Love and marriage in the time of lockdown

Jesicka Goei and Yun Wang thought lockdown had put paid to their plans to have an October wedding. It turns out, they were wrong.   

With Covid-19 level 3 step one restrictions in play, there were only ten people in the church in Auckland: the couple, Fr Tony King-Archer, Ms Goei’s parents, Mr Wang’s mother, their two witnesses, the organist and photographer Emily Chalk.  

Ms Goei said they decided to have the wedding while her parents were still here in New Zealand.  

“My parents were only here to visit but, because of everything, they got stuck in New Zealand,” Ms Goei said. “But my grandfather, my mum’s father, fell ill.”  

Her mum wanted to go back to Indonesia. “They didn’t really know when they’ll be able to come back because of the MIQ spots and everything. But because we already had our wedding sorted for October, we decided to go ahead,” she said.  

After quickly borrowing a veil from a friend and frantically searching for an appropriate white dress at the back of her wardrobe, Ms Goei glided along the aisle of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland to say “yes” to her chosen lifetime partner and husband, Mr Wang.  

“I didn’t have my wedding dress, because I can only pick it up at level two,” she said.   

She laughingly explained that she had “the old” and “the borrowed sorted”, but the only thing new that she had was her make-up, which she obtained from the Chemist Warehouse.  

Between her and Mr Wang, Ms Goei is the more outgoing one. They met at the university through a mutual friend.   

“We didn’t hit it off,” she said. “In the beginning, he didn’t like me, but I grew on him.” They later bonded at a party after finding something in common.   

Ms Goei said they are both “chilled and laid back”. This is why, she said, the very small and intimate wedding worked for them.  

 “We’re not the type of people who like attention, I guess. Our wedding party is not that big anyway. Just 25 (people) really. I like intimate settings,” she said with a laugh, “but this was more intimate than we expected.”  

Ms Goei, who is the Catholic in the relationship, said their parents almost despaired of them getting married. They have been together for nine years.  

“In the beginning, I was afraid to get married because, growing up in a Catholic family, you get married once and that’s pretty much it. I was afraid whether or not I will choose the right person that I will be with for the rest of my life,” she said.  

If she chose the wrong person, she “will be stuck with that person for the rest of my life”.  

But then she realised, “I don’t want to be with anyone else but Yun. That’s sort of when I decided that I might be ready to get married”.  

“I know everyone says that a marriage nowadays is like a piece of paper. But to both of us, it means so much more. To make it official now actually feels good.”  

 

   

 

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Rowena Orejana

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