoors or outdoors, including at a private home. 

If you are at Step 2 (Auckland)

At Step 2, up to 25 people can attend a wedding or civil union ceremony. You can have a total of 30 people at a wedding or civil union — 25 guests and 5 staff. This includes weddings or civil union ceremonies that are held indoors or outdoors, including at a private home. 

You can serve food or drink but guests must be seated to be served.

Travel for weddings and civil unions at Alert Level 3

You can travel to attend a wedding or civil union ceremony in the same or neighbouring region within the Alert Level 3 area.

Weddings and civil unions at Alert Level 4

Gathering together for weddings and civil union ceremonies is not allowed at Alert Level 4. 

We recommend you delay your wedding or civil union ceremony until Alert Level 4 restrictions ease.

Record keeping for contact tracing — advice for organisers

All venues must have ways for people, including staff and guests, to record their visit. You can do this by displaying a QR code for your venue and asking people to scan in.

If your wedding or reception is at a private home, you do not need to keep a record of the people attending if everyone knows each other. 

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