Wedding season. Oh, we all know when this season is upon us! The invitations have hit the mailboxes, the call to get new clothes made in the latest of fashions are being made, preparations are being done for music, venues, food, and dancing, and it is all happening fast. But in the year of 2020, with the arrival COVID, these wedding preparations have taken a new turn. And I can’t honestly say that I don’t like it. Yes, socializing in person has definitely gone down. But that’s what Facetime, Skype and Zoom are all for, right? Well future brides, grooms, and guests….these are the new wedding venues!
My brother-in-law recently got married, and it was one of the most highly anticipated events in our family. We had our tickets booked to go halfway across the country for the actual wedding, and road trips were planned for the near and far pre-and-post-wedding events. I had picked out all of my family’s outfits to be made overseas, and to be shipped to me. And this was just on my end. The bride’s side had every venue booked, all the caterers ready and the guests were all prepared to dive in and have fun. But when COVID caused a national shut down in March, a wedding in May just didn’t seem plausible.
The families agreed that we would postpone the wedding festivities…but for how long would that last? In order for the bride and groom to start their lives together, everyone decided to hold a very small event in the bride’s home, with only the two sets of parents and the couple. The rest of the guests would have the option to attend via Zoom. And attend we did. We held Zoom dholki parties for days leading up to the wedding, donning our glitzy dresses and jewelry, and holding up our devices so that we were in full view. We sang and clapped, maybe not completely in tune with each other but we did the best we could. And when the evening of the wedding came, my husband and I dressed for the occasion in our best pajama bottoms along with his dress shirt and my dressiest kurta. I wore some sparkly earrings too; of course to mark the blessed occasion. We took part in the ceremony and listened to the words of the parents and even made a speech ourselves. The bride was gorgeous in her wedding attire, and the groom was handsome and nervous, as most grooms are on their wedding day. It was a wonderful and exhilarating event. And even on Zoom, miles away from the couple and all the other guests, it was still emotional.
It was as though we had stripped the marriage process of the superficial things it has become over the years, leaving only raw emotion. It wasn’t about who wore the fanciest and most expensive clothes.
It was as though we had stripped the marriage process of the superficial things it has become over the years, leaving only raw emotion. It wasn’t about who wore the fanciest and most expensive clothes. It wasn’t about shoes or purses, or choreographing the best dances or seeing how big the diamonds were, or what the bride wore or how their stage was set. It was literally about the bride and the groom and about their new life together, as their own family, as their own new unit. It was about seeing them embark upon this new journey, and this new chapter of life together.
Perhaps this is more than just a silver lining in the way that weddings have to be for now. It is a way that we can get back to appreciating what really matters. COVID has taken so much away from us as humans. But it has also given us the ability to see the things that we never saw before. The love and excitement in a new couple’s eyes, the bittersweet emotion we see in the faces of the mother of the brides. The look of pride we see in the fathers who are there. The sparkle of tears of all these emotions have always been bigger and better then all the jewels that the bride adorns. But it is only now that we have been able to see it and truly appreciate it for what it is.
Mariam is a stay at home mom, boutique owner, and writer.