Love in times of Covid: Prisoners get married in Shanghai – Science et Avenir

A recorded wedding march, guests at a safe distance and a white dress topped with a blue mask: chained to Shanghai for a month, the couple nevertheless celebrated a “slightly surreal” wedding.

China’s largest city locked down its 25 million people in early April to counter the worst outbreak to hit the country since the first wave in early 2020.

But for the Australian-Belgian couple, postponing the wedding is out of the question.

Under the distant gaze of their parents and friends, Janelle Nuyts and Matthew Mitchener wed on Saturday via video call to a celebrant in the United States.

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Then the lovers organized a wedding banquet … in the parking lot of their house. Case: Only the day before they found out that they could leave their apartment on the condition that they stay inside their residential complex.

The newlyweds were treated to jets of rice thrown by a handful of neighbors, and in the distance, an employee in full suit disinfected the aisles of the outdoor parking lot.

“It was a bit surreal,” says Matthew, 35.

“I thought I was going to get married in a tracksuit,” says Janelle, 33, until she received a wedding dress sent by a friend at the last minute. “Once I put on the dress, everything changed.”

The couple have been trying to get married for two years, facing a slew of administrative hurdles since China banned foreign marriages in 2019.

They cannot marry in their embassies. There remained the option of an online marriage in the United States, which was decided in March when Janelle and Matthew found out they were going to be parents.

Now they are waiting for their marriage certificate to arrive in the mail.

“We didn’t expect it to be so romantic,” says Janelle.

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