Venues not cancelling weddings just yet, but you’ll have to trim your guest list to under 100

Shot of an unrecognizable woman holding a bouquet of flowers at a wedding
Shot of an unrecognizable woman holding a bouquet of flowers at a wedding

You’re about to see your family gather in celebration of the beginning of your new life chapter as you’re about to wed. Except, the president’s ban of public gatherings of more than 100 people may get in the way of your ceremony. 

The spread of Covid-19 in South Africa has been alarming, self-quarantining and interacting with people at arm’s length has been the order of the day for most. More so, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of safety measures South Africa will adopt includes travel restrictions that may impact your guest list. But first things first, is the venue you booked even available?

READ MORE: In sickness and in health: 3 000 masked couples get married in Korean mass wedding despite coronavirus fears 

For now, many wedding venues around the country are still open for business and still host weddings and receptions. Of course, the organisers have had to adopt heightened hygiene measures.

Known for its bespoke and luxurious wedding celebrations, The Forum Company is one of the wedding venue providers that are still holding wedding ceremonies. The wedding venue has committed to a complete sanitization of its buildings and grounds three times a day and making hand sanitizers available to all guests. 

General Manager at The Forum Company, Hitesh Panchal, says they have taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of their guests, one of which includes using the company’s vehicles to transport guests to weddings venues.

READ MORE: Chinese couple gets married in 10 minutes so the groom, who is a doctor, can get back to treating patients with coronavirus 

Hitesh adds that while they are still hosting weddings it’s up to the brides whether to have their weddings or not during this time. He says they have had a client cancel a wedding but only because they had international guests invited.

Belmond, which provides a number of wedding venues in Cape Town and across the world, has pledged to accommodate their clients who wish to change or cancel their bookings by waiving charges related to this should a client meet set conditions. Belmond has also confirmed it will adhere to the president’s call to not host more than 100 people at a gathering.

Vergelegen wine estate, which does not permit wedding ceremonies but allows for small wedding receptions, has taken recourse to close the establishment due to the Covid-19 virus. 

The wine estate situated in Sommerset West has resolved to close until 1 April 2020. “Our main concern is the health and safety of our visitors, our staff, and our community, so we are playing our part in helping to minimise the spread of this virus by limiting contact amongst groups of people. We are also escalating the already comprehensive cleaning and sanitizing procedures in our visitor and production facilities,” says its CEO, Wayne Coetzer.

READ MORE: All the times Naomi Campbell has made being safe from the coronavirus look fashionable

While the outbreak of the coronavirus creates additional tasks for organising a wedding and may add to the stress that comes with it, planning around your big day during this time does not have to be all doom and gloom. 

If you do decide to go ahead and have your wedding, while following the necessary safety measures, of course, there are ways to keep your big day enjoyable.

The Forum’s general manager for events Sven Crofton reminds us that weddings are an experience. “Make the thing [sanitizer] a part of the journey, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with giving hand sanitizer on arrival,” says Sven. “It makes you aware but it also makes you feel comfortable and feel taken care of, and it also adds to the experience.”

“If we have a wedding this morning and the whole wedding party is dressed in masks, then so be it, but at least they can have the fun together,” Sven adds.

Sven says there are small ways to implement increased hygiene efforts as well, like having hand sanitizers on the table, which can form part of the décor, to protect those attending the wedding but still ensure they have a good time. 

Would you attend or have your wedding during this time of Covid-19? Let us know here.

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