Abu Dhabi: Amid coronavirus restrictions, an Abu Dhabi-based couple got hitched on video conferencing app Zoom this week.
It was a far cry from the church wedding they had envisioned, but Liam Bek and Solene Montiege couldn’t be happier that they can now get through these trying times as a married pair.
“In these uncertain times, it is comforting to know that we are married,” Montiege, 36, a horseriding instructor from France, told Gulf News.
The wedding was officiated by Reverend Canon Andrew Thompson, senior pastor at St Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of about 100 family members and friends.
“We conducted our first Zoom wedding under unusual extenuating circumstances, but then, the coronavirus is making everyone think of new ways to do things. The couple wanted to get on with their lives, and since their wedding had already been booked before we closed, we went ahead with it when the couple set it up,” Reverend Thompson said.
“I was surprised at the great sense of occasion though,” he added.
The wedding had originally been booked for March 26, but the UAE closed down churches and places of religious gathering on March 11.
Instead of putting their wedding on the backburner, Montiege came up with an idea.
She contacted the church, and after getting approval, she and Bek, 40, a British teacher, sent out invitations to a Zoom conference for 4PM on March 20
“Our dresses are still at the store, and I obviously couldn’t go to a hairdresser or get my makeup done. Still, we picked some clothes we had with us. I set up a background for the space using flowers and plants from the garden, and dressed up. We didn’t know how it would go, but it went beyond our expectations,” Montiege said.
The half-hour service was led by Revered Thompson, who stood behind the church altar fully robed. During the service, only the pastor, the couple and some witnesses were on the screen.
“After it was over, guests turned on their camera, cheered for us, and we shared a few drinks. It was a two-hour Zoom party,” Montiege said.
The couple still want to have a wedding party when restrictions are eased, but they are just happy to be together for the moment.