From postponing wedding dates to having only 5 guests, read on how these 3 couples see the bright side of things despite facing challenges of getting married during the pandemic.
“Only five witnesses”
On 24th May, studio operator Muhammad Hazim Ali, 27, professed his lafaz akad in a single breath and tied the knot with the love of his life, Farah Hani Nazri Wong, 28 at Majma Mall, Kuching.
Everything about his wedding was normal, except that it’s witnessed by only five individuals: his parents, his wife’s parents, and their wedding photographer. Oh, and everyone stood one metre apart.
“Only five individuals were allowed to be at our wedding,” Hazim told TVS in an interview through WhatsApp. “We’re also given 20 minutes to be in the hall.”
Hazim said one of the major challenges for his wedding was that they could not have many guests and there was no wedding reception Even the food was given out as take-aways.
On a positive note, it was turned out to be the most cost-saving wedding, thanks to the pandemic!
“It’s great because I can just have my wedding moderately. It’s easier too, because the Tok Kadi and witnesses have already been prepared by the Islamic Religious Office. We also managed to expedite things because we needed to hold the akad (solemnization) ceremony only,” he said.
“Pandemic has brought us closer”
For engineer Jonathan Teo Kok Chiang, 31, who married Johorean life planner Stacey Anne Fredericks, 29, they planned their wedding for May 1st in Johor Baharu, but due to CMCO in Johor, they had deliberated on proceeding with the wedding.
“I think the main struggle was expectations,” said Jonathan. “I am from Kuching, working in KL. Stacey is from JB, and was working in Singapore. The original plan was for us to have just one big celebration in JB with both sides of the family and friends. Then Covid-19 cases got worse in the country.”
They said their families always debated whether to go ahead or change the wedding date.
“It was stressful because if we postpone the date, we were not sure when CMCO or MCO will be over,” said Stacey.
They decided to wed on 1st May and made the announcement in April.
Most of the guests took time to RSVP, but in the end most of their family members and friends in other states could not attend except for those who are in Johor or with permission letters from the police.
“I really wanted to postpone due to the rising number of cases at the time for everyone’s safety,” said Jonathan.
“Sometimes you read news about how there is a wedding that caused a new cluster. It was definitely the most stressful period of my life. My mindset had to shift to just organising a wedding that will make sure everyone comply with SOPs and to make it as small and safe as possible.”
Despite the daunting task, Jonathan said getting married during the pandemic has brought him closer to his family, whom he hasn’t seen for more than eight months.
“They were willing to go through quarantine in Sarawak to attend and it was only a week when they were here, so you can’t help but appreciate the little things in life that you take for granted, like hugging your parents and sister,” Jonathan recalled.
“It felt great just seeing all my family and friends gather even though SOP was in place,” Stacey said. “It felt nice to reunite with everyone again after the entire MCO where a lot of people didn’t meet each other for a long time. The ceremony allowed me to be closer to my husband and family.”
“We had to postpone our wedding date twice”
For TV assistant producer Mohd. Aimaduddin Lananan, 26, and his wife Ezza Ellyda Aziz, 27, who tied the knot last August, their wedding preparation was challenging because some of the things they have paid deposits for could be refunded, such as catering, venue booking and the wedding dais.
On top of that, they also had to change their wedding date twice, which meant they also had to change their wedding card design twice due to the postponement.
Because of the inter-district travel ban, their family members outside Kuching cannot attend their wedding.
“Still, Alhamdulillah the wedding went smoothly,” Aimaduddin said.
On a positive note, he said he managed to cut down up to 90% of his planned expenses, since they did not need the wedding hall and the dais.
“I also saved up on the catering costs from 500 guests down to 20 guests only,” he said, adding he and his wife can focus on the expenses after the wedding.
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