With the entire planet plunged into uncertainty because of the pandemic, 2020 is an unlikely year for life-changing decisions. Young couple Bea Fabregas and Nikko Ramos, just went for it and got married. How did they do it?
It was a stripped down ceremony. The bride wore a champagne-colored dress while the groom wore a white rose boutonnière to match. Behind the scenes, it was more complicated. Guests were tested and the ceremony was choreographed with physical distancing in mind.
Couples who want to defy the pandemic can learn from Bea and Nikko. With neither cure nor vaccine available, wedding planners must ensure the coronavirus doesn't gatecrash and sicken the party."
Nobody knows when this pandemic is going to end, and for us getting married was more important than what the wedding would look like. Given the challenges out there in the world, we wanted to brave them together instead of apart," the bride, a popular DJ, told reportr.world."
I have so much admiration, that's all I can say. They have all the reason not to, every reason not to," said their wedding filmmaker Jason Magbanua in a video. He called Bea the founding member of 2020 Brides club.
What's it like being a pandemic bride?
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THIS DRESS ðŸ¤ • You can’t exactly have a list of non-negotiables when you get married during a pandemic. Over the course of planning our wedding there were lots of things we couldn’t have, couldn’t insist on and couldn’t do much about. Looking back, though we had to make compromises on many things, this dress would still have been the same regardless of the circumstances. Slowly seeing it come together was a source of hope. It was a happy thought I’d keep going back to when my mind wrestled with all the changes. I remember my first meeting with Martin on zoom, and I think I gave the vaguest, most useless description in the worldðŸ˜‚ Thank you for turning my simple description into everything I never knew I wanted. @martinmbautista, working with you was a non-negotiable I got to keep in 2020, and I will be forever grateful ðŸ¤ ðŸ“¸: @patdy11
To be a pandemic bride involves a lot of acceptance and adaptability, according to Bea. Engaged on the first day of the lockdown, they knew the short engagement that they had in mind would be hard to pull off.
The quarantine has changed life as we know it—families were separated, and celebrations were postponed and later canceled. The couple had no choice but to share their joy with friends and family online, and away from each other."
I had a ring on my finger and I was alone in my unit. It was strange and equally sad to be going through all those emotions while checking the number of COVID cases per day. So I really couldn’t wait to get married," she said. Weddings are rituals deeply rooted in Philippines society. They are usually held with as many family members and friends around, which can no longer be done in a pandemic where there are strict guidelines with regards to public gatherings.
In a pandemic wedding, safety is a must
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The Fabregas WomenðŸ¤ • HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE MY SISTERS AND MOTHER?!? I’ve been smiling all morning going through our wedding photosðŸ¤ It was truly so special to get ready in the house we all grew up inðŸ¡ Thank you @patdy11 for these precious photos ðŸ¤ HAPPY FRIDAYðŸ¥°
As Bea and Nikko are both events hosts, and were aware of quarantine rules and protocols as they were unfolding. The pandemic will teach you a lesson in selflessness, she said, keeping in mind what could and could not be done with regards to gatherings. "You must think of everyone involved. You must test everyone! It’s not the most romantic thing to do before your wedding, but it must be done. By testing everyone you’re mindful of your suppliers, you want to make sure they feel safe around your family and that they can do what they do best without too much stress," she said.
It can be cheaper, but the ceremony is fluid.
Not every pandemic wedding tests all their guests. For those with a limited budget, they rely on following other protocols to keep their wedding safe. It's for this reason that a pandemic wedding is generally cheaper, according to event planner, Dhon Conwi, Weddings and Motifs.
"Nung una wala akong makitang reason bakit hindi ide-delay, but upon seeing my clients, I guess there are two things: yung walang kasiguraduhan na bukas and of course, financial. And it’s really more of having the reason now to get married at a lower cost, by keeping it intimate," he said.
Weddings take years to plan for some, which makes it even more frustrating for couples who were suddenly forced to postpone or reimagine their nuptials. For Bea and Nikko, some of their closest friends and familiy who couldn't be in the ceremony drove by in their cars and said their congratulations to the couple on the street.
"You have to be at peace that what you had in mind, mostly none of that will go according to plan. I laugh about it now, but there were many days that I struggled, cried, wrestled with the thought that such a momentous occasion had so many obstacles," she said.
According to her, taking the extra mile of making sure everyone tested negative was their way of making sure they can still celebrate it in the best way they can. It allowed them to focus on what truly matters.
"At the end of the day, you just wanna start your life together. I feel like it's better to do life together in the worst of times and just start now, and then it can get better from here," she said.
This story originally appeared on Reportr.world.
* Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.