The pandemic has forced many people to cancel, postpone, or reconsider their plans for 2020. One category of people who have had to make major adjustments to their plans are couples who wanted to celebrate their love with their friends and family, but couldn’t because of health restrictions.
After planning for many months for the perfect day, dreaming about every detail and every moment, the whole world is turned over and all your plans have to change or get canceled. As always, some people found alternatives and ways to continue their regular activities virtually.
I talked to Sarah A., who had her wedding ceremony over Zoom, to find out how she managed, and what concerns she had, if any.
“We have been planning for over 10 months. I overthought everything from the dress to appetizers and music. It’s the day I have been dreaming of my whole life, and I had no idea how things were going to turn out,” Sarah lamented.
Sometimes going with the flow is so necessary.
When asked what made her take the leap to having a Zoom wedding, she said, “We had postponed everything in hopes of being able to celebrate with our loved ones soon, but it didn’t seem like it was actually going to happen. We could have just ignored everything like many others did, and held our ceremony anyway, but we didn’t want to put everyone at risk.”
She continued, “It was when we realized that no matter how well we have planned anything, Allah is the best of planners and whatever he chooses for us is certainly the best. Maybe having the wedding on the planned day was not good for us, maybe someone was going to get hurt that day, maybe it would have turned into an unpleasant experience. Whatever it is, we know that what he had planned for us is better than all our plans. We looked at other people who had their weddings over Zoom and decided to go forward with it.”
Sarah mentioned that the in-person guest list was very small. “We only invited our very close family to come over like both our parents and siblings. Everyone got tested before the wedding, and we made sure we were all negative. Over Zoom, there were over 100 people who attended the wedding, laughed with us, made dua’a, and shared our special moment with us.”
As for the hardships, she said, “It was really hard for me at first to come with peace that this is how my wedding day will look like. I wanted a big celebration where I could feel like the center of attention as a bride, and have all my friends around me. I understood that waiting longer is not an option, and that this must be the best for us, but I had a hard time accepting it at first.” She continued, “I also struggled with how was the day going to go? Do we just sign the certificate and that’s it? Is there going to be music? Are we going to dance? I had no idea what to do. It’s as if suddenly, my best dream was turning into a nightmare.”
As I talked with Sarah, I noticed how sometimes going with the flow is so necessary. And that’s exactly what Sarah did.
“I decided to let it be,” she shared. “I had my family next to me and my friends, and loved ones on the screen watching me and praying for me. My family decorated the place very nicely, all my friends dressed up and played music, I got to walk with my father down a mini aisle that is our apartment’s hallway, and most importantly I got to celebrate my marriage to the person I love.” She mentioned she was even still able to have a toast: “We even had our very close friends say a word and had a mini toast. It was nice.”
Deciding to have a virtual event can be hard, as it requires effort and time. Planning to have your wedding virtually is a brave decision. Whether people choose to wait until it’s safe again to celebrate, or have a virtual wedding, both decisions are respectable and brave.
May Allah bless the happy couples!