MANILA – Couples looking to finally tie the knot but are overwhelmed by the challenge and expenses of hosting a big wedding may have a chance to start their "journey to forever" with no frills and worries amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

This, as the Supreme Court (SC) limited to only five the number of persons allowed in civil weddings.

"Civil weddings may be solemnized, provided the parties, witnesses and guests shall not exceed five, as provided in the Guidelines on the Phased Transition from ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) to GCQ (general community quarantine), and health hygiene protocols and other public medical standards," Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said in Administrative Circular No. 39-2020 issued on Thursday.

Wearing face masks and face shields, no-contact thermal scanning, and social distancing shall also be strictly observed during the ceremony.

The circular is addressed to all litigants, judges, and court personnel and members of the bar on the court's operations during the ECQ which is until May 31.

SC magistrate Marvic Leonen first pointed out the wedding provision in the circular on his Twitter account (@mvfleonen).

"I suggest the parties no longer invite their exes. Better still, take more time to think about doing it." he tweeted.

Leonen, however, clarified that the groom and bride need to be present for the ceremony.

"Just to clarify, the groom and the bride need to be present. One of them cannot be absent just so there can be more guests," he added. (PNA)