The uncertainty due to the coronavirus is great – and it does not stop at weddings. Do you have to cancel your wedding now? We clarify.

Germany and many other countries worldwide are in a state of emergency. Public institutions such as schools and kindergartens are closed. Large events are prohibited. Local transport is restricted and the borders of Germany too (as of March 16, 2020).

What does that mean for a private wedding party? Do you have to cancel your long-planned wedding, for which you may have already spent large sums? Keep calm. We reveal what is currently and what is not.

Coronavirus: bride and groom must now take this into account

Weddings do not currently have to be canceled. However, there are restrictions and exceptions for weddings that should take place in the next few weeks. Whether you can celebrate your wedding depends heavily on the location of the celebration and the number of guests.

In Germany, there is the Infection Protection Act. This allows authorities to contain epidemics by allowing certain measures in exceptional cases, such as restricting freedom of assembly. The federal states and municipalities are primarily responsible for this (usually the local health department).

For this reason, events with more than 100 people are no longer allowed to take place in many places. Some cities have already banned events with more than 50 people. This also includes worship services. In some places, the town halls have also closed their doors so that civil marriages cannot take place either.

These local bans currently apply until April. However, it is up to the local authorities to decide which events are allowed and which are not – and until when the ban applies. It is best to find out from your local health department about the current situation in your circle.

Whichever arrangement applies to the place where you want to celebrate your wedding, you must adhere to it. This serves above all to protect your dear wedding guests. If you do not stick to the maximum number of visitors, your wedding ceremony can be canceled by the local police.

Should you cancel a wedding as a precaution?

Freedom of assembly is currently restricted. However, this does not mean that this will remain the case in the next few months. If your wedding is not supposed to take place until August, there is no reason to make hasty decisions. Keep calm and continue to watch how the situation develops.

In the end, of course, the decision to cancel a wedding lies with the bride and groom and with each guest. Anyone who cancels a wedding as a precaution, in this case without a legal reason, may have to reckon with the costs or down payments not being reimbursed. In such a case, you may also have to pay cancellation fees to your service provider.

But even if you decide to cancel your wedding as a precaution, you should speak to your service providers. Many service providers should understand this unusual situation. It may also be possible to postpone the wedding celebration. Many registry offices, which are currently closed, but also service providers postpone the wedding date in this case without additional costs.

Of course, it can happen that your preferred service providers are not available on another date. In times of crisis like this, however, it is important to remain flexible. There are also other service providers and ultimately the main focus should be on protecting older wedding guests and risk groups.

How to protect your wedding guests

If you choose to host your wedding on a smaller scale, there are a few things you can do to protect your guests:

  • Ensures good ventilation of the wedding location. Also, consider whether you can move the celebration outside.
  • Educate your guests about appropriate behavior to prevent the virus from spreading (do not share dishes, proper hand hygiene, cough in the crook of the arm, etc.).
  • Avoid wedding games with physical contact.
  • Provides enough soap, tissues and, if possible, other hygiene items.
  • Reduce the number of guests as much as possible.
  • As difficult as it is: exclude people from the wedding party who belong to the risk group.

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