The national lockdown was implemented to flatten the curve of coronavirus infections and protect residents from illness and death.

So going ahead with a legally forbidden gathering, including a wedding, is not only a crime, but it puts all your guests' lives at risk.

A KZN bride, groom, priest, and their guests learned just how serious a contravention of lockdown regulations is when they were arrested during a lockdown wedding after police received a tip-off. 

READ MORE: Quarantined Spanish couple gets married at apartment window after 200-guest wedding is cancelled

The most loving gesture you can offer your family and guests - if you had already invited them to your wedding - is to cancel the event until they can safely attend when coronavirus infection is no longer a threat.

Putting them in a situation that forces them to break the law to share in your special day is not an option.

Everyone is affected, from actress and singer Jennifer Lopez having to put her wedding plans with Alex Rodriguez on ice to other celebrities both locally and internationally, having to cancel or postpone their celebrations.

When lockdown measures were introduced, a local couple cancelled their wedding and lost R80 000 in the process but are grateful that they did their share to keep their loved ones safe.

You could also have a wedding celebration at home with only the people you are in lockdown with. This is just the option filmmaker Dan Mace went for when he made cardboard guests and celebrated his wedding to Gabrielle Esterhuizen with their dog at home while in lockdown. This was after the couple had to cancel their wedding until it is safe enough to plan a new one.

How to unplan your wedding
 Be creative if you decide to go ahead and have an intimate home wedding for yourself and live-in family members. Illustration photo by James Schultz on Unsplash.


Despite how you choose to deal with your would-be lockdown wedding, you will still have to cancel your original plans.

Kelly Thuynsma, co-founder and creative director of Stark events shares five tips to help you cope with cancelling your wedding or changing your wedding date.

Allow yourself to be emotional about the cancellation or postponement

Yes, sure, we're going through far more significant problems on a global scale, but it's okay to feel anger, sadness, frustration, and just plain disappointment. 

You had set your heart on it and had been planning this day since your engagement (possibly before), so you're allowed to be emotional. But remember, these emotions should not be allowed to consume you. Give yourself time to grieve, but bounce back from it and plan for the future.

READ MORE: Italian couple who were married for 60 years pass on hours apart after 8-day coronavirus quarantine

How to unplan your wedding
Cancelling a wedding may be tough, but you can always keep your dress and other items already purchased for later. Illustration photo by Liz Martin on Unsplash.

Enlist the assistance of your wedding vendors

Communicate your decision of changing your wedding date or cancelling to your service providers. Don't panic about needing to open the conversation as this is a global pandemic, and everyone is in the same boat.

Be open and feel free to ask as many questions as possible — your wedding planner, venue, and other service providers will gladly assist in making this transition as easy as possible.

Don't forget to check with all your vendors what their policy is in terms of refunds and postponements.

READ MORE: SA wedding photographer stuck in New Zealand on lockdown - 'Flights were between R30 000 and R110 000'

Let your family and friends know 

Sit down with your fiancé and work out a plan of action as to how you'll go about communicating your date change to your guests.

Due to your wedding date changing, you will most likely have some guests who can no longer attend due to prior commitments. While this isn't ideal, be gracious and try making alternative plans with these guests post-wedding. Who could say no to an intimate post-wedding celebration?

Be as flexible and accommodating as possible. 

We know that you've set your heart on certain aspects regarding your wedding day, but unfortunately, it is now out of your control.

Take a moment to process it all and tackle the rest of your wedding planning head-on, but with a clear and open mind — you could also cancel and wait this difficult time out if your mental situation is such that you are unable to plan at this point.

Celebrate Your Original Date

You chose your wedding date for a reason, and we encourage all couples to go ahead and celebrate it. Despite not being able to host your actual wedding on this particular date, plan something special with your partner.

An intimate, candlelit dinner paired with soft music and champagne on ice sounds idyllic to us!

Have you cancelled an event because of the national lockdown? Tell us about it here.

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