Couples, celebrants and photographers fear new Covid-19 mask regulations could derail weddings, after newly posted guidance warned gathering attendees could only remove their masks to eat and drink.
The guidance has caused widespread anxiety and confusion, and triggered a petition that has gained more than 33,000 signatures overnight.
Act and National have slammed the rules, saying the Government was preventing grooms from kissing brides and forcing newlywed couples to remain masked during wedding photos.
However, officials have moved to reassure people their nuptials will still be a day to remember, as the changes will not apply to gatherings which enjoy exclusive use of a venue, including weddings.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of new rules for masks while in the red traffic light setting to help the "slow down of Omicron" as cases of the variant increased.
The changes - which come into force on February 4 - affected those visiting food and drink businesses and other close proximity settings, as well as some primary and secondary students and workplaces with vaccine mandates in place.
They include the wearing of face masks at food and drink businesses and close-proximity businesses, events and gatherings. Masks don't have to be worn when you are eating or drinking or at gatherings where you have the exclusive use of a premises.
Information posted on the Unite against Covid-19 website says that from February 4 when attending gatherings, "you cannot take your face mask off for photographs, but you can take it off to eat and drink".
Many in the wedding industry worried it would mean bridal parties having to don face masks while getting hitched.
The confusion has sparked a petition which has gathered more than 33,000 signatures overnight, and says the new rules would "cripple" the weddings and events industry.
"Enough is enough. After two crippling years under Covid rules and regulations and the enforcement of vaccinations for freedoms and summer, Kiwis need and deserve to be able to celebrate weddings and events."
The Herald has also been inundated with messages from people concerned about the new rules.
A spokesperson for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said officials were working on detailed guidance around the new mask rules, which would be published as soon as details are finalised.
"As the Prime Minister stated, the changes will not apply to non-public facing workplaces, swimming pools, gatherings where you have the exclusive use of the venue, including weddings, and at private dwellings."
Mask guidance on the Unite Against Covid-19 website appeared to be amended just before 1pm today to clarify people would not need to wear a face mask at a gathering where they had the exclusive use of the venue, including weddings.
Act Party leader David Seymour says he has been "inundated" with emails from brides and celebrants lamenting the new mask rules.
"Everyone at the wedding must keep their mask on until seated for dinner. That means no kissing the bride, photos with masks on, masks on for the first dance, masked up celebrants, and masks on when you stand to cut the cake."
National's Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop called the rules "stupid" and "nonsensical".
"First kisses will be pretty difficult and not particularly romantic with couples wearing masks at the altar," he said.
"Brides, grooms and celebrants have been getting in touch with me about how ridiculous these rules are. No one can understand why masks are mandatory if everyone at the wedding is going to be fully vaccinated."