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‘Mask weddings’ now part of ‘new normal’ in Makati

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 04:04 AM July 13, 2020

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS Couples exchange “I dos” in a civil wedding officiated by Mayor Abby Binay (center) at Makati City Hall. The bride and groom are allowed to take their masks off, “for one minute, more or less,” to seal their union with a kiss. —PHOTO FROM MAKATI CITY GOVERNMENT’S FACEBOOK PAGE

MANILA, Philippines — Makati City has put on hold its glamorous “mass weddings” although couples intent on tying the knot in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic may opt for a “mask wedding.”

Last week, Mayor Abby Binay solemnized the civil wedding of five couples after they submitted all the documentary requirements to the city civil registration office.

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The city government started holding mask weddings for residents on June 18, more than two weeks after Metro Manila was placed on general community quarantine.

To qualify, couples should first complete the required documents such as valid identification cards, birth certificate, certificate of no marriage and marriage license application, among others.

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After paying a P100 fee, they must attend a seminar on family planning to be conducted by the city social welfare department.

They will be asked to suggest three dates for their wedding day, with the final date to be chosen by the Office of the Mayor. A time slot will be assigned to each couple as the mayor can officiate only one marriage at a time.

Safety protocols

Those present during the ceremony at Makati City Hall must wear face masks and face shields and observe physical distancing. Only six guests per couple will be allowed, according to city legal officer Michael Camiña.

Can the newlywed couples kiss each other? Camiña said they would be allowed to take off their face masks for “one minute, more or less.”

Before the pandemic, mass weddings for indigent couples in Makati City were sponsored by the city government.

In November, it spent P4.49 million for the wedding of 35 pairs, from the ceremony itself to the after-party. It also paid for all the couples’ wedding attire, 14-karat gold rings, bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, wedding cakes, hair and makeup, venue, food for the guests, wedding singers and performers, photo and video shoots.

Each newlywed also received a 6-cubic-feet refrigerator as a wedding gift from Binay.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Makati, masked weddings
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