When will weddings be allowed?

The Coronavirus has impacted weddings in South Africa. One of the most repeated questions from engaged couples and also wedding suppliers is:  When will weddings be allowed?

To get there, let’s start here. Where are we now?

Our research indicates that during April, May, June 2020 a staggering 97% of weddings in South Africa have been postponed, rather than cancelled. At first couples were slowly postponing their wedding, until more recently – after government announcement, postponing weddings became most couples first option.

The 3% remainder are either undecided or have chosen to elope in their back gardens, still on their scheduled wedding day, with just an Officiant.

Of the 97% of couples who have postponed their wedding, about two thirds have postponed their wedding to the remainder months of 2020. The other third of couples have postponed their weddings to 2021. We consider this statistical data too, when analysing when will weddings be allowed in South Africa.

Bride and Groom Marry at Home during Coronavirus Restrictions

Bride and Groom Marry at Home during Coronavirus Restrictions

Couple Reality: Our Options

Newlywed Sarah (Port Elizabeth) told us:

“Weddings are a part of our big dreams. There’s the civil marriage part and then there is the wedding celebratory part.  History assumes these two go on the same day. We’ve tried to ‘make peace’ with us having to postpone the wedding of our dreams, after three years of planning.  At this point, we actually just wanted to get married you know. So we did the civil part on what would have been our wedding day normally.  We got married by our Officiant on 6th June 2020 in our back garden.  But our huge wedding celebration day is now planned for early 2021.

I still want to walk down the wedding isle, so everything we dreamed of for our wedding will still happen. The only difference now is that we don’t sign the piece of paper on our big wedding day. We even still having our pastor and blessing ceremony.  There are no changes to our wedding reception, except the date.”

In contrast, Engaged Eloise (Durban) told us:

“We want that big wedding day. We’ve planned this to the last detail. Our wedding was supposed to be on 2nd May 2020.  So now our plan is to postpone everything to early 2021. All our suppliers have been really supportive. We do not want to have our marriage at Home Affairs first. Gosh imagine what happens if I fall pregnant before our ‘wedding day in 2021’!? No, I want to look beautiful and it’s all about us at our wedding. Plus I feel getting married now and having our wedding party later will take the big bang fun out of our actual wedding.

So we have for sure postponed our whole wedding. I am definitely not having a marriage officer marry just us two at home.  I will get that wedding day I’ve always dreamed of, it’s only a matter of time. We’ve made peace with knowing it’ll come, but just not right now. We’ve waited 18 months so far, so another few months is possible. That’s ok and this hasn’t changed our love for each other. If anything this lockdown hurdle has concreted our love deeper for each other.”

Father of The Bride and Bride Walking Down the Wedding Isle

Some insight from the Wedding Experts: Some timeline of when weddings will be allowed:

Couples have spent months and sometimes years planning this beautiful, elaborate wedding event.  Most couples want that celebration and wedding party. Wedding Planner, Kate Naude told us: “I suggested to my couples to do the civil marriage ceremony now, and then have a large wedding reception in 2021. However my couples did not digest my recommendation well.  They want to do their wedding in one go and will wait until they can.”

Wedding Planner Kate says that most smaller weddings are postponed to the remainder of 2020, and larger weddings are postponed to 2021.

Founder of South Africa’s Largest Online Wedding Shop Tracey Lloyd says: “The wave of coronavirus has impacted everyone and everything. During level 4 and 5, marriage registrations were not permitted. Home Affairs has since permitted marriage registrations during level 3. A burning question is – when will weddings be allowed? We’re assuming that from level 2, smaller wedding gatherings will be permitted. Level 1 will likely permit wedding gatherings with much less restrictions, but with caution. It’s just a matter of time that our Government announces the date of level 2.

Much larger weddings of a couple of hundred guests will likely be paused for a few months. For sure, weddings will be somewhat transformed in the future. However weddings will continue. People will never stop getting married. We are going to need weddings more than anything, I believe this with all my heart.  Weddings will continue. It is only a matter of time.”

Shop Owner Tracey says people will never stop getting married. We are going to need weddings more than anything, I believe this with all my heart.

Bride and Groom Wedding Celebrations

Bride and Groom Wedding Celebrations

A wedding venue in Gauteng enlightens that:  Given the bizarre nature of the Covid-19 virus as it’s swooped through our world, it’s probably inevitable that many weddings will now be booked during ‘week days’ towards the end of 2020 and during 2021 too, if the weekend dates are taken by other couples. Weekend weddings were prevalent (and it’s likely that for most venues too by now, our weekend wedding dates are almost full in 2020). However to fit all our future weddings – brides and grooms may have a preference to consider a week day wedding, rather than waiting until 2022 for their wedding, when they’ve already been inconvenienced by this virus.  Book your wedding venue and wedding date as soon as you can. It’s not a question of when will weddings be allowed, but rather it’s only a matter of time – continue planning.

“To fit all our future weddings – brides and grooms may have a preference to consider a week day wedding.”

In summary

Couples in South Africa have many logistics to incorporate in the elaborate planning of their wedding.  A burning question is when will weddings be allowed. We’ve determined that statistic show most couples have postponed their wedding, rather than cancel their wedding. Two brides shared their plan of action.  And then Kate says most smaller weddings are postponed to the remainder of 2020, and larger weddings are postponed to 2021.  With Tracey’s insight, weddings will continue. People will never stop getting married. For sure, we are all going to need weddings almost more than anything.  It is only a matter of time.” For some wedding transformation, read this article for further insight: The Future of Weddings.