What does a city look like during the corona outbreak? Photographer Annelien Nijland is documenting the daily reality of one-and-a-half metre life. Part 4: Remote wedding.

Photo by Annelien Nijland

Arthur went down on one knee during a dangerous hike on holiday in South Korea. He and Meriam had just navigated a gaping abyss when he suddenly conjured the ring from his pocket. Still bouncing with adrenalin, Meriam didn’t hesitate to say ‘yes’.

They met ten years ago on 21 April at an Utrecht student association do. They’d planned to seal their love on the same date, with a simple wedding ceremony, a family dinner and a party. Until corona threw a spanner in the works. They cancelled the dinner and the party, and stripped their simple ceremony back to the bare minimum. No parents, no friends and one witness each, at a suitable distance. That’s all that was allowed.

Photo by Annelien Nijland

Getting married without their parents was painful. All things being equal, it’s something you only do once in your lifetime. But modern technology was there to help: the family was able to watch as they said their vows and admire the rings from close up via Zoom. Just for a moment, true romance almost made you forget the whole corona circus. What plexiglass, warning signs, 1.5 metres? Love was very much in the air. The bride was not the only one to wipe away a tear; her witness sobbed unashamedly throughout.

Photo by Annelien Nijland

Photo by Annelien Nijland

When they returned home, they found a decorated house and piles of cards and parcels. Champagne, cake and chat were all they needed for a party. Now they’re man and wife, Meriam and Arthur, and they can look back on a very special day. Let’s hope that their life is less remote than their wedding!

Photo by Annelien Nijland