Anil Boodoo 45 and Reshma Boochoon, 38, had been planning their wedding since 2019. They had hoped to tie the knot on March 28, 2020, but with the threat of the coronavirus pandemic globally forcing travel restrictions, closure of major institutions and businesses and a ban on mass gatherings—wedding congregations not exempt, a decision was taken by the pair on Monday night, to postpone their wedding.

In a telephone interview, the couple tells Guardian Media, they haven’t even thought of just hosting the ceremony.

“Our decision was just made last night, so we don’t have any definite plans just yet. We would have to meet with our pastor and we’re really deciding as we go along,” Boodoo said.

The Rio Claro couple’s guest list heaped 200 people inclusive of family members who were expected to travel from abroad to attend. They say, those family members who are T&T nationals, would no longer be coming given the measures in place to mitigate the spread of the viral hindrance.

Boodoo and Boochoon are not certain when another projected date for their wedding would be decided.

On Monday Prime Minister Dr Rowley Keith Rowley in his response to the coronavirus pandemic and this country’s steps in curbing its spread, announced the continued closure of all schools including tertiary institutions to April 20, 2020; the closure of all bars, the shut down of air and sea entry points to non-nationals for the next 14 days and a ban on gatherings numbering beyond 25 people, except under unavoidable circumstances.

Boodoo and Boochoon’s wedding postponement joins that of many other couples across the globe seeking the same, as they take steps to safeguard against becoming vulnerable to the virus.

Wedding stakeholders feeling the bite

Guardian Media reached out to a couple of stakeholders in the wedding industry to find out how these wedding cancellations and postponements might be impacting them. In a telephone interview with the wedding production company, Rink Films, co-owner, Leon Henry, he said his company has been getting cancellation and postponement calls.

“Even today we got a cancellation as a client said they were not having beyond ten people at their ceremony,” Henry revealed.

He said he was also currently awaiting decisions by his international clients. Henry believes the months of April and May would pose the greatest challenges for people in his field, noting the company’s last business before Rowley’s announcements was last Saturday.

He said for people in his field they are generally concerned by the loss of income.

“We are small businesses and we pay taxes. We are not seeing any olive branches being extended to small businesses. I guess it would be a time where we find a way to rediscover,” said Henry.

J Autums owner, Jeuel Marie-Green, on the other hand, told Guardian Media, it was business as usual on her end.

“My bride is still getting married in April. I still have appointments booked. Even my clients from various islands are still reaching out to me.”

Oddly she said business for her has increased during this period.

L Edwin and Events founder and director Lisa Edwin was forced to postpone her annual Caribbean Weddings and Events Exposition that was carded to take place on March 28 and 29.

In a Facebook interview, Edwin who has now pushed the date to April 25 and 26 said she has been impacted greatly with the turn of events as a result of the coronavirus.

She said, “A lot of our social and corporate events have been cancelled which means no income in my industry. The thing is, we still have our bills and rent to be paid and our landlords have nothing in place to assist us.”

Pastor: Take advantage of having economic weddings

Seventh-Day Adventist pastor, Clive Dottin, is advising couples against postponing or cancelling their nuptials. Instead, he said, “now is the time to take advantage of having an economic wedding.”

In an interview with Guardian Media, Dottin, the pastor who officiated soca giant Machel Montano’s Red House wedding back in February, said he often sees couples who delay their wedding day to have a big bash, but with the economic strain the world has been going through pre the coronavirus, it is wise to have a more economic wedding.

“People can get married privately too. We can marry people privately until this coronavirus goes away and have the receptions after those bio storms blow over. We are going through a storm, but no storm lasts forever and we must do our best to look out for each other,” said Dottin.