Grand events such as wedding receptions have been cancelled or postponed to a later date since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
However, couples have continued to formalise their unions by holding solemnisations of marriage at Syariah Subordinate Court.
Newly wed Iyah HZ told the Bulletin she had to postpone her solemnisation from June to July and move it the Tutong District Syariah Court as she was unable to secure a slot at the Syariah Court in the Brunei-Muara District.
“We had planned for a June wedding,” she said. “But due to the pandemic, all the events had to be cancelled and our date for solemnisation re-booked.”
She added that the initial plan was to have a wedding reception at a hall.
“We paid the deposit for the hall, which thankfully, we had refunded,” she said. “As for make-up and catering services, we had them postponed to a later date.”
She also saw the pandemic as an opportunity to shave the wedding cost as they restricted the attendees to family members.
“Having the solemnisation of marriage held at a Syariah Court was unique in a good way,” she said. “They even provided a wedding dais for newly wed to sit and have their photos taken.”
A recently married woman, who wished to remain anonymous, admitted that she was initially saddened by the denial of a grand wedding as she had had everything planned out meticulously.
“We had everything sorted out, from the renting of the hall to the distribution of invitation cards to door gift selection,” she said. “The reception was supposed to take place at the end of March. But the outbreak meant no mass gatherings. So my family and I had no choice but to delay the date and inform the invitees of the cancellation.”
Understandably upset, she forged ahead with the union but limited the attendees to close family members only.
She was pleasantly surprised by how much she was able to save as a result.
“On top of getting all the deposits back, we spent less than BND2,000 on the whole wedding,” she said. “While there are pros and cons to getting married during the pandemic, for me the good outweighs the bad.”