Australia

A Covid Wedding

Getting engaged six months before a Covid pandemic begins was always going to get complicated.

Choosing a wedding date back then, (before Covid), seemed so simple, as long as this particular engaged couple gave both sets of parents enough notice to organise travel to Australia, from their home in Malaysia.

Perhaps it isn’t widely known that Australia has had a pro-active policy of shutting borders to most overseas visitors since early in the pandemic and because of this, my dear friend’s wedding had to be postponed. The Bride was an only child and rightfully couldn’t bear the thought of getting married without her parents seeing it happening irl.

Closed sign
Photo by Ellie Burgin on Pexels.com

A twelve-month postponement of the wedding seemed reasonable in early 2020, but as we know, Covid has a longer lifespan than anyone thought. Going ahead with a wedding in 2021, meant neither of the couple’s parent would likely be able to attend.

Sad and courageous, but a wise decision was made to get married as this couple had wanted long enough to start their life as husband and wife together. They love each other, right?

Fast forward to three weeks before the wedding date.

We had hen’s and buck’s nights, dinners out with friends, life was resuming normality and then, suddenly, another problem!

Two weeks before the proposed wedding day, our state authority imposed a snap Covid lockdown. The virus was loose in the community! Medical staff treating Covid patients in quarantine had inadvertently transmitted the UK variant of the virus to our community. It was out there.

Gatherings of any type including weddings were instantly restricted to 10 people. Oops!!! Ten people at a wedding? Not fun when you have paid and prepared for 80 +.

Queenslanders and the wedding couple went into panic mode.

One of the medical staff in question had even attended my local restaurant, the local Sunday markets and the hardware store during the virus incubation period for Covid 19. News of this raised an alarm at the Home by the Sea, as the Moth’s second home is the same hardware store!

Frantically checking the contact tracing information on the Government website and liberal splashings of same across social media, we determined the Moth was at the same location, but four hours after the infected man attended.

Folks living outside Australia and New Zealand might find this concern ridiculous, given the level of Covid infections they deal with every day. Here, two community cases caused societal pandemonium.

We saw protests of lockdown measures, many others complaining stores should remain open or unhappy to wear masks; some were irate at shoppers at the supermarket spotted wearing mask pulled down with nose protruding.

Within minutes of the lockdown announcement being broadcast on media channels, toilet paper, paper towel, disinfectant, rice and pasta disappeared from store shelves and queues were a mile long at the supermarket checkouts. It was crazy.

After a very tense week which was by then, less than one week out from the wedding date, we all breathed a sigh of relief when gatherings over 30 people were once again permitted to resume and non-essential shops could re-open. The Wedding could go ahead!

A huge sigh of relief.

The wedding ceremony was a beautiful and very happy ceremony to remember, even with us all wearing masks and or socially distancing for most of the night.

Both sets of parents of the bridal couple connected via Zoom and Skype thereby being able to witness the ceremony and reception. Other guests connected from Canada and South Africa. A truly international affair.

This truly was a unique wedding to remember!

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81 thoughts on “A Covid Wedding”

    1. Yes indeed. It could have gone terribly pear shaped. Makes you think about fate doesn’t it? I think I would have cancelled it and eloped to the Blue mountains! The stress of such a nail biting close call would be too much for me. What would you have done?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was so relieved for them, Miriam. We also had a 91st party that had been postponed one year around the same time. We weren’t sure if the birthday girl would still be here for it! Again, it went ahead just in the nick of time. How are things down your way? Have to bounced back from the long lockdown?

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      1. Glad the birthday girl got her party! Things are good down here Amanda, getting out and about and planning our next big trip. Hopefully the craziness is behind us!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Ahh, the Grampians! One of our favourite go to places, it’s so beautiful. We’re going a bit further this time, up to the Top End, the Kimberleys and down the west coast!

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Phew! A wedding to remember for the bride and groom for sure. I’ve been invited to a wedding too which has been postponed to October this year. Fingers crossed but we never know with these odd cases and then complete change of restrictions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do hope your bridal couple doesn’t have similar trouble. Some nervous weeks ahead if there is another Covid breach. But then again, more folks should be vaccinated by then. Again – I hope! Life is unpredictable! The safest place to be is in Australia!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda, I’m glad the wedding could go ahead in these turbulent times!

    Gosh, I had no idea panic buying was still an issue in Australia… here with so many long lockdowns, it was a matter of routine almost and nearly a worry how used to them we’ve become. We’ve had effectively six months with everything shut apart from essential shops and only an hour exercise allowed near home. It feels odd with restrictions easing and soon no limit on numbers at funerals but still only 30 for weddings.

    Wishing the happy couple a wonderful and blessed future! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know you guys have had it extra tough. It is like this when you can’t control who enters and leaves the borders, I guess. It has been so confusing and so different how each country has reacted to the virus. Good to hear that your restrictons are ending soon, Annika. Fingers crossed the vaccinations have made a difference for you all and life can continue carefully. We are still waiting on vaccines here, so are a bit slower in that regard. In 2020 we had a month or so of hard lockdown. I can’t imagine what 6 months with only an hour of exercise would be like, especially with all the crazy panic buyers here. We might have had to improvise for toilet paper! Eek!
      I also wonder whether you may now see the world with fresh eyes, not unlike that of a child when Britons can travel again?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Luckily no panic buying since March last year. Yikes, improvised toilet paper … that is drastic! Yes, it is like seeing the world anew again. My husband and I had our first trip away last month, the first in nearly two years and wow, it was a revelation. Extremely emotional and joyful time! Yes, the slow closure of the borders was a major contributing factor although it has been illegal to travel abroad for quite a while and finally hotel quarantine introduced. As for vaccines, one thing that seems to be going well here and my second one tomorrow. Hope it’s not too long until you all become sorted with these. Take care, Amanda! xx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks so much, Annika for your kind wishes. I am going to investigate the vaccine options here next week. That does not mean that I will be able to get one, just to find out where, when and how.
          So good to hear that you enjoyed a short holiday. I have heard stories from others who have been stuck places and who cried on returning home. Right now there is a demand to bring back cricketers from India, via the Maldives. I think it was crazy to continue sporting arrangements when the average person wasn’t allowed to travel. I feel sorry for the people for whom sport is their job and had to travel! I feel safe staying at home, and yet, apart from overseas travel, life continues here at the moment. We appreciate it as one never knows what will happen next in this pandemic.
          Stay safe, Annika.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, quite a tale! I’m glad your couple managed to have their wedding as planned, second time around. Yes, the precautions you take over there seem stringent compared with ours, but when you look at your success in keeping illness and deaths down, they can’t really be argued with!

    My nephew and his fiancee were due to marry next month but took the decision some time ago to postpone by a week as she in particular is keen to have the big wedding she always dreamed of. As it happens, they could probably have gone ahead, as our rules will hopefully be relaxing by then, but they’re pleased they made the decision early on and haven’t had to live with the ‘can we, can’t we’ stress. Having said that, they plan to go ahead next year regardless, even if it does mean a smaller affair. Let’s see …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. These decisions on special events like weddings are tricky ones to make, Sarah. Everything is so unpredictable, isn’t it?
      Your nephew sounds wise to have a contingency plan should things go south, but so far there hasn’t been any sign of reversalof the timeline for ending restrictions, has there?
      Living in Australia has always been somewhat of a disadvantage at least in terms of travel, but the so-called tyranny of distance has assisted us to a large measure, it seems. To travel to any foreign country except for Bali or New Zealand meant we had to spend mega bucks for an airfare because we are sooo far away from everything. Yet it has helped us now and 95% of Aussies seem happy with the way the authorities have handled it. We have to look to India now to see what happens next in our Covid story. 50% of our visitors sitting in two weeks of in hotel quarantine, who have Covid, are returning from India. They can get a flight witj Qatar Airways. Until all our front line workers are vaccinated, there is still a risk of community Covid transmission via staff attending these hotels. There is pressure to send our meagre supplies of vaccines to Papua New Guinea and India to help them! So we wait and see…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice to see things all ended well. My friend got married last year, but instead of having the big wedding she wanted, it was just the bride, groom and witnesses. She wants to have the real wedding when things calm down finally.

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    1. That is an alternative and I asked this couple if they had considered doing this. They felt it would get deferred endlessly and not have the same impact for them. Each couple has to decide what feels right, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ann-C! Nice to hear from you. How are things over in Sweden? Are there any restrictions? I heard early on that Sweden wasn’t locking down but haven’t heard what is happening now.

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      1. The restrictions are the same as always. Keep the distance – otherwise wear a mask. No more than 8 people in a gathering. Outdoors. Shops are open, but limited people allowed depending on size of the store. Shop alone, not more than one person at a time. Our cinemas, theaters, sports arenas etc. are still closed – have been all the time. Don’t use buses or trains if not necessary. Work from home if possible. Restaurants are open outdoors, with several meters between the tables, and 4 people/family can sit together. Schools are going digitally most, except for the smallest children. We haven’t changed anything.
        In Sweden we cannot have a close down. It is forbidden in the law to restrict personal freedom that much.
        There is a spread among young people since we got the British variety. The greater part of grown-ups are now vaccinated. I have got my first one too. Hopefully things will slow down when it gets warmer. We are in a disadvantage living in colder countries – but look at India? I don’t know how to sum that up.

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        1. I don’t think this virus dies off in cold or heat, but who knows. It mutates so rapidly. Even in our lockdown two people who were related could still shop together, so that is a big difference between our country’s responses. It is great that a lot of Swedish adults have been vaccinated. We are slow to take that up. But we are safe in our bubble so no covid here and life has resumed apart from the occasional snap lockdown for 3-10 days. Many folks are continuing to wfh and schools have been back for most of this year. So far so good.
          People travelling from India have been banned atm! 2 weeks compulsory quarantine for anyone else at their expense.

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          1. Sounds good! India is scary right now though. I believe it’s because when it is cold you stay more inside and come closer to each other – that’s why it can be worse. India is very densely populated. And in our less populated areas there is no covid. It’s mainly the three big cities.

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            1. That is so interesting, Ann-C. Our remote areas are completely unaffected so it does seem like the areas with higher population density are proportionately more affected. Your theory with the cold, being closer to each other makes sense, however, I note that things like Chickenpox and other such childhood viral diseases, do ALWAYS seem to increase around Christmas time here – which is hot. Presumably from increased socializing through Christmas events.

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  5. I’ve never used Zoom, but it sounds like it’s been a very connecting thing in these Dis-connected times. So pleased their families had this facility so as to be able to connect with them, and pleased the wedding went ahead. I believe Covid has sparked a trend to have small, intimate weddings, a good thing perhaps in contrast to weddings with hundreds of guests some who barely even knew the bride and groom, but we’re invited to make up the numbers. Both my children chose smaller weddings, my sons only had ten people there, including themselves. It was simply lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t like using Zoom if I can meet in person or talk over the internet, but for watching a class or in this case, a wedding, it allows you to see things close up if you need to, or if the host shows you.
      You make a great point there about smaller weddings being better economically, Chris. Large weddings can equate to a big chunk of a deposit for a house or living expenses, and it is over in just one evening. I would never do it again, not that I should need to. I think having a party or dinner at a lovely restaurant can be much nicer, more intimate and perhaps more memorable. The stress of a large wedding takes away from the enjoyment. I remember having a headache from not being able to drink water during the ceremony, meet and greet, photos and early reception. Wearing a heavy veil didn’t help! There are so many ways weddings can be done now. A weekend house at a country getaway is becoming a popular option. Did you enjoy your wedding day?

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      1. Yes I did Amanda. We had a small wedding with the ceremony performed by Professor Laidin Fletcher. Professor Fletcher was WA’s very first civil celebrant, who as a Humanist had been at the forefront of the campaign to have something meaningful for atheists who didn’t want to wed in a church, nor wanted the coldness offered at that time by a registry office wedding. We followed with a dinner in our favourite Mexican restaurant at the time. We’ve never regretted not having a big shabang. There were 36 people there in total.

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        1. It sounds delightful, Chris. Something you really enjoyed and more manageable. I love how you embraced the secular aspect. Celebrants performing cerrmonies was a good move forward to reflect society. Even though I align myself with atheism, I am still a bit of a traditionalist and wanted a church wedding, in a beautiful old world church. That sounds somewhat hypocritical but it is how I felt. It also pleased certain in-laws! Would I do it over again that way? No, I don’t feel the need to now. But I am glad. Mexican! Hehe. Not many could say they had fajitas for their reception feast! Awesome

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  6. Hopefully the marriage will last long and happy. I have a theory that there is a correlation between big weddings and the duration of the marriage.
    The bigger and more expensive the shorter the duration.
    My marriage was in a registry office lasting ten minutes and for fee. It lasted 56 very happy years.

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    1. Your comment highlights the fact that money and a big ceremony with all the trimmings is not what constitutes a union. This is only the symbol for society and a way to celebrate with a feast afterwards. Weddings have become bigger than Ben Hur. Even an engagement requires a special event now.

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  7. I’m glad they got through it. We had pandemonium at work on a Friday when a colleague was due to be married the next day and the Premier called a snap 5 day lockdown. This wedding too had been a postponement from 2020. Miraculously, the venue pulled out all the stops, word was passed around and they went through with the wedding that Friday night before the lockdown kicked in at midnight.
    We certainly live in interesting times.

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    1. That is an amazing story, Heather! Well done to the venue and it must have been a heart stopping few hours for them. In more ways than one. Truly miraculous. They will never forget it! Congratulations to the couple!

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      1. They had actually had the official marriage last year with the required minimal numbers but wanted to still have the party with friends. We found out why they felt they had to have it that weekend… my colleague is pregnant and wasn’t sure the dress would fit for much longer!!

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        1. Oh I see why your colleague was keen to have the wedding asap. Wedding dresses seem quite the investment nowadays, emotionally as well as financially! Similarly, my work colleague (who was the bride), was unsure if her dress would fit as she had put on a few Covid pounds and had also bought the dress the year before. She asked about having it altered and they told her it would be much easier to lose the extra weight than to adjust the dress. It was quite a fitted style. I am sure there must have been lots of girls in a similar situation. Some, with babies in arms now and still waiting to get married.

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  8. this is a very cute story, despite the struggle you been through because of covid, you guys did it the most memorable and unique wedding celebration. I hope this covid will end not and your marriage will last forever. Cheers!

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  9. It’s been just crazy trying to adapt to the different rules each week. I’m so glad things worked out for them even though not as they had hoped. It seems to be winding down here as well. Thanks for the breath holding account.

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    1. So great to hear that the pandemic is slowing over your way. And yes the married couple were very relieved and still had a really fantastic wedding. They tslk about going to Malaysia when borders open again and perhaps a small ceremony renewing their vows for their family. But who knows ? It seems like an also ran and they may have a child by then. Life is never dull nor predictable. We have to roll with the punches, don’t we?

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    1. Liesbet we are far behind the rest of the world in vaccinations. Blame the Government inept handling. But then with so few cases and borders closed hard, there seems little urgency, but we won’t be open to visitors until a large proportion of the population is vaccinated. The government backed A-Z vaccine and there are now doubts about its use due to clotting issues in younger people. This may halt the vaccine roll-out. So we are safe here but still some frontline workers are not vaccinated. So the bridal couple had some very tense moments in the week prior to their wedding.

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  10. Really relateble I just started my own travel blog and then covid hit and I could not travel anymore from my country. No travel planning for me at all 😦

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  11. It is really sad how covid has ruined the plans of many to get married in 2020 and has been keeping many couples stranded even in 2021. I am really happy for this couple, who has had the opportunity to get married even in such dire conditions.
    Covid has affected all the sections of an individual’s life, including the workplace. We have a similar article that stresses on the changes that the COVID has brought about.
    wordskraft.com/2020/04/16/the-covid-lockdown-isnt-a-vacation-the-show-shall-go-on-with-or-without-us/
    wordskraft.com/2020/04/16/the-covid-lockdown-isnt-a-vacation-the-show-shall-go-on-with-or-without-us/
    #MyWordsKraft

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    1. Very sad for the brides and grooms, Debj. One wedding was cancelled just two weeks prior to the event without notice, by the hotel where they had booked many rooms and the wedding banquet. It was difficult for them.

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