2020 has been an awful year for events. Whether you’ve honed a career organising them or were planning a once-in-a-lifetime gathering like a wedding, the far-reaching spread of COVID-19 has left many in limbo.
And while many couples thread on uncertainty, facing new caps on events and the unclarity in the new year, school teacher and IT engineer Rebecca and Chris Mallia Bugeja decided to go ahead with their plans to get hitched.
“Our wedding had already been postponed from 2019 to 2020, and then to 13th June 2021, Rebecca said, explaining that the clash of her UK masters’ graduation was the reason for the first postponement, while the tragedy of one of their best men dying in a car crash last year was another blow.
“We had been planning our wedding since 2016 and another year of uncertainty due to COVID-19 was not something we wanted to endure,” she added.
But with no Saturday available for June 2021, the couple decided to go ahead with a 10-person civil ceremony in Valletta followed by an intimate photoshoot and sit-down dinner – down from their initial plans to host 430 guests.
“Crying was in the books almost daily – I assure you, and the stress and sadness of postponing twice was very real. I empathise with everyone going through this for the first time, let alone a second or third.”
Their decision to bail their rescheduled wedding plans cost them over €6,000.
This includes lost venue and catering deposits and the bride and bridesmaids dresses. Luckily, the photographer accepted their idea to capture a smaller wedding and the florist gave half their deposit back in plants.
They decided to livestream the ceremony to the 400 invited guests, but due to a loss of internet connection, they resorted to recording it and posting it to a closed group on Facebook.
And despite all the glitches to their hitch, the couple doesn’t have a single regret about getting hitched in the pandemic.
“To those of you thinking of doing this I cannot tell you what to do, I can only tell you that I thought I’d regret it but really we don’t. We have photos, beautiful memories and a wonderful story to tell,” the newlyweds said.
The Mallia Bugejas hope to host their 400 guests for a church ceremony next year if the situation stabilises.
“We just decided to make the best out of the situation and it was the best decision ever.”