Kenya: Covid-19 - the Uninvited Guest At My Wedding

8 December 2020

Nairobi, Kenya,

Like most girls, I dreamt of a fairytale wedding from a tender age and had already figured out every detail of the ceremony, except my Prince Charming, who took years to come, but arrive, he did.

We scheduled our wedding for May 1 in Nairobi. Invitation cards were sent out, vendors booked, venues selected, bridesmaids and groomsmen chosen, suits bought and dresses sewn.

My gown was scheduled to arrive exactly one week to the wedding from China, but then, Covid-19 had other ideas. It invited itself to the party, throwing our plans in disarray barely two months to D-day.

Coronavirus was a foreigner to Kenya. No one knew how to manage it, and when the government announced restrictions on social functions to curb the infections, things took a 180- degree turn for us. With mass gatherings banned, wedding ceremonies could only accommodate 15 people, which meant my waving goodbye to friends and family along with my12-tier, multi-flavoured cake, reception dance, speeches, and the roast goat my family eagerly awaited.

It hurt that in the blink of an eye, Covid-19 not only shaved off my guest list of 1,500 people, but grounded my gown in transit in Dubai. Thankfully, my amazing gown vendor provided another gown for free, easing my fears.

The day of the wedding was, indeed, beautiful and glorious. Prince Charming and I exchanged our vows before our parents, siblings and officiating pastors in what was arguably the smallest wedding of 2020. My mother-in-love, affected by the lockdown in Western Kenya, missed the wedding. If I had a chance for a do-over, I would have another wedding as my gift to her.

Regardless of the drastic alterations we made to our original wedding arrangements, there were moments of pure joy. For one, my husband and I had ample time to indulge in a five-hour photoshoot after the wedding ceremony.

Still, I can't help but wonder how much fun it would have been to host a reception with friends and family, or whether I should have postponed my wedding and waited for a more "favourable" time to host the one of my dreams.

In any case, one thing I know for a fact is the trajectory of a pandemic is unknown. Its course and end are unpredictable, but we can dare to make the best of every moment, seizing every opportunity that comes our way, just as my husband and I did.

God, after all, made everything beautiful in its time.

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