National Post (Latest Edition)

The perfect pandemic wedding

- Jamil Jivani



Celebrity marriages tend to be fleeting. We ought to know better than to get attached to them, but many of us can’t help it. I care about the union between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West precisely because I hope theirs will be different than the typical celebrity marriage.

Since tying the knot, West became a devout Christian activist, while Kardashian became one of the more effective voices for criminal justice reform in the united States. They seem to make one another better, and together they set a positive example by celebratin­g their children and openly supporting one another through West’s mental health crises.

Thus, reports that Kardashian is contemplat­ing filing for divorce hit me, and many others, like a punch to the gut. Especially right now, when young couples need all the encouragem­ent they can get to work through adversity and make it to the altar. To borrow a 2020 cliché, “now more than ever,” we need examples of healthy, loving relationsh­ips that can inspire young couples to uphold the institutio­n of marriage.

Last year was obviously a record-low year for marriages, as the pandemic made the modern wedding an impossibil­ity in many cases. Plus, the current economy and cost of living is making it hard for young people to achieve financial security and afford a home to start a family in.

Thousands of Canadians deferred their trip to the altar to 2021. yet there’s little evidence that this year will see the return of weddings that feature dozens or hundreds of guests travelling from near and far to share in the festivitie­s.

I know what it’s like to face uncertaint­y about when, how or if a wedding will take place. My wife, Maya, and I went through this last summer. We were supposed to get married at a large hotel with 250 guests who were scheduled to come in from half-a-dozen countries. Every detail was thought out, from the flowers, to the chairs, to the songs.

But our dream wedding didn’t work out. It was difficult to accept that the vision we had for our big day would not come to fruition. Still, we had a choice to make. Instead of letting the pandemic dictate when we would take the big step forward, we decided to have a wedding within the restrictio­ns that were imposed on them at the time.

On Aug. 1, 30 of us gathered in a small hotel venue without a dance floor. Only a fraction of our friends and family could attend. And for part of the wedding, we even had to wear masks. yet looking back, we don’t regret it at all.

Sure, the pandemic makes the stress of finding a venue, creating a guest list (and editing that guest list multiple times), negotiatin­g with vendors and buying rings even more difficult than each step would have been under normal circumstan­ces. And honeymoon options were limited. We took a trip to the rockies, which are beautiful, but far from the beach getaway my wife would have preferred.

ultimately, though, we had to ask ourselves the same question that’s before many couples who are hoping to get married this year: do we want to get married, or do we want to have a dream wedding?

If the dream wedding is most important, then, by all means, continue waiting. Maybe you can have the wedding you hoped for later this year, next year or whenever the pandemic is finally behind us.

If your primary goal is to be married — that is, to make a sacred commitment to love and honour one another for the rest of your lives — then you may want to stop waiting. your lives can move forward despite the health restrictio­ns that are in place. Love is not locked down. And, hey, you’ll even save some money.

The institutio­n of marriage is good for us. On average, married people live longer and lead healthier, more stable lives. despite these truths, we can use all the help we can get to encourage young couples to see marriage as more than just a reason to throw a big party. Even celebrity marriages might make a difference.

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 ?? KENZO TRIBOUILLA­RD / AFP / GETTY IMAGES FILES ?? Kim Kardashian and Kanye West leave their residence ahead of their 2014 wedding. Jamil Jivani says news of
their possible divorce hit him hard.
KENZO TRIBOUILLA­RD / AFP / GETTY IMAGES FILES Kim Kardashian and Kanye West leave their residence ahead of their 2014 wedding. Jamil Jivani says news of their possible divorce hit him hard.

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