‘Blatant prejudice’: Bride’s fight to wed
A bride-to-be has started a petition urging state governments to reconsider its restrictions around weddings, calling it "blatant prejudice" that's stopped her from moving into her new home.
Annalisa Mastrofilippo, 24, told news.com.au she started the Change.org petition, which has gathered thousands of signatures, out "of frustration and to give all people in my position a voice".
"For too long couples have been left in the dark with no road maps and end in sight. This is the most important day of my life and I want it to be perfect and everyone deserves their wedding to be done how they wish," Ms Mastrofilippo said.
She said her and her fiance, from Sydney, had to cancel their wedding scheduled for August this year and move to April 2021. But she said the disruption has had a financial cost, been an emotional burden, and caused other practical problems.
"In our culture and with my religious values, there are so many things that can't happen until we're married, we can't move in together to the home we have purchased, we can't go on holidays and we can't start a family which is most important to us," she said.
Ms Mastrofilippo added the limit on wedding guests in NSW has also caused problems for her.
She said the cap of 150 people in NSW meant "we can't invite all of our close family members let alone friends, my fiance and I are very fortunate that we come from large Italian families with multiple generations. How do I tell one relative they can come and another relative they can't come?"
"This has been the most stressful and emotional thing we have experienced, people think it's just easy to postpone a wedding and tell your family and friends they can't come and to put your future on hold while people can go out to the races and to shopping centres and food courts and restaurants etc."
"By these restrictions' logic, I could just tell my 350 guests to meet me at the pub after my ceremony and that would be OK? I just think if there were to be an outbreak, there is more chance of it happening at a footy game."
She said she was lucky her wedding venue, Navarra Venues, had been understanding throughout the ordeal.
The petition started by the bride-to-be demands state premiers "open our weddings" and has gathered thousands of signatures in just a few days. At the time of publishing there were 600 signatures.
"Brides and grooms of Australia can't take this blatant prejudice towards the wedding industry any longer," the petition demands. OPEN OUR WEDDINGS GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN AND BRAD HAZARD AND OTHER STATES PREMIERS!
"It's time all of Australia band together and give couples the day they have planned and deserve!"
"We need to make a change! Allow weddings in Australia to revert back to normal prior to these inconsiderate COVID-19 restrictions! Including, church numbers, pre wedding at home festivities and receptions!"
Ms Mastrofilippo also took issue with particular activities being banned at weddings, including dancing, singing and limits on the amount of guests (this varies from state to state).
Ms Mastrofilippo said part of her frustration came from the fact that people in NSW are currently allowed to visit "shopping centres, restaurants, racecourses, bars and pubs, all of which are packed with strangers, but I can't have my guests join me at my wedding which is in my opinion a much safer and controlled environment in comparison to everything else I listed".
WEDDING RESTRICTIONS AROUND AUSTRALIA
• In NSW a maximum of 150 people are permitted to attend a wedding and must adhere to the four square metre rule. All attendees need to provide their name and contact details so they can be contact traced if necessary. Dancing is also not permitted except for the bride and groom.
• In Queensland, weddings with a COVID-safe plan can have up to 100 attendees - weddings without a COVID-safe plan can have only ten attendees.
• In metropolitan Melbourne weddings are currently banned unless granted an exemption on compassionate grounds. In regional Victoria weddings can have only five attendees (the couple, two witnesses and the celebrant).
• In South Australia weddings are capped at 100 people and the bride and groom are only permitted one dance. Additionally food and beverage cannot be served from a communal area.
• In Western Australia restrictions around weddings have been eased, except for events with over 500 people, where guests need to maintain 2 metres of social distance.
• In Tasmania all larger gatherings are limited by the density of the area with guests required two square metres per person. Venues are permitted up to 250 people in an enclosed space and 500 people in an undivided outdoor space.
• In the Northern Territory any event with more than 100 people requires the bride and groom to complete a COVID-19 safety checklist. A wedding with more than 500 people in the NT would also need to complete this checklist and receive approval from the Chief Health Officer in the state.
Originally published as 'Blatant prejudice': Bride's fight to wed