Getting Married & Covid-19 in South Africa

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Are you planning on getting married soon? Perhaps you were supposed to get married in the past few weeks but have been unable to do so due to the lockdown in South Africa that is still currently in place. If this sounds like you, it has no doubt caused you a lot of stress, anxiety, and disappointment over the past 2 months.

What Are Some Things to Consider?

Covid-19 (or the Coronavirus) has affected every one of us. For most of us, it simply means spending most of our time at home, but for a small percentage of the population, it has ruined our plans for life-changing events, such as weddings.

Social distancing rules require that we remain 2 meters apart from each other whilst out in public, and all public gatherings (apart from very small funerals) have been banned. So, what does this mean if you were planning on getting married during the lockdown, and is there anything that you can do?

Getting A Marriage Certificate

Well, firstly, we know that Home Affairs is working on a skeleton staff and are only issuing the following documents: replacement birth certificates for children requiring an essential service, temporary IDs, and death certificates. This means that if you get married during the lockdown, you will not receive a marriage certificate! Of course, you could always get married in the meantime and apply for your marriage certificate when the lockdown ends but this is one of the first inconveniences of many.

Your Current Reception or Wedding Venue

The next problem you will face is how you conduct your actual wedding ceremony. Many people have already planned and paid for their weddings at special venues. Since weddings are now not allowed, you could either postpone your wedding or ask for your money back. Bear in mind that many wedding venues, suppliers, and wedding photographers in South Africa are now in dire straits and some may simply not be in a position to offer you a refund.

Professional wedding planners suggest that if you find yourself in such a situation, that you have a discussion with the folks hosting your wedding or with your wedding planner. After an honest discussion, you can likely come to some kind of compromise that will involve either rescheduling the wedding for a later date or, in the worst-case scenario, a refund or cancellation.

What Are Your Options for Getting Married?

Many couples have been looking forward to their wedding day for several months already and the fact that they will not be able to go ahead with their big day comes as a massive disappointment to them. If you are one of these couples, the good news is that you have various options available to you for a lockdown wedding.

While lockdown is not the ideal time in which to get married due to social distancing, you will one day look back on your wedding with great fondness and the fact that you got married during a lockdown will be remembered for generations to come!
Tariq Khan, head wedding photographer at Dream Photography suggests a video conference wedding (using Zoom or similar) which is a great option and allows all your guests to participate, albeit from a distance. Alternatively, you could have a very intimate wedding with members from your household only and an online priest.

Any type of reception will not be able to take place so you could always get married now and then have your reception when the lockdown is lifted.

As disappointing as having a tiny or video conference wedding may be, remember that the strength of a marriage is not measured by how big or spectacular your wedding was, but by the love you have for each other and how this love will continue to grow over the years.

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Or Instagram: @DreamWeddingsAfrica