The Queensland Wedding Planner became a COVID Safe Officer to save their business during the coronavirus pandemic
When the Queensland government put restrictions on weddings earlier this year, wedding planner Kimberley Hourigan knew she had to adjust her business to stay afloat.
- Kimberley Hourigan says planning COVID-safe events kept her business going
- She says operators are under a lot of pressure to adhere to the rules
- Their business is so busy that they sometimes have to turn people away
She added “COVID Safe Officer” to her list of services after realizing that couples wanted weddings in private locations that lacked COVID safe plans.
In Queensland, private gatherings are currently limited to 30 people, but up to 100 people can attend if the couple hires a company or a Queensland Health accredited operator.
For $ 250, couples can hire Ms. Hourigan’s team to attend their wedding and make sure everyone from the guests to the caterers adheres to the rules.
Before the event, her team will measure the distance between the table and the chair to make sure the 1.5 meter social distancing rule is followed.
Kimberley Hourigan is a wedding planner who has been named a COVID Safe Officer. (
Hand sanitizing stations will be set up and signs will be provided to inform guests of the rules.
“Our main responsibility is to ensure that all requirements are met,” said Ms. Hourigan.
“We register guests when they arrive, take their temperature and make sure that no one has cold or flu symptoms.”
Guests will be monitored during the event to make sure they are safe.
UPDATES: Read our March 12th COVID-19 blog to see how the day played out.
“We just hang out in the corner and watch and make sure everyone obeys the rules,” she said.
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Ms. Hourigan said the operators have been under great pressure to make sure every aspect of a wedding complies with health guidelines as they could be fined for violations.
“Because we are executing the COVID-safe plan, we are the ones to handle it,” she said.
Some wedding planners had refused to offer the service because of the financial risk, Ms. Hourigan said.
Others charge couples more than $ 1,000 to be COVID-proof.
“Brides can’t afford this,” she said.
The entrepreneurial move has flooded Ms. Hourigan’s business with customers.
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“When the restrictions first became known and we announced that we were planning a COVID-safe wedding package, we had hundreds and hundreds of messages from brides and grooms,” she said.
Ms. Hourigan said the pandemic had changed her customers’ views on a big wedding, and many saw her package as an alternative to postponing.
While the pandemic decimated other businesses in the wedding industry, Ms. Hourigan said it helped her grow.
“COVID has actually helped my business,” she said.
“It was very busy; we actually had to turn people away.”