Life goes on. No matter if there’s a pandemic raging across the world. No matter if the year brings one travesty after another. Life goes on.
I grew up in a small village on the eastern side of the Nigerian state Bauchi. Like many others in my town, I moved to a big city to enroll in a university. This is where I would meet my future wife, Makeba.
It was our love for photography, philosophy, and nature that brought us together. I first saw her at the university library reading “The Stranger” by Albert Camus, a book I was all too familiar with.
We struck up a conversation and three years, two months, and seven days later —it led to this fateful and beautiful day.
The wedding was planned long before the pandemic. It was supposed to take place sometime in March. But we had to reschedule and also reorganize.
We had planned a big wedding. My (now) wife and I were saving for this occasion for months.
Makeba had spent months looking for the perfect wedding dress. She helped me look for a venue, arrange catering, and send out invites.
Everything was being arranged, and we had even set the date, but then all of a sudden, the outbreak sent many countries, including ours, into a lockdown.
Believing this was something temporary, we decided to postpone the wedding until things would go back normal.
After delaying the wedding for months, we realized the world wasn’t getting better anytime soon, and we needed to adjust to the effects of the pandemic and have the wedding during Coronavirus.
So we decided to go ahead with the wedding but with a few precautions.
Making the wedding smaller
The wedding during Coronavirus was scaled back, but Makeba’s dress was indeed perfect. Albeit less perfect than the woman who was wearing it.
My wife shone that day, and I didn’t look too bad, either. Where I come from, the groom almost wears red. So I decided to continue this tradition.
The COVID-19 pandemic kept many of our friends from being with us in person. Many watched via live stream; others only saw the pictures on Facebook.
Previously, many of my relatives had planned to travel to my wedding. None were able to make it, and we thought it was for the better. Luckily, both of our immediate families were able to attend the ceremony.
Being in the church, beneath God, and surrounded by those closest to us made the entire ceremony feel all the more personal. Makeba and I couldn’t get the big ceremony we desired, and of course, we were disappointed.
But we understood that to have a wedding during Coronavirus, some precautionary measures had to be taken. We simply couldn’t put others at risk for our happiness. So having a small wedding was the right thing to do.
The silver lining
On the positive side, all the attendees got a fair share of the wedding cake. Guess it’s true that every cloud has a silver lining. Makeba’s family owned a bakery, and this cake was baked specially by them.
Although the wedding ceremony was toned down and it wasn’t the spectacle we had planned for so long —the beautiful bride brightened the entire evening.
When we got back home, the photographer did not come with us. Instead, I had to pull in double duty as both the groom and the man who will capture the bride. I took no time in readjusting to my new role as a wedding photographer.
Fortunately, I am somewhat skilled when it comes to photography. And no one knows better than me, which stills of my beautiful bride would do her justice.
Who knew my experience with the camera would come in handy on my wedding day? Lifeworks in strange ways.
The beautiful day ended with a small gathering in the backyard. We sang and danced in this little space. This was the little garden where I had grown up.
Initially, it wasn’t the part of our wedding plans we had thought of taking the party to a beach or a scenic location. However, fate had other plans.
Once again, it was just our immediate families. Even fewer people were here than the church. It was me, my wife, our parents, and two of my brothers.
Time flew as we joked around and shared old stories. For a few moments, we forgot the grim realities of the current world.
Mom made a special treat for the guests. It was something she made at almost every special occasion. It’s another one of our family traditions that go back decades.
No celebration is complete without Mom’s special salad. We all had built quite an appetite, and this proved to be a nice supper.
And that’s all she wrote. What was supposed to be a large and grandiose celebration was reduced to a small and sustained ceremony due to some unforeseen circumstances. Looking back, maybe it was all for the better.
The intimate ceremony with two families coming together is perhaps the perfect start to the next phase of your next life. It’s easy to get lost in all the customs and lose sight of what’s important.
Wedding ceremonies are supposed to be a celebration of love and a promise between two people to always be faithful to one another. This could be done without humongous gatherings as well.
Also watch: How COVID-19 has changed the wedding business plus, tips for couples planning to get married.
It wasn’t easy to do the wedding during Coronavirus
Planning your wedding during Coronavirus, When everything is closed up, and people are suffering due to a viral outbreak —it’s extremely difficult to pull yourself together and organize a wedding.
What got me through was Makeba and her nerves of steel. I may have made a few calls, but she was the brains behind the entire operation.
This wedding also allowed me to learn the true strength of my wife. While it’s true that life goes on, it doesn’t go on by itself.
Some people keep the world moving even when the circumstances are not in their favor. I should know — I married one of them.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.