“Love in the time of Corona” the bride said.
Around 150 participants cheered as my college org mates tied the knot in an unorthodox (but, I expect, soon to be normal) live-streamed zoom wedding held in California, USA.
Living in the time of Covid-19 means holding a traditional church wedding or any communal celebration is out of the question. But thanks to technology and the internet, there are many ways for people to connect and even celebrate special occasions such as this one.
Live-streaming events isn’t a new thing and for certain this isn’t the first live stream wedding that’s ever been done. But as a first time participant, I have nothing but good things to say.
I was surprised by the amount of people who came and witnessed the ceremony, albeit “came” means going online and spending an hour or so to participate in the live stream. There was around 150 of us, with different nationalities and watching from different parts of the world. This is because the groom works in a multinational company, and some of the couple’s family and friends are scattered over various time zones. Luckily, the local time for their wedding suited many of us Filipino participants, 6AM.
For me, the wedding felt even more intimate because I wasn’t concerned about how I looked, we didn’t have to dress up, put make up on or make special preparations other than wake up on time and make sure we tell our household we’re attending an important occasion online so we can have some privacy. (However, as to be expected, the family members of the bride and groom wore dresses and suits even if they were thousands of miles away.) I wasn’t tempted to chat with my fellow guest as we tend to during a big wedding, this is because each of us are looking at the live feed and are physically apart. My focus was on the wedding and nothing else, I made the extra effort to make sure I closed my browser and other apps during this time. On top of that, the groom geeked out the live stream setup with 5 cameras & solid audio which made a seamless and non-stationary viewing. I only found out about this geekery after speaking with him the day after, which in hindsight made the viewing much better.
Many of us shed happy tears when the couple spoke vows. There was a short “reception” after the ceremony where the couple cut and had a bite of their cake, and threw dove body soap and shampoo in the air in lieu of an actual avian. It was quirky, just like the couple we know.
At the end of the wedding live stream, my friends decided to make a separate zoom meeting that felt like being in an actual reception where you are seated with familiar faces and are able to catch up—sans the food (which is totally fine because y’all know we need to shed them quarantine weight!). Most of these people I haven’t seen in the last decade, but when friendships are deeply rooted, there’s a kapalagayang loob (“intimacy” or “closeness”) that years cannot erase. All in all, it was a lovely experience.
This is how I spent the early morning of my 73rd day of quarantine. And it comes as no surprise that love prevails regardless of what life brings us—in times of peace or war, good health or amidst a pandemic, nearness or distance, or what have you. An antithesis to “Love in the time of Corona or <insert here>”, today symbolized a celebration of choosing to love everyday, for love prevails over a great many things.