The pandemic brought most, if not all, of our big plans for 2020 to a screeching halt. And that includes one of the most celebrated milestones in a person’s life: getting married. Are you one of the many couples whose plans for a big and happy wedding in 2020 were dashed because of COVID-19?
So how exactly does one get married during a pandemic? How has COVID-19 changed the way we plan, prepare, and celebrate weddings?
New guidelines for getting married in Catholic churches during the pandemic:
- No entourage. Only the bride, groom, their parents, and one set of sponsors can attend the church wedding. No maid-of-honor and best man too.
- Masks are required.
- In lieu of souvenirs, keepsakes, and other wedding what-nots, you now need to provide hand sanitizers, thermal scanners, and shoe sanitation mats for your attendees’ use during the mass.
- Social distancing must be observed throughout the ceremony.
- Weddings in areas under GCQ will only be allowed a maximum of 10 people.
But first, your marriage license.
You can inquire at the city hall for the requirements when applying for a marriage license, but the following are the basic documents you need to have whether you plan to get married in civil rights or in church:
- PSA birth certificates of the bride and groom.
- CENOMAR of bride and groom.
- Certificate of Attendance in Pre-marriage counseling seminar.
- At least 2 valid IDs of the bride and groom to be presented on the day of application at the city hall.
- Duly accomplished marriage license application form.
- Barangay Certificate
- Community Tax Certificate or CEDULA.
- 1×1 ID photo
To minimize your risk of exposure to the virus while preparing your documentary requirements, get whatever you can online. Your PSA birth certificate and CENOMAR can be requested online at http://www.psahelpline.ph. You can have these delivered to your for the price of Php 365 (birth certificate) and Php 420 (CENOMAR) — already includes processing and delivery fees.
Pre-marriage counseling seminars are also conducted online now so make sure to find out from your LGU if this is available in your area.
Your barangay certificate and Cedula can also be requested at your barangay hall. Best to visit them early in the morning when there less people.
Additional civil wedding requirement if the couple is between 18 to 21 years old:
- Notarized parental consent.
Additional civil wedding requirement if the couple is between 22 to 25 years old:
- Notarized parental advice.
Additional civil wedding requirements if widowed:
- PSA certificate of marriage or Report of Marriage to deceased spouse (original with one photocopy).
- PSA certificate of death of the deceased spouse.
Additional Civil Wedding Requirements if annulled:
- Certificate of Finality of Annulment from the court.
- Certificate of Registration from the Local Civil Registrar for the registration of the annulment papers.
The changes imposed by the government and the church on weddings in our country are for our health and safety. This is something that everyone must deal with while we look forward to the day when we have successfully beat COVID-19 through immunization.
If we should look at the bright side, couples need not spend as much on their weddings now that guests are limited to just a handful. Gifts (in cash or in kind) from well-wishers and family members can also be sent through a courier or online banking.
We hope this piece helped you in your journey to saying “I do” amid COVID-19. Stay safe and healthy!
Our sources and references: