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Take a peek behind one of the first socially distanced weddings in Wales


Alasdair Stewart | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 07/06/20

The ceremony Included a Zoom Bible reading from the other side of the world.

Like many couples around the world, Elizabeth Facer and Ian Choi had to radically change their wedding plans when COVID-19 broke out. In what was meant to be a wedding with 300 guests on June 20, the couple finally said “I do” in front of just four people and under some very strict conditions.

The wedding, which took place in the bride’s home church of Capel Fron in North Wales, was one of the first in the country since the coronavirus outbreak began. The couple actually petitioned the government to be able to safely wed.

The 22-year-old bride shared with the BBC, “Once we realized it was going to have to be a socially distant wedding I went through all of the stuff in my head of like, it’s not going to be all of us at my parents’ house, it’s not going to be how I had imagined it.” However, she turned her head to all the positive things.

Wedding Joy

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The ceremony didn’t get off to the most romantic start — the couple had to listen to strict hygiene guidelines read out by the church’s minister outside the church before entering the building. The bride then had to enter the church that her parents had decorated 72 hours previously (to make sure the building was kept virus-free) through the building’s exit, via the bathrooms, with her father walking her down the aisle, keeping a strict 2 meters distance.

Once ready to exchange their vows, the couple remained safely apart from their only live guests: Facer’s parents, who acted as witnesses, the minister and the official registrar. Choi’s parents were unable to travel from their home in Hong Kong, but the couple ensured they were involved in their marriage by asking them to read from the Bible over Zoom.

With no singing allowed, the couple selected hymns that they played through a laptop and Choi acted as his own groomsman. The rest of the bride’s family watched the wedding via the internet from an unlikely venue: the local rail station.

Although the wedding reception might not have been as elegant as they’d planned, the couple drove off to a nearby estate, with their guests in separate cars, and they all enjoyed a picnic — tailgate style.

While the newlyweds may not have had their “dream” wedding, their dramatically pared down celebration demonstrates just how much the couple wanted to be united in the eyes of God, and that desire is something they’ll be able to celebrate for the rest of their lives together.

Cíntia Bonfante Pereira and Jose Vitor Flach

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