weddings

"I went to a wedding on the weekend and now I feel like an idiot. But hear me out."

So, I went to a wedding on the weekend.

I know what you’re thinking.

Have you not been reading the news?

Why did you ignore the warnings?

What about that wedding that went viral because 37 people got coronavirus by attending?

Didn’t you think of all that?

Well, yeah. My partner and I talked about it for days beforehand, weighing up the pros and cons.

Like, pro: We get to celebrate our beautiful friends finally tying the knot after 10 years together. Our friends who were unable to cancel their wedding without losing all their money, who wouldn’t be in a position to do it again any time soon.

Con: that wedding that went viral because 37 people got coronavirus.

WATCH: All your COVID-19 questions, answered. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia

The thing is, as of Friday last week, the latest advice from the Government was that gatherings of under 100 people were allowed.

The wedding had around 60 guests, and was taking place at an outdoor venue within a huge garden. No elderly or international guests would be in attendance. We were assured there would be plenty of space to spread out and there was no arranged seating.

We also knew and were observing the ground rules about social distancing. My partner and I had self-isolated for over a week (apart from going to the shops for food, and the cafe for a takeaway coffee each morning.)

So theoretically, on Saturday morning, we were cleared to go.

On the drive there, we discussed our approach: On arrival, we obviously wouldn’t hug or kiss anyone. We would attend the ceremony, standing on the fringes of the group. At the reception, we would join in for toasts while keeping our distance from other guests, avoid the dancefloor, and then scoot off to our hotel.

The newlyweds had an amazing night, and while we caught up with old friends and made new ones, we all temporarily forgot about our predicament. We sat at a sensible distance and drank wine and joked about elbow-bumping and went home a little bit lighter for it.

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At the time of attending, outdoor gatherings of under 500 were still deemed ok. Image: Getty.
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On Sunday night, safely back in isolation, we turned on the TV. Prime Minister Scott Morrison was giving his latest address, and it seemed like he was talking directly to us.

Referring to the behaviour of Australians over the weekend, Morrison said: “What we saw was a disregard of those social distancing practices. This sent a very clear message… that the social distancing practices are not being observed as they should be.”

My partner and I looked at each other, utterly gutted.

"We shouldn't have gone," we said more or less in unison.

But the thing is, we went because we could. Our friends went ahead with their wedding because technically, they could. Around the country this weekend, thousands of Aussies went to cafes and parks and intimate celebrations because these gatherings followed the rules which were in place at the time.

The ambiguity around them did not breed indifference. It bred confusion.

In hindsight, we can see that our decision may not have been the right one. I'm not defending our choice. I feel like an idiot, so there's no need to assure me of it.

But we must remember: the advice is changing daily. As of last night, we have clear and definitive guidelines on social gatherings.

If we had a wedding this weekend, we wouldn't go. Because we'd know we absolutely cannot.

The author of this post is known to Mamamia. They have chosen to remain anonymous to protect their identity. Feature image: Getty.

The Australian Government Department of Health advises that the only people who will be tested for COVID-19 are those with symptoms who have either returned from overseas in the past 14 days or been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days. 

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000. 

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

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