The balcony as a new wedding venue
Ever since Romeo and Juliet, balconies have been associated with love against the odds. Now, social isolation means lovers have been using their own street side galleries as a venue to tie the knot in public.
A couple in northern Spain decided to host their wedding on their balcony in the town of Arnedo after the country's strict lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak prevented them from having their dream wedding party.
Jose and Deborah exchanged their vows on their apartment balcony while dozens of onlookers cheered them on from neighboring balconies and on the streets, with some holding flying banners with messages to congratulate the couple.
Even town Mayor Javier Garcia attended the wedding and symbolically officiated their marriage from the street below. A drone was used to capture the moment.
— Rioja2.com (@Rioja2) April 7, 2020
"Vamos a estar eternamente agradecidos a nuestros amigos y vecinos"— TVR Rioja Televisión (@tvrioja) April 7, 2020
Charlamos con Deborah y José, la pareja que celebró en su balcón de Arnedo la boda del año en esta entrevista https://t.co/lirEegjs7K pic.twitter.com/CWTmqO9Kg0
Spain has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 14 in a bid to slow down coronavirus transmissions.
Millions trapped at home
The restrictions have kept the nation's 47 million people inside their homes, with Spaniards only allowed to leave for necessities such as groceries and visits to the pharmacy or health clinic.
It seems balcony celebrations have become a trend, with examples in countries including the US, Lebanon and Israel.
In the epicenter
In the US, balcony weddings have propped up in the coronavirus epicenter of New York, as well as the southern coastal city of Miami.
In New York, which went into lockdown on March 20, a marriage official read aloud from his 5th floor window to the couple down below on the street with onlookers cheering on from their windows.
The coronavirus has killed more than 22,000 people in the US, more than anywhere in the world. About half have been in the New York metropolitan area.
just witnessed the most incredible thing. after being read a passage from “love in the time of cholera” from a marriage officiant 5 stories up, down below, these two souls were married on the streets of upper manhattan. what. a. coronavirus. moment. pic.twitter.com/8MBOj5VLlp— Talal Ansari (@TalalNAnsari) March 21, 2020
Meanwhile, in Miami, Benjamin Katz, 35, and Jamie Webner, 36, decided to have their wedding on their balcony in early April after they were forced to cancel their big day due to the coronavirus quarantine.
So they planned a Zoom online wedding with 150 virtual attendees.
Webner's sister even became certified online so she could officiate the ceremony. Neighbors acted as witnesses from their own balcony — about 4.5 meters (about 5 yards) away.
Their guests attended the virtual wedding from cities across the US as well as Greece, and the couple celebrated with takeout pizza and champagne.
Jamie Webner and Ben Katz didn't let a quarantine get in the way of their wedding day.https://t.co/R8yDWxeXeq— Miami New Times (@MiamiNewTimes) April 6, 2020
Couples held impromptu weddings in the streets, balconies, on rooftops and even in a supermarket on March 15, a day after the government restricted gatherings of more than 10 people, The Times of Israel reported.
In Jerusalem, dozens of guests partied, sang and danced from their balconies overlooking a courtyard to celebrate the union of two newlyweds.
חתונת בידוד בישיבת מרכז הרב: שני אנשים בכל מרפסת pic.twitter.com/6zetRcDWr9— יאיר שרקי (@yaircherki) March 15, 2020
At another wedding, people serenaded a couple from their balconies and sang the song Shevet Ahim Veahot by Idan Raichel, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Meanwhile, in Lebanon, a video of a coronavirus-themed wedding on a balcony was shared on Twitter.
Video of a creative #coronavirus-themed wedding proposal on a balcony in #Lebanon has been widely shared online, providing entertainment amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown in the country.— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) April 7, 2020
More here: https://t.co/KchG2gI5lE pic.twitter.com/sDKsNVZfxM
In the video, two men in full disinfection suits are lifted by a crane on to a balcony to greet a woman.
The man then climbs over the balcony, removes his gas mask and gets down on one knee. Onlookers applaud from afar as he proposed. The video went viral, sparking joy in yet another country under lockdown.