Getting married in Norway in the age of coronavirus

Getting married in Norway in the age of coronavirus
Lorelou Desjardins and her fiancé Ionut. Photo: Lorelou Desjardins
On Friday Lorelou Desjardins, the Frenchwoman who writes the Frog in the Fjord blog, will get married. But even with the worst coronavirus restrictions now gone in Norway, it will be very different from expected.
Here's her article on dating in the age of coronavirus for her Frog in the Fjord blog (although obviously she is not actually dating herself. 
 
No party 
 
“We were supposed to have a big party, which had to be postponed because we could not ensure the one-metre distance, even though we were ready to downsize the number of guests,” she says. 
 
Neither Lorelou nor her fiancé have been able to get any of their families and friends over for the ceremony (perhaps fittingly for someone who blogs about the differences between Norwegian and 'Latin' dating culture, she's ended up with Ionut, a Romanian). 
 
Only 12 people are allowed into Oslo's Rådhuset (City Hall) for the main event (which is nonetheless good news for the happy couple, as in March it closed for weddings completely). 
 
Lorelou said Norwegian friends were wary when she said she planned to hold the party at a rented venue, asking whether she planned to invite more than the permitted 20 people. 
 
“I had people saying they weren't coming to my wedding because I wasn't able to respect the one-metre rule,” she said. “Many Norwegians respect government regulations to the letter, usually to protect their loved-ones who are at high risk due to current sickness or old age.”
 
To reassure them, she has decided to hold the party in an Indian restaurant, which follows the guidelines agreed between the government and the restaurant industry. 
 
 
The restaurant has asked them to split the 12 or so guests into three tables and to sign a paper confirming that each group of four lives in the same household. 
 
The waiting staff will wear masks and each set of cutlery is reserved for different groups of guests.  
 
The couple had wanted to bring in a special cake from a French patisserie, but could not get permission. 
 
“Because of contamination risks they cannot accept that I take a cake from outside into the restaurant,” she explains. 
 
Desjardins, however, is at least in the fortunate position of having a fiancé in Norway.
 
Also, because she and Ionut have a four-month-old baby, their wedding planning has been very last minute, so they didn't have any major bookings to cancel. 
 
For them the big party will probably happen next year. 
 
For many other foreigners, however, lavishly planned weddings have been cancelled completely. 
 
Adeel Zahid hopes to marry his fiancé at a Muslim ceremony at the Dream Selskapslokal in Oslo. Photo: Dream Selskapslokaler. 
 
No parents 
 
Adeel Zahid, a German citizen with a Pakistani background, hopes to marry his Norwegian fiancé, who has a similar background, on July 18th. 
 
As an EEA citizen, he is allowed to enter Norway, and with gatherings of 200 people now possible, the wedding is technically feasible. 
 
However, under the UDI's new rules, his parents will not be able to enter, which he says makes an Islamic marriage impossible. 
 
“We want our parents to participate along with me as I am the only child of my parents and we live in the same household,” he says. “Marriage is a once in a lifetime event and without parents the marriage is not possible.” 
 
 
He says his parents are willing to go into quarantine for ten days on arrival in Norway, or to come only for two days around the ceremony. 
 
But the Norwegian authorities are replying to his emails by simply sending a link to the Q&A section on the UDI's website. 
 
“Why is it allowed for the bride or groom to arrive in Norway alone and not for his or her parents?” he asks. 
 
Ida Marie Rygg and her American fiancé Luke DeBoer. Photo: Private
 
No groom 
 
Ida Marie Rygg has been planning to marry her American fiancé Luke DeBoer for two years, with the date set for June 27th, and Luke already well-prepared to move to Norway to live with her. 
 
But on May 15th, they decided to postpone it, after the hoped-for relaxation of border rules left those overseas who are engaged to marry Norwegian citizens out. 
 
“We had hoped for good news that day, but there was no news for us,” Rygg complains. 
 
Today, she is still waiting for a change in the rulies that will  open the way for Luke to join her. “It is an emotional Rollercoaster,” she says. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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