Although the cancellation of a wedding that was meant to take place in 2020 or early 2021 seems a frivolous issue amongst the many other sacrifices being made at the moment, the simple fact is that the symbolism a wedding holds is irreplaceable to those involved. Dealing with the tireless planning, hefty financial commitments and sarcastic family members comically proclaiming ‘shall I buy a hat’ after meeting your partner for exactly 0.5 seconds. Weddings are BIG events in family and friends calendars. So, for Covid-19 to waltz in and put a stopper to all these plans is disheartening, and understandably so.
Current guidelines (as of January 4th when England entered into yet another national lockdown), state that weddings and/or civil partnerships are only allowed under exceptional circumstances, and with this only 6 people are allowed to attend. This, alongside rumours that the country will enter back into a tiered system after lockdown means that for couples waiting to tie the knot, there is no idea of when and how ceremonies can take place.
In spite of this rather dreary reality, the prospect of a lockdown wedding might lead to more of a romantic day than first thought.
These types of weddings focus back on the all important commitment two people are making and less about the extravagance- forked out to ensure everyone who attends goes away saying ‘now thats one to remember’. The relief from this sort of pressure will lead to a day centered around exactly what the individuals want, not what they think guests will be impressed by. Minimising things that can go awry from the plan and considerably most important, save on the financial expenditures. Admittedly, there will be the addition of bizarre, but necessary, regulations concerning mask wearing, hand sanitising and the absence of any live music, but this will only add to the unforgettable nature of the day, setting a wedding apart from others.
These types of secluded, minimalist lockdown weddings have been had recently by the likes of Love Island presenting power-couple Iain Stirling and Laura Whitmore. Taking to Instagram on new years day 2021 to announce the news, the couple wed in a small ceremony in Dublin’s City Hall on 11th November 2020. With only 25 guests in attendance, in accordance with Ireland’s rules at the time, a source told The Sun “despite circumstances not being ideal, it was such a romantic day.” In spectacular copy-cat fashion Queer Eye star Johnathan Van Ness also announced on social media that he had a 2020 style back-garden wedding. In a tweet and then Insta post dedicated to beau Mark Peacock, he covered how the two got married with a socially distanced judge and photographer, whilst their parents watched over FaceTime.
The romance and special nature of a wedding day seems to only increase when less people are in attendance. As lifestyle editor for the Independent Harriet Hall says after her own lockdown wedding “in the end, it turned out to be better than the wedding we had originally planned.” Although admittedly, the joys of a mahoosive wedding with tonnes of friends and family is hard to be replicated, the simple matter is that a pandemic shouldn’t stand in the way of two people saying those all important vows and ‘putting a ring on it’- as Queen B preached back in 2008. Having a lockdown wedding means cutting out all the exorbitance that modern weddings have come to be characterised by. These smaller yet increasingly more sentimental and intimate weddings might just be one of the positives to come from this pandemic.