FOR two years, Nobert Moyo and his fiancée Mihlaemihle Sidambe were looking forward to celebrating their love through a wedding that was slated for April 18, coinciding with Independence Day.
They had been painstakingly planning, saving money and paying service providers in advance so that the day that means so much to them could be big day to remember the rest of their lives.
The date they had chosen was perfect as it is during the wedding season in Zimbabwe and on a holiday.
But, who would have known that a pandemic that started in Wuhan city in China in December last year would dash the nuptial plans of Nobert and Mihlaemihle in Bulawayo.
Social gatherings, including weddings in Zimbabwe were this week banned because of the highly infectious nature of Covid-19, a disease that has killed thousands worldwide. Showing how serious Government is about the pandemic that has killed more than 19 000 people globally, Chief Justice Luke Malaba on Monday directed the country’s civil courts to cancel all pre-booked weddings.
Nobert and Mihlaemihle are among many couples in Zimbabwe who have been forced to postpone or cancel their wedding.
When planning a wedding, many couples pay deposits for wedding venues, wedding dresses, the cake, food, DJ, MC and car hire, among other costs in advance. “We’ve been planning the wedding for two years since 2018. Like any other couple that plans a wedding, we had made part payments to service providers,” said Nobert.
The couple, just like many others who were planning to be joined in holy matrimony during this period, has been forced to postpone their wedding indefinitely.
Norbert says what pains them is that most of the services were charged in US Dollar which they had to source from the black market.
“The pain and suffering that we endured was that most service providers were charging in foreign currency and it was very difficult to source it. We had to buy from the black market where the exchange rate keeps changing.
“Trust me, having to plan everything on our own in the prevailing economic situation in the country was never easy,” said Nobert.
He said given the amount of money they had spent, they at one time contemplated going ahead with the wedding with a limited number of guests but later took the hard decision of postponing it.
“At first when the Government announced that there can only be a gathering of not more than 100 people, we were determined to go ahead with our wedding as planned. A few days later the number was reduced to 50. We realised it was not feasible to go ahead as this meant the wedding was going to be attended by just our parents, service providers and bridal team only,” said Nobert
He said having a 100 guests at a wedding was not easy because just relatives alone can be more than a 100.
“We then decided to move the wedding to August 1 in order for us not to incur any more losses in the planning process. Although we had our welcome boards and invitation cards printed out, we just had to deal with that loss and face the reality,” he said.
The new August date is based on the hope that the situation regarding Covid-19 will have improved by then resulting in the lifting of the ban on large gatherings.
“We’re hoping that by the time we get to August, this pandemic will be over to enable us to go ahead with our wedding. We thank our service providers for being so understanding and making an undertaking to provide the services in August,” said Nobert.
All service providers said they will not charge extra for the postponed wedding and the only challenge is that of the cake which is ready.
“The cake is ready and we’re now in communication with the guys who made it to see how best it can be preserved or if there’s need to make another one,” said Nobert.