A wedding banquet in the time of Covid-19

March 12, 2020 12:35
The wedding guests partake of the 10-course banquet in bento boxes – in the privacy and safety of their home. Photo: Internet

Getting hitched is, of course, a very special occasion. It requires a lot of hard work and forward-thinking. Especially the wedding banquet that follows. You need to choose the venue, decide on who to invite, their sitting arrangement, the food to serve, the music to play, etc.

It's daunting even if you hire a wedding planner – and very expensive. Which is why I find it hard to fathom why some people choose to go through it more than once in their lifetime.

Now how do you hold a wedding banquet at the height of the coronavirus pandemic? Remember the advice of health authorities for people to avoid crowds and gatherings.

Will your guests be ill at ease as they gather inside the ballroom? Should you be wearing face masks? Would they?

Photos of a wedding banquet went viral on social media this week after a young couple decided on a unique way to hold the event that would minimize the risk of Covid-19 infection among the guests: a takeout wedding banquet.

Some netizens thought the pictures were fake, but the caterer, Choi Fook Wedding Banquet Group, swears it did take place in one of its venues.

General manager Ho Kin told SkyPost that the couple indeed ordered 159 dinner boxes set on 13 tables for their guests on Tuesday.

Ho says he understands the couple's decision to push through with the banquet. 

"A wedding happens only once in a lifetime,” he says. “We knew what they wanted and we thought it could be done."

In fact, the couple had postponed their wedding in November in view of the turmoil resulting from the anti-government protests. They did not want to postpone it again.

I personally know how hard it was for guests to attend a wedding banquet at the time. I was invited last November to such an occasion. Twice, actually. One party was cut short at 9:30 p.m. because MTR had closed several stations on account of the protests and it was difficult to find a ride back home.

And so the couple's nuptials went ahead. The guests, after the wedding ceremony, went to the venue in Hung Hom, and each one got a set of bento-style dinner boxes to take away. 

The guests started arriving at 7 p.m., and after listening to the speeches, watching the couple's video presentation and lots of laughter and picture-taking, they called it day before 10 p.m.

The 10-course dinner-in-boxes included small servings of noodles, roast pig, crab meat, etc. All the guests seemed happy and went home satisfied.

Of course, nothing could replace a traditional, honest-to-goodness wedding banquet. But these are extraordinary times requiring extraordinary measures.

We just wish that after their very memorable wedding, and after this global pandemic blows over, the couple will live a happy and fulfilling life together.

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EJ Insight writer