Weddings in a time of Corona

30 April 2020
by Miki van Rooyen

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, and more specifically – large gatherings. Wedding photographers and the rest of the wedding industry has been hit hard by the lockdown and looming restrictions as a result of the pandemic. Non-essential or large events, like weddings, are prohibited and might be for a while. As wedding photographers, we are staying safe at home contemplating the uncertainty of the wedding industry’s future. Our beloved brides and grooms are having to face incredibly difficult decisions too – they need to postpone their dream day while considering the fact that the future of weddings may not be as they’ve imagined. Besides the fact that restrictions will probably be in place for quite some time, many couples may need to downscale the wedding due to financial constraints as a result of the pandemic. Some people have turned to virtual weddings, and I can only imagine that “DIY weddings” will be trending very soon.

Wedding culture is usually sold as “your perfect day”, but in these trying times we are taught the true value of people, of human connection and we are reminded of what our priorities should be. Perhaps extravagant weddings with luxurious floral arrangements are not what weddings are about? Does everything really have to be “perfect”? Don’t get me wrong, a beautiful venue with carefully curated wedding decor looks great! As wedding photographers we are visually inclined, so we appreciate every small detail that goes into creating the look and feel of the wedding, but that does not make a wedding, not by a long shot.

What is the most important thing at a wedding really is love. The most beautiful wedding photos are photos of people, not things. Those are the photos you will put up on your walls, not the flowers or the fancy shoes.

If nothing else, this time of social separation makes our hearts long even more for the ones we love. This time reminds us of our own humanity, humility and the importance of human connection. As wedding photographers, we have the privilege of witnessing moments of pure, unscripted emotion. We get to see true love between partners, the bond shared between father and daughter, mother and son. Wedding photographers see moments of melancholy, anticipation and elation, and we see the tender balance between love and loss when a parent gives their son or daughter away, and suddenly realises how time is never enough. We see the pride in grandparents’ eyes and the innocence in little kids playing tag without a care in the world. A wedding really is so much more than just two people tying the knot. It is the coming together of generations of stories, of families joining and a couple sending out a message of hope.

As sad as we are to be missing out on weddings in this time, we are confident that once the fairy lights are back on and the music plays, we will all have a renewed appreciation of getting to spend time together and celebrate! May we never take each other for granted.

Dr Seuss really says it best; “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

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