Guidelines for the safe delivery of Ceremonies during the Covid 19 Pandemic

Guidelines for the safe delivery of Ceremonies during the Covid 19 Pandemic

Coastal Ceremonies are part of the Irish Ethical Celebrants Society. The safety of our team and clients is our main concern. As well as being bound by the guidelines set out by the Government, we have set out the following guidelines in relation to the safe delivery of celebrant led ceremonies during the Covid 19 pandemic which all celebrants in the Irish Ethical Celebrants Society will be adhering to.


Please note that the below are working guidelines which will be updated in line with the Government Guidelines as and when the restrictions are updated/changed. We are following all of the guidelines on the official Government of Ireland website.

There are many specifics relating to weddings, which will also be applied to vow renewal and baby naming ceremonies.


Ceremony Preparation


  • Celebrants will record the names and telephone numbers of all other suppliers (photographer, videographer, musicians) taking part in the ceremony to assist with contact tracing.
  • Celebrants will ensure that the venue and other vendors have their contact details.
  • Celebrants will confirm expected numbers with the couple in advance to ensure Government guidelines are being adhered to. We will be adhering to the guidelines that are applicable on the date of the ceremony. The numbers permitted per level are outlined on
  • Celebrants will contact the venue in advance to confirm that it is possible to maintain social distancing.
  • Celebrants will liaise with the other vendors – photographer/musicians etc to ensure everyone can maintain social distancing from each other during the ceremony.
  • The Celebrant will bring anti-bacterial wipes to wipe down all surfaces and will have their own hand sanitizer.
  • When microphones are requested, two may be required. One for the celebrant and one for the readers and both will be sanitized before use.
  • Celebrants will arrive at the venue at least 60 minutes prior to the ceremony to ensure adequate time to prepare the space and wipe down surfaces.
  • If the Celebrant or anyone of their household is unwell, the Celebrant will make alternative arrangements for another Celebrant to step in and officiate the ceremony.


During the ceremony


  • The celebrant will maintain social distance of at least 2 meters from the couple and guests, in accordance with Government guidelines.
  • The number of guests participating in the ceremony will be kept to a minimum where possible and will be agreed in consultation with the couple.




  • Vows will be exchanged with the Celebrant maintaining social distance or by the couple reciting or reading their vows directly to each other.
  • The Celebrant will bring a copy of the vows in a separate folder which the couple can read from.
  • Celebrants will not handle the rings. It is recommended that the rings are placed on a table for the couple to pick up themselves or the best man/woman will hand the couple the rings directly.




Readings are a great way of personalising a ceremony and couples will often ask family or friends to be involved in their ceremony by doing a reading.  Celebrants will endeavour to do their best to facilitate this, with the following guidelines.


  • The Celebrant will bring a copy of the readings in a separate folder which the readers can read from.
  • Only one reader at a time will be called forward. If social distancing might not be possible, the reader should stand in place rather than going to the front of the room.


Face Coverings 

  • The use of face coverings are no longer mandatory in Ireland in certain settings but may be recommended by the wedding venue.  The Celebrant may also wear a mask before and after the ceremony and guests may choose to wear one also.
  • In the interest of sustainability and the ethos of the Irish Ethical Celebrant Society, it is recommended that Celebrants source reusable face coverings as opposed to single use masks.


Ceremony Enhancements/Rituals


Ceremony enhancements or rituals are an integral part of Celebrant led ceremonies and one of the main ways couples personalise their ceremony.  Our Celebrants will endeavour to do everything they can to facilitate these, with the following guidelines.


  • Celebrants will discuss with their couple the limitations on rituals during this time and will work with the couple to find the best options available to them.
  • Couples will provide their own handfasting braids, jars and sand for sand ceremonies, jars of soil for tree planting, candles for Unity candle ceremonies and glasses for Love Letter and Wine box ceremonies. The celebrant will confirm what is required for the ceremony.
  • Celebrants will advise the couple to place the items on the ceremony table in advance of the celebrant arriving. Gloves must be used at all times when setting up the ritual props.  It is recommended that celebrants have a back-up available, which have been sterilised prior to the ceremony.
  • Ring warming, Passing the Heartbeat and any other ritual that requires guests to touch or be in close contact are not recommended at this time.
  • The Celebrant must at all times give clear instruction and direction during the ceremony enhancements.


Hand Fastings


Handfasting’s are one of the most popular ceremony rituals and do require the celebrant to be in close proximity with the couple, for a brief period.   The following are recommendations on how to perform a Handfasting ritual safely.


  • Celebrants must discuss in advance with the couple the requirement to be in close proximity to each other for a brief time during the ritual.
  • If the couple request that the Celebrant wear a face covering during the ritual this must be respected unless there is a valid reason the Celebrant cannot wear a face covering. In this case, the Celebrant must offer the couple a recommendation for another Celebrant to perform the ceremony.  This must be discussed at the early stages of the engagement with the couple.
  • If it is the Celebrants preference to wear a mask during the ritual again it must be discussed with the couple in advance and agreed.
  • If requested by the couple, a guest can lay/tie the ribbons with instructions from the celebrant.
  • It is advised the Celebrant wear gloves when laying and tying the ribbons.
  • It is advised that the Celebrant completes the narrative of the ritual from the required social distance, only stepping forward briefly to lay or tie the ribbons.



The above guidelines will be discussed and agreed with the client at the initial consultation stage or when finalising ceremony logistics and details.  It is the Celebrants duty to ensure that the couple is fully aware of the procedures in place by the celebrant to ensure the safe delivery of their wedding ceremony.


The Celebrant will adhere to the most current guidelines as set out by the HSE and the Government of Ireland at the time of the ceremony.


For further information please revert to and


For further information or questions please contact us on