Lockdown couple wed in front of cardboard guests

Lockdown couple wed in front of cardboard guests

With the current lockdown in place in South Africa to stop the spread of coronavirus, weddings aren’t the big events we know them to be.  As large gatherings are banned,  Cape Town film-maker Dan Mace got crafty to make sure the seats at their backyard wedding were still filled without breaking any lockdown rules.

Mace and his fiancée, Gabrielle Esterhuizen, had planned on tying the knot but their wedding was unfortunately cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Shortly after, Mace contracted COVID-19, meaning the pair had to stay shut inside for weeks as he battled the symptoms. After making a full recovery, Dan still wanted to go through with their wedding, albeit it on a much smaller scale.

He devised a sweet plan to surprise Esterhuizen with an impromptu wedding in their backyard. He made rings out of guitar strings, built an altar and spent all night creating cardboard cutouts of “guests” to witness their wedding. In the morning, he surprised his love.

We spoke to the couple about their wedding that was cancelled and how the ingenious backyard celebration came about.

“Our wedding was planned for 21st March, the same day we found out Dans test result. We were looking forward to our afternoon wedding in Stellenbosch. I think the most special thing was having a day we could share just the 2 of us, we know the bride and groom are usually busy the night so to be able to share this day was incredible. Just to celebrate with all our family and friends in one space,” said Esterhuizen.

Mace explained to us how his idea came about.

“I think the idea came from something that I probably would have chosen to keep more personal between Gabs and I.

“But the reason I decided to create a film about is because the world needs positivity right now and I really wanted to share a positive story about two people in love. It’s something that is relatable.

“With the right idea you can still create the same sensation as a big wedding with lots of people all around. With some creativity and thinking outside the box you can do something that is even more special than a generic wedding. Through utilising creativity and restriction you can make something really awesome.”

Mace continued, “I wanted to showcase ways to be creative during lockdown and I think it combined itself with the question I asked Gabs on camera about how she felt about postponing the wedding. I hadn’t asked her that before and had assumed that it made her bummed. Once I heard her say it though I knew I had to do something about it.”

Take a look at their big day below:

Feature image: video screenshot

Article written by