6 minutes reading time (1204 words)

Weddings Under Lockdown...

Most couples who had their weddings planned this year all of a sudden had their plans turned upside down. 

The wedding, is a very big event in the life of any couple. Especially after the roora/ lobola/ bride price has been paid, then real fun begins. It takes months to plan the perfect day and it comes with stress, meltdowns and disagreements but also with joy and excitement. But it's all worth it in the end with a beautiful bride and a dashing groom riding off into the sunset. However, with the global outbreak of the COVID-19, national lockdowns have brought with them restrictions on event gatherings and wedding gatherings have not been spared. In Zimbabwe, a national lockdown was announced initially for 21 days, and then indefinitely. Most couples who had their weddings planned this year all of a sudden had their plans turned upside down. Some have cancelled, some postponed and some have decided to go ahead.

We spoke to a few couples that went ahead with their weddings and who were willing to share their experiences and this is what we got. 

The Decision

For most couples who made the decision to go ahead with their weddings, it was mostly because they were so close to having their union blessed and had already done quite a bit off planning so the the idea of postponing with no date in sight was quite devastating. 

No pandemic could stand in the way of them beginning their journey together after all at the end of the day declaring their vows and being blessed is the most important part. They had already done the work, worked hard to put everything in place, there was no reason to put it off and big celebrations can always come later. 

Attempting to cut down the number of invited guests was especially a nightmare..


While wedding planning is already stressful in itself, the pandemic brought more challenges. The challenges were wide ranging including trying to get refunds from service providers who could no longer offer services, uncertainty on official gathering regulations and guidelines, uncertainty on when things ordered from outside the country would arrive with most boarders being closed and challenges with rightsizing the guest list. Attempting to cut down the number of invited guests was especially a nightmare for most couples; which sekuru or mainini or mother's friend from church do you leave out on this special occasion? Can you imagine the stress? With the government having reduced gatherings to only 50 people and the call to social distance, surely this seems quite impossible given how our people do not RSVP and always come with additional guests of their own.

Some Positives

However, Zimbo's have always been known to make a plan when the odds are against them. As one couple put it, this new normal has also been a blessing in disguise because it has brought with it the option of "budget weddings", reduced numbers usually means not having to spend a lot. The pressure of having a big wedding is always a burden and being forced to invite every relative, friend and colleague can really take a toll on a new couple's finances. So many have welcomed this new script and are embracing the small gathering/ budget wedding approach.

This new script appears to be a lot more freeing in many ways. The couple can now splurge on the things that matter to them as the guest budget is significantly reduced. Some are choosing to spend more on their attire and photography as this holds the memories that will live forever. Catering for some has now just been reduced to cocktail menus with finger foods. Other couples are having gatherings from as little as 10 people then save the big festivities possibly for after the pandemic dies down. However, for other couples once the wedding is done and dusted, they are ready to move on, as one groom put it "Zvavharana"! 

Family units must seated together, and the traditional fill up a table may not necessary work

Some Tips

The obvious most important thing for lockdown weddings is ensuring the safety of all your invited guests. It is essential that you take the necessary precautions. This is something that cannot be over looked. Make sure that you are in control with how your guests are travelling. Try to avoid people who do not live together to be in the same mode of transport. Social distancing is important to maintain even though it is difficult, there must always be a no mask no entry policy. Family units must be seated together, so the traditional fill up a table may not necessary work, smaller spaced out tables will work better. Sitting arrangements during ceremonies must also observe the recommended 1-2-meter social distancing. Hand-washing is mandatory, and there should be several designated spots throughout the venue with foot operated hand-washing stations or automated hand sanitizers. Some have also gone as far as fumigating the venue before the guests arrive. If you can also check temperatures that would be an added bonus. For those who are in the 'at risk groups' it would be better to try and set up a live stream on Zoom or YouTube even Facebook so that they can watch from home and are not exposed.

For the couples that are still on the fence about this, I can assure you that it is possible to still pull off your perfect day. You can opt to DIY and save costs, pull in family members who have different talents and skills and they help you with things such as catering, décor, DJ and also a home venue given it is small numbers. However, you can still seek the help of service providers who are still very much available and also adapting to this new phenomenon. Congratulations to all couples that pulled it off!! and happy planning to those who are still at it!! 

Last Word

The article is based on feedback received from a few couples, thus we acknowledge it is not conclusive. We would really like to hear from more couples and wedding service providers who have managed to pull off perfect weddings during this crisis.

Also from couples who have pulled off roora/ lobola ceremonies during this crisis, there is talk of zoom rooras nowadays please feel free to share your experiences with us!

Inbox us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will feature you in our next article.

Alternatively drop your comments/ experiences below!! 

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