Getting Married During COVID-19: A Good or Bad Idea? 

For the past couple of weeks, Samnang and Sothie were not getting enough sleep, since they were too busy following the rolling coverage of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This pandemic has interfered with the livelihood of all people in Cambodia and around the world in a lot of ways. With each new day comes a new topic, but it’s always related back to the virus. Today’s topic revolved around tradition. Should wedding ceremonies still be celebrated during this time of pandemic? 



Samnang: Well, a wedding ceremony is a very precious time for many young people who are preparing to form a family of their own. They are eager to know what married life really feels like. This is a once in a life time opportunity, Sothie! You can discard all the other stuff, but this one is surely people’s life story! 



Sothie: Samnang, it does not matter if you think like that, COVID-19 is not a topic you can turn your back on. It is a matter of life or death. The wedding ceremony organizers think that this is the story of their life. However, they must also concern themselves with the lives of their guests. They cannot risk exposing everyone to infection. Now, people fear crowded places, since this is how infection speads. I need to tell you that a lot of guests were talking to one another, saying that right now they do not feel very comfortable coming to the wedding, yet they feel they have no other choice. If the wedding organizers fully understand how their guests feel, they might not go ahead with it. 



Samnang: I know, but if all wedding protocols are already set in place such as the wedding venue, the food, the tables and stuffs, what would you do?  



Sothie: It is complicated here. But, the truth is that, not many guests are excited about going. You see, some wedding ceremonies are not getting enough guests. Which mean, the organizers have to be very considerate. Based on my own thoughts, wedding organizers should delay their upcoming ceremonies until a time in which the situation is less dangerous. Please avoid celebrating “the time of your life” during a time of social tension. The happiness of your marriage may be affected by this distressing situation. 



Samnang: If you want the wedding to be postponed, what is your solution for all the people who have already spent their money on organizing a wedding? 



Sothie: Well, for you it may seem complicated, but, it really shouldn’t be. If the service providers have any understanding of the current situation, then they need to refund the money to the organizers. Now, a huge chunk of the problem has been solved. Just be more open-minded and help each other. Samnang, have you heard this? Some countries only allow less than 10 guests to participate in a wedding ceremony. I can be a bit annoying, but I really want to tell you that many people truly do not feel that good joining the wedding ceremonies now. It is a dilemma, Sothie! 



Side note: Wedding ceremonies in Cambodian culture usually host between 200 and 1,000 guests at a time. This presents a clear danger to all involved, because people can spread the virus even if they have no symptoms. Now is not the time to be celebrating in such large numbers.


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