Wedding preparations are hard enough as is, but what happens when your wedding was supposed to take place in the early summer of 2020? You must improvise, that’s what! This is what Mariam El-Sayed and AJ El-Gohary did when they realized their plans have been altered by fate. Their wedding plans went from tangible to virtual and somehow, they had to go with the flow.
I clearly remember the day COVID19 was pronounced a pandemic. I panicked as we were already going through our wedding preparations, down-payments made
Of course, it took them time to come to the conclusion that their wedding “platform” will have to change. Since no one expected this pandemic to sweep the world into chaos for so long, it seemed logical to think all will go back to normal sooner rather than later. “I clearly remember the day COVID19 was pronounced a pandemic. I panicked as we were already going through our wedding preparations, down-payments made,” Mariam continues, “everyone reassured me that all will be okay by June.”
To make matters worse, other factors were at play, such as the place of residence of Mariam’s in-laws. “AJ’s family lives in the UAE, so it was impossible for them to come to Egypt with the lockdown and flights on pause,” Mariam explains. They kept putting off taking a decision regarding that matter, in the hopes that the pandemic would magically disappear!
We didn’t want COVID19 to ruin our year, and that’s when we decided on doing a Zoom wedding
Yet, the closer the wedding date approached, the more Mariam and AJ wanted to take the leap and have their wedding online. What is better is that their family and friends were immediately supportive, “we didn’t want COVID19 to ruin our year, and that’s when we decided on doing a Zoom wedding,” Mariam recalls.
As it turns out, planning a virtual wedding was pretty straightforward, “we prepared everything in two weeks! We had the wedding in our apartment, so it was easy to prepare safely,” Mariam says. She got creative with items she already had for her original wedding plan and repurposed them very cleverly. “I had 100 Chinese lanterns which were supposed to be wedding decorations. We used some of them to replicate the theme I had in mind,” she explains. With the addition of a few final touches such as some balloons and flowers, their Zoom wedding was prepared. And it looked as beautiful as a Pinterest dream!
Because safety comes first, we set up a sanitization station for guests by the door
For Mariam and AJ, the priority was to keep the members of their very limited guest list safe. The list included a few friends, Mariam’s parents and sister, and AJ’s brother. “Because safety comes first, we set up a sanitization station for guests by the door. Masks, alcohol bottles, gloves, and so on,” Mariam elaborates. As for the rest, technology was key, “we got a Zoom subscription, mobile stands, and my jumpsuit was planned with the dressmaker over Whatsapp! I only went once to try it out,” Mariam continues, “and God bless online shopping, because I was able to order everything I needed.”
We are thrilled to announce it all went according to plan, and Mariam’s virtual wedding was a success! Even the Ma’azoun was a laugh riot, “he was hilarious, and kept making jokes about alcohol bottle sprays,” Mariam tells.
One cannot help but consider this a wonderful possible alternative for traditional weddings. Mariam agrees, “definitely, it’s less of a hassle, more personal, and far less expensive,” Mariam concludes.