Penny Choi, a fleet manager, and Nashkin Choi, a painter, from Sydney, Australia, were due to get married last month.

The $30 000 (about R550 000) wedding was going to be an enormous celebration, but the couple, who are expecting a baby, had to cancel due to social distancing rules.

After having to postpone the wedding when social events were limited to 100, and then 60 people, they decided they could not keep changing their plans. Also, their baby is due in a few months, and they were adamant about wanting to share a second name when their baby was born.

So, they decided to have a digital wedding at their home, and guests were invited to attend via a Facebook live stream. The couple had two witnesses driving over and an officiant to wed them legally. They kept as many of the traditional wedding aspects as they could.

They did hair and makeup, had their first dance, cut the cake, and had their first kiss.

“Our original wedding plan was to get married at our chosen venue, we were having his family fly in from Korea for two weeks, and my family fly or drive in from different parts of Australia,” says the 31-year-old bride.

Penny further explained what they had already done in preparation for their cancelled wedding.

“We had usual wedding preparations and even booked a bus for our guests at the end of the night to get them back to the city, so it was easier for them to get back home or to their hotels,” she says.

“We went back and forth as to whether or not to have it at home as the shutdown rules kept changing, and the final decision was only made about a week before prior to the wedding.”

Eventually, it was Penny’s mother and her brother who came to be their witnesses.

“We decorated our lounge room the morning of the wedding with candles and fairy lights, but other than the dress, travel costs for my mum and brother to get here, and the celebrant fee, the quarantine wedding cost us nothing. Being announced as husband and wife felt so special, thanks to technology, we were still able to share it with our loved ones in some way,” she says.

A few friends managed to surprise the couple later in the day with a Facebook live stream where they played a few wedding games.

The couple has since re-scheduled a wedding celebration on their anniversary next year when everyone can make it. “We’re just happy that we’re married and can stop thinking about a wedding we had to miss, and now we have next year to look forward to, are married and ready for when our baby to arrive.” – W24