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Tying The Knot Online Virtual Weddings In Times Of The Corona Crisis











The wedding day is supposed to the happiest day of a lifetime. Thus, a lot of planning both by the couple to be and their families long precede this wonderful occasion. Dresses are bought, venues rented, invitations send, food prepared, the honeymoon booked, and many other bits and pieces organised. And then, out of the blue, everything is put to a grinding hold by a global disaster: The Corona Pandemic. Or hasn’t it? Yet and again, it is proven that love conquers all! Not only are casual dating sites in high demand – online weddings are booming just the same. In Abu Dhabi, the UAE,and all around the world.

How to make an e-wedding in the UAE official

Besides all the romance, the roses and the festivities, weddings also require quite a bit of official paperwork. In sight of the shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UAE Ministry of Justice reacted on April 12 by approving Muslim marriages via the internet. On their website, couples may find everything they need to make their bond for life official. Starting with the registration of the marriage contract up to an online wedding ceremony. Once all papers are uploaded and approved, the couples can connect with a cleric via video link. During this ceremony he will confirm the identity of the couple and witnesses and recite the Quran. After the ceremony and the validation of the marriage certificate by the Sharia court, the newly-weds will receive a confirmation by text message.

This service can be accessed on the website of the UAE Justice Ministry (www.moj.gov.ae) by following these steps:

  • Open the “e-service” option
  • Click on “e-Systems”
  • Choose “e-Zawaj”

As soon as all details are submitted, the Ministry of Justice will present an appointment to the soon to be husband and wife. Upon confirmation of the date, an online payment for the service is mandatory.

Onlineweddings can be huge

It might be true that saying “Yes, I will!”  in front of a tablet computer in your living room may feel a littleawkward. Even more strange is the sensation of being celebrated by friends and family, who are only present in numerous tiny video-frames on the computer screen. But to say that an e-wedding cannot be a grand event, would be far away from truth! The wedding of Rawan Alhalees and Mohammed Shaath is a great example. The surprise wedding party of the Palestine couple – both living as expats in the UAE – was featured in an article in the Gulf News. Their initial plan to tie the knot on April 10 this year was, as for many other couples as well, obliterated by the lockdown.

“I had 250 people on my wedding guest list. We also cancelled our 10-day honeymoon in Bali that was planned for April 12,” Rawan Alhalees stated to Gulf News. The venue was booked, all guests just about to travel to celebrate this beautiful event. One can only imagine the disappointment, when the Corona virus put an end to this joyful day about to happen.

The brother of the bride then had the idea to throw a virtual surprise wedding celebration. He called all their family members and friends around the globe. Shortly after he asked the two to dress up in their wedding gowns and to join a family conference call via “Zoom”.

Both where welcomed by over 50 loved ones who were dressed for the occasion. Cakes where backed and presented, music played, glasses lifted, tears of joy shed, speeches held, and blessings given. From Abu Dhabi, the USA, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and many other countries. The couple performed their first dance together, the cake was (virtually) cut and the couple enjoyed their e-wedding party for over 90 minutes together with their guests.

The bride confessed to the Gulf News: “I teared up during my virtual wedding as I felt so special that my family didn’t want my wedding date to lapse. They took out the time to sit in front of a screen for an hour just to celebrate our big day.”

Will e-wedding become the new normal?

Only God can tell. It is a fact that the Corona pandemic has changed our lives and will continue to do so. Remote working from our home office, video conferences and e-shopping (also for weddings!) will play an even bigger role in the days to come. But even the nicest, best organised, and elaborate e-weddings will have an extremely hard time to top the wonderful joy of a physical marriage and everything it entails. 

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