Ever since I was a little girl, I loved weddings and always dreamt of my own. There’s something magical about weddings, from the venue to the glamorous reception, from the music to the lighting and flowers. And of course, the dress and veil – in off-white lace, gently brushing against the aisle, and not to forget, the Snapchat filters posted on all social media platforms.
The global pandemic has prevented us from organizing large-scale weddings. Social distancing and sanitizing aren’t enough when you have an average wedding of a 1,000 guests at one of the mega ball rooms of the World Trade Center. But on a happy note, it has not been a time totally without weddings and surprisingly, the UAE has recently witnessed an increase in the number of people getting married, many of which were performed online during the lockdown period.
With the gradual ease of restrictions, the religious ceremony, which is the most important part, has been performed at home with the families of the bride and groom. Instead of the groom making his entrance towards the end of the reception for photos to be taken with the bride and the family, the bride and groom are together from the beginning.
It may be a sigh of relief for many people, who felt pressured by the society into having over-the-top, expensive weddings just to please everyone else. For couples who have hoped to celebrate their union intimately, they finally got the chance to do so as the big wedding scene is derailed.
The choice of many couples to press ahead and get married during the peak of the pandemic wasn’t expected especially in a culture like ours. But there seemed to be a consensus among young people that a wedding party was not necessarily required for the marriage to be complete. The celebration of marriage doesn’t have to take a certain structure or adopt any specific style.
For those who have delayed their wedding or are getting married now, it seems that the option of having a wedding is back on the table, with many wedding cards being sent out now and a number of parties held at certain hotel ball rooms announced. Of course, these weddings are being managed carefully, as far as the health and safety of family and friends, especially the elderly, is concerned.
What will weddings be like in 2021 is a question posed by many from the wedding industry, with the anticipation that even without restrictions, couples planning their weddings would be looking to have a simpler, more intimate wedding day. And why not?
Nada AlGhurair is an advocate in the making. She attended Latifa School for Girls and then pursued a Bachelor’s degree in law at an esteemed university in London. She’s currently studying for the NY Bar qualification. Through Gen Z Emirati, she’ll take us through her values, of consumption as access rather than a possession, while seeking an individual identity and addressing ethical concerns. She believes in taking advantage of technological advances when dealing with challenging economic, legal and social matters facing her generation.
Cover image credit: @hanayencouture