Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Still Getting Married in COVID-19

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When Jamaine and Ilsha Johnson initially chose June 12th as their wedding date, they imagined a celebration of love and laughter with family and friends gathered in a church.

But their planning took place before the coronavirus clamped down on weddings and large gatherings.

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Photo credit: jmichaelimageryweddings

So on August 7th, after many postponements, the couple went forth with a wedding of love but with a petite ceremony in a house—small bridal party and close family in attendance.

“It was an interesting experience. We decided only to invite our immediate family and bridal party.

“While it was awesome having family there, it still was a bit of a downer that none of our friends could share in the experience with us. Obviously, everyone wore masks and also socially distanced themselves.”

This is the case with some couples who are planning petite size weddings to suit the COVID-19 protocols and have chosen to go forth with the wedding, in spite of.

No one knows when it will be safe to gather in large groups and which date to shift plans.

Since the implementation of the national lockdown, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has announced several protocols for weddings, based on the impact of the virus on the country.

Gatherings for weddings dwindled from 30 to 15 to 5.

The newest stipulations brought heavy criticism on the government after a destination wedding was granted permission to be held in Harbour Island, which hosted a crowd of guests not practicing social distancing.

And the day Dr. Minnis announced the newest stipulations for weddings, a couple Steffon and Shaquel Evans rushed to wed before the weekend lockdown.

They told a local daily that they never anticipated that they would arrange a wedding in mere hours, after initial postponement.

Like the Evans, Jamaine, a musician and Ilsha, a singer and lawyer have had to postpone their wedding four times since the mandatory lockdown.

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Jamaine is a bass player in the Ira Storr and the Spank Band
Ilsha sings onstage at an event

“The Covid-19 pandemic definitely shook up or wedding plans…With every announcement the prime minister made, our plans had to be adjusted, for the better and for the worse.

“It started to get frustrating especially with the uncertainty. The planning had to be swift to adapt to the ever-changing lockdown measures. We definitely went through it in terms of planning,” Jamaine said.

Jamaine said the instability that the pandemic provided, was the reason he and his bride decided to stick to the August 7th date.

The couple said they realized that the global situation was not going to get better anytime soon to allow them to have the wedding they originally planned, so “we decided to go with what we had.”

Ilsha said, “The ultimate goal was to get married, even without the pomp and circumstance. Being married was the most important thing, so as long as it was still allowed, we pushed forward regardless.”

The couple is enjoying wedding bliss under a national lockdown.

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