Okay, so the original plan — the dream — was a destination wedding: an exquisite, rollicking respite to the white-washed shores of Páros in the Greek Cyclades, complete and replete with that European summer feeling, a goddess-like tan, and enough dolmades and baklava to make every guest want to break plates as they shout, “Giamas!”. 

But, alas, Covid came and stole not only our unborn sun-kissed memories but also, as South Africans, our right to travel almost everywhere… And even though you pressed pause for a year, and it means that your bestie (who’s also your bridesmaid) can’t fly in from London, and that your beloved godfather (who’s vulnerable and can’t risk it) is also most likely to miss it; the show, like life, must go on — Covid or no Covid… 

So, in addition to keeping things socially-considerate and in accordance with “The New Nup” normal, how do you include those very special people in your life in your very special day, even when they’re really far away? We’ve rounded up some top tips to keep those closest to you, if not in person, with you in celebration! 

  • Have a bachelorette online!

We have allll the apps (HouseParty, Zoom, FaceTime) on our iPhones to gather together our best, far-flung girlfriends from around the globe for the Ultimate Girls’ Night In. Task a bestie who’s far away with the honour of coordinating a virtual bachelorette to remember: complete with a dress-ups, games, gifts, an 80s playlist (duh!) and copious bottles of bubbles. Socially-considerate stripper? Optional! 

  • Give those closest to you special to-dos 

Whether it’s Zooming in to give you the final yes/no to the dress, helping to choose the song that you’ll walk down the aisle to, recording one of the readings for the service or popping up — live! — on-screen to deliver a speech during the reception, there are so many ways to make your sister, landlocked in Oz, feel like she’s still a big part of your big day. Here, tech becomes your NBF and, when in doubt, hand over everything tech-heavy to your MC, or event planner!

  • Send a bouquet or a bottle of bubbly

To make that extra-special person know and feel that they will be sorely missed, send a small bouquet (to match yours, obvs) or a bottle of bubbly on the AM of your wedding! Pen a little note that affirms that they’re exactly where you need them to be: in your heart!

  • A backstage pass to the bride!

Just as important as the mani, pedi and pre-wedding jitters are the pre-wedding calls to those you love! Be sure to set aside some time to have a glass of champagne online with the ones you miss the most as you get ready to wed!

  • Share your party playlist

Make a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music of all the songs (yes, the bangers and the heartbreakers) and share with would-be guests so that, wherever they are, they can still feel like they’re part of the beat!

  • Post a post-wedding postcard 

Go old-school and send a very special snap of your special day to those who weren’t able to make it, along with a personalised note of how, even though they were missing, you felt them there.

  • Plan for a BIG party next year!

We saved the best tip for last because… what’s better than one wedding? Two! While it may be time to step into married life, there is no reason why you can’t split your special day into two parts: A memorable ceremony with friends and family this year, and the party you’ve always dreamt of — with everyone you love — next year! (We can most certainly assist with this and help you to believe and receive your big fat Greek dream!)

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