New Laws in Australia to Limit Weddings to Five Guests, Require Photographers to Act as a Witness to Attend

New Laws in Australia to Limit Weddings to Five Guests, Require Photographers to Act as a Witness to Attend

A photographer is detailing the disruptive effect of coronavirus on the wedding industry, not least of which comes in the form of news that as of Wednesday, weddings in Australia will be limited to five people, and as such, will require a photographer to be one of the two witnesses chosen by a couple if they wish to attend the ceremony.

It’s hard to describe the knock-on effect the current global pandemic has had on photographers, but Sydney-based James Day rightly chose the words "absolutely seismic."' He says he has been calling for weddings to be postponed, although acknowledges that for some wedding photographers, that may be a last resort.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said that despite small businesses struggling, weddings had no place in Australia over the coming months:

Indoors or outdoors. 100-plus or less than 100. They're the perfect storm for the virus being spread. But that doesn't mean that smaller business won't run out of options. Bigger operations might survive, but small outlets are doomed.

He estimates the effects may continue until the end of 2020.

One of his clients has moved her wedding forward from May 6th, as a precaution in case the borders close between New South Wales and Victoria. Day is required to be one of the two witnesses so that he can attend to take photos. Due to new rules announced in Australia on Tuesday, couples will only be allowed to get married with five people present: the couple, the celebrant, and two witnesses.

As a means of lessening the blow for any of his clients required to push their big day back, Day says he’ll be doing a couples shoot, free of charge, on the date they were due to get married.

However, the large gatherings a wedding requires should be off-limits for the foreseeable future:

I could see how weddings have been a massive part of the virus spreading. People are so practiced at hugging and kissing at a wedding that they don't know how to do one without all that. Once you throw a few drinks into the mix, you can almost see the germs spread.

He also advises others to remain active on social media, as “there are always people who are getting engaged and who are looking at what they might do in the future.”

Lead image: Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels.

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6 Comments

jim hughes's picture

This is actually an opportunity. Have the guests arrive in groups of 5, on separate days; photograph each group in front of the desired backgrounds, and create the full group shots as composites.

Edward Blake's picture

That's adorable; he thinks it will be normal by end year.

Alison Pristley's picture

This really makes sense, the situation is such that we need to do everything and to follow the rules to stop spreading of the disease.

vik .'s picture

one witness is the phot and the other one is the videog.

Ralph Rackstraw's picture

NZ is in complete lockdown for 4weeks. All businesses are shut - apart from essential-to-life. Hopefully only 4wks

Steven Gotz's picture

On the bright side, nobody with a cell phone is going to get in his way while he tries to get the photos he needs.

On the down side, he won't sell as many photos because all of the different family groupings won't be there to shoot.