A Renewal Of Vows Ceremony Over Zoom, During COVID-19 – AG Celebrants, Dubai.
When Bride Club ME vendors AG Celebrants were contacted by Dubai based couple Jonathan and Laila, to write and conduct their Renewal of Vows Ceremony months ago, none of us could have predicted how the world as we know it, would have changed.
Jonathan and Laila married on the 6th April 2018, in the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Sydney, Australia. They then decided that on every anniversary, they would renew their vows. Below, Jenny Acklam of AG Celebrants talks us though how they navigated the current COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the couple still got to celebrate their vow renewal over an emotional ZOOM ceremony. Over to Jenny!
A Note From The Celebrant
The first choice of venue had been a remote piece of beach area at one of the lovely hotels here in Dubai, The One and Only Royal Mirage. The date was set, the venue chosen, now we just had to write the couples ceremony. Within a few weeks, everything changed, lock down began all over the world due to the pandemic, and within weeks, restrictions were put in place across wedding venues worldwide and travel in general. We started getting use to the phrases such as ‘Social Distancing’ and ‘Self Isolation’, with taglines such as #Stayhome and #Savelives.
Laila’s parents, who also live in Dubai, kindly offered their back garden for the ceremony. There were to be no guests. A very intimate and special event for the couple, led by myself.
We carried on with our plans, and then at the eleventh hour, we were delivered a directive that no one was permitted to leave home unless they were key workers or for emergencies. Now, none of us wanted to cancel or postpone. The 6th April was chosen for a good reason.
During the lock down period, my husband and I, William, also a trained and qualified Celebrant with the UKSOC, and managed to polish up our skills using the popular video calling app Zoom. We all decided to continue on and conduct the ceremony over zoom. Just the three of us. This was a first for AG Celebrants and I did wonder how it would feel.
Laila was wearing a beautiful white dress and Jonathan was looking smart in shirt and dare I say, shorts. (Seems to be the uniform of business men and women working from home all around the world!)
We then began with their very own private, special renewal of vows ceremony. Although it felt odd not to be able to give them a hug in person, there was also something very unique about delivering their ceremony from our home into theirs.
Was delivering the ceremony this way ideal? Who’s to say? Was it special and unique? Definitely. Will they remember it? For sure. And what a story for their children in years to come.
We are living through a period of history that children will study one day at school. In these uncertain times we are having to postpone and cancel many events, but one thing we can never cancel is love. Stay safe everyone and in the words of HRH The Queen (and Vera Lynn), We’ll meet again.