In what must be a first for South Africa and, possibly, the world, a couple from Wellington in the Western Cape got married on Saturday by Skype … at the height of South Africa’s lockdown.
Dawid Herbert and Kayla Rivalland began planning their big day last year. They reserved the venue, decided on the menu and even had special labels made for the champagne, complete with the date they planned to tie the knot: 18 April, 2020.
The guest list was finalised and everything was in place when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the initial 21-day lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The couple remained optimistic, as the initial lockdown was due to finish just before their big day. But as rumours of an extension gained pace, they decided to postpone the function until after the lockdown was lifted.
Rivalland was determined to go ahead and tie the knot on the day she and her fiance had agreed upon, though, and she swung into action to devise a plan.
Guests were contacted and told the ceremony would go ahead via Skype. They were invited to share in the couple’s special moment.
Rivalland and Herbert set up two computer screens. On one, in front of which they stood, the minister performed the ceremony online. The other was positioned behind them so their guests could follow proceedings.
“It was something I just felt we needed to do,” said Rivalland. “Lockdown was, well, such a downer after all the effort we had gone to and I felt we owed it to ourselves to get married on the day we had chosen.
“It was strange to not have all our friends and family with us, but it was a really special day and I’m so happy we decided to go through with it. Once lockdown is lifted, we will arrange a party to celebrate and, hopefully, all those who were meant to attend will be there.”
And the honeymoon?
“Well, for now we will have to have that in our back garden,” said Rivalland.
“But once we are free, I am going to insist Dawid takes me somewhere special, where there are long stretches of white beach and a warm ocean!”