Getting Married at Home During the Global Pandemic with Nadia from Lebanon




Nadia, from Kuwait, wanted to have the perfect wedding with her Lebanese partner in beautiful Italy. But their dreams fell apart as the Coronavirus came about, so they decided to get married at home.

Nadia: “My husband kind of knew that this isn’t going to be a one or two week thing. That it was going to probably take a while. I think he had that instinct that it makes no sense to wait. So he told me ‘let’s call your dad and do this’.

Nadia and Ali are from different sects of Islam, but they had a sehr marry them on video call.

Nadia: “Our sehr sent us the contract on WhatsApp, so we had an entirely digital legal part of our union, our marriage. And then the wedding part is I think whatever we decide is the wedding. We wore our Sunday best and took pictures in our garden. We celebrated by doing a little ceremony and swap our rings.” 


Originally we were going to do the “Jalwa” celebration on April 20th in Kuwait right before Ramadan. Where everything would be green, I would also wear green and gold, and have a green cloth on top of my head with little girls praying over me. The cloth would have to hit my head. And then my husband comes in, we cut the cake. It was still going to be small with our family, at my grandmother’s house. And then we were gonna do our wedding in Europe in the summer. But it seemed like even then everything was so uncertain. In all senses and circumstances I think my husband made the right decision for both of us. We decided that we are going to do our own little thing and it was ok with us.


He said “ok, let’s get married today” and then within two hours we were married

Quote: “He said “ok, let’s get married today” and then within two hours we were married.”

In our culture my father has to approve or has to be a witness, so the sehr had to call my father to arrange everything. (…) Because our courts are all closed right now, we have to register our marriage contract once the courts open again. But we are legally married. 

We were on video call with this officiant, he marries us and says all of the words of a marriage. And all of the sudden I was in the middle of getting married. I didn’t wake up that day thinking that I was going to get married. (…) And then I went back to the kitchen and cooked and we ate and it was a normal day other than that.


What was going through your mind when you realized that you’re going to get married today?

Nadia: “I have a 20 year old dress that I put on and he had this cute suite. We went in our garden. That was the day when I got emotional and felt something inside. Even if nobody was there, that was really all that mattered. I think what Corona did with us makes us think on a molecular scale. Makes us think on a more essential scale. That’s why only essential workers are allowed to work. Otherwise everything is at the stand still. 

Us getting married this way I think it’s a gift more than anything else. It made me appreciate what it means to be with my husband. I wanted all of these dresses and then God slapped me in the face and said ‘this is how you are going to get married!’ I’m really blessed and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I would have really loved my family to be there, but at the end of the day I’m really happy that it was just the two of us. I can’t wait to tell our kids the story.

A wedding is what the couple decides is the wedding. It’s not what other people say! (…) All that mattered really that me and him were there for that promise. And what I love the most about ours is that we were next to an olive tree that is 200 years old. So it gave us a lot of energy being around it and I think this olive tree kind of blessed our wedding and hopefully blessed our union and our love that lasts as long as this olive tree.” 


“You give value to the things that happen in your wedding.“


Nadia: “We are in the middle of a really really difficult global situation. I needed to be next to my husband, and I think he figured that out. So nothing at the end mattered more than us needing to be with each other in this time. This is a time that nobody has ever seen around the World. We need the people closest to us right now. We need to be with the people that we love and love us, because it’s a difficult time.” 

Ali: “It’s like an opportunity to us. To take it now and not to wait like 6-7 months. It’s not worth it at all. It was fantastic for me when I called her dad and he told me “yes, go for it!” 

The second day when we took our pictures and uploaded on social media people started celebrating with us and wishing us a great marriage. It was amazing! There was no headache, no pressure, we were very light, very happy. I think it was the best decision. Better then preparing for 6-7 months and get worried if the people will like our wedding or not.” 

Nadia: “The pictures were very important to me, because one day when we have kids I want to be able to show my kids that this was a special moment for your parents. That this is what we had, this is what we did for each other and we did it ourselves.” 


I would rather, in the future when things calm down, have multiple little wedding celebrations with all of our friends and families from wherever it is, and just continue celebrating our wedding. This is my excuse to continue celebrating, because I never had a real wedding.” 


“We need to be progressive and no more being chained by traditions that are just holding us down!”

Nadia: “I think Corona is changing the equation of how all of us communicate and how all of us relate to one another. It’s going to be a really really strong shake to some of the misogynist traditions that we have. Maybe some of the deep seated traditions that aren’t going to hold up in these times. In times where we are being tested this heavily. Where our core is being tested. We are being shaken to our core. Asked to wake up. We need to think in a more practical, efficient, effective way. In terms of the environment, in terms of politics, in terms of economy, in terms of socialising. We need to be more effective, we need to think about the future. We need to be progressive and no more being chained by traditions that are just holding us down!

Corona is more than just a pandemic. It’s a pandemic of a wakeup call, and it’s a libertarian revolution. We are going to operate differently after Corona. It’s going to be a whole new world order. And whoever is ready for it is going to be ready for it. And if not, you didn’t catch the train.” 


Connect with Nadia: @iamnadiaahmad

Loyac Lebanon:


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Although I was born in Serbia, graduated in Italy and have been living overseas for 14+ years, I'm very proud of my Hungarian heritage.
I love documenting my life adventures, trying out healthy recipes and herbal remedies, or going on family trips in our new home, Canada.

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