Love in time of Corona: ‘I am getting married… twice’
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Love in time of Corona: ‘I am getting married… twice’

In the fifth part of our series on couples who tied the knot - Covid style - we speak to newlyweds Lucie and Gil!

After Lucie and Gil’s civil wedding, they look forward to what they call ‘the main event’ next year
After Lucie and Gil’s civil wedding, they look forward to what they call ‘the main event’ next year

Get married… don’t get married; thousands of couples have had to alter their altar – or  bimah – plans this year in line with the ever-shifting rules. Kari Colmans interviews  resolute newlyweds who tied the knot against the odds in true Covid style

We are only a few seconds into our Zoom interview while I check names, ages and professions, when Lucie, 38, who heads up talent at a marketing software agency and Gil, 30, a data analyst, start giggling about their eight-year age difference. 

Eyebrows perhaps wouldn’t be raised had Gil been the older party, but while we will remember 2020 for many reasons, an antidote for sexism is certainly not one of them.

The couple were introduced in the summer of 2017, when they were set up on a blind date by family friends. They met at The Gallery bar in West Hampstead and the conversation flowed when, before they knew it, they were the last ones standing while the staff mopped beneath their feet. 

Gil was “intrigued”, it being the first time he’d gone on a blind date, while Lucie was “open-minded, but with no expectations,” she laughs. He jokes that this was probably a good thing: “I set the bar low,” Gil deadpans.

They were already planning the second date before the first had finished and, before they knew it, things were serious. 

“There was no game playing, no faffing,” Lucie clarifies, still giggling.
“And had we met online, he wouldn’t have even come onto my radar. Literally. He would have been excluded from my profile algorithm options because of the age gap.” 

We chat further about the age gap as it’s clearly a source of much amusement between them. Some of Gil’s female friends found it surprising at first, while the lads were generally “really impressed”. 

They recall a date in the early stages where they went to play miniature golf and were immediately given student tickets, no questions asked, which cemented the fact that they didn’t look off-balance at least. 

Two-and-a-half years later, Gil proposed in a very casual way one Sunday evening at home. 

Gil told Lucie they needed to have a chat. She thought it was something ‘serious’. “There’s something missing from your left hand,” he mumbled to himself, before dropping to one knee. 

Lucie’s parents were already in the know, as he’d asked her father’s permission. 

Gil laughs, remembering that equally dramatic moment, which sounds like a scene from Friday Night Dinner. “Lucie’s father is a little hard of hearing. I kept trying to whisper, ‘can we have a chat?’, but he couldn’t hear me. I ended up shouting it while Lucie was only standing a few feet away. Luckily she was too busy talking to hear him. His reply was, ‘about bloody time!’” 

Lucie had spent the day with her mother, who being so frightened of spilling the beans, had not said a word the entire time.

Gil and Lucie and furry friends

The couple never intended to wait long after their January engagement and set on August this year for their nuptials before Covid made other plans just a few weeks later. 

Their siblings arranged an online engagement party in April, in the depths of the springtime lockdown “before Zoom fatigue set in”, jokes Lucie.

After endless consultations with both their rabbis over double chuppah legalities, the couple decided on a civil ceremony this year, to be continued in 2021. 

“The idea of having a chuppah without all of our family and friends was unimaginable,” says Lucie, whose brother, sister-in-law and nieces live in
the US.  

They also didn’t want to disappoint their non-Jewish friends, who were beside themselves with excitement to see them “thrown up on the chairs”, along with all the other traditions.

Gil and Lucie celebrating their wedding!

So they set the date for the civil wedding on 30 August, the same date as the planned Part Two next year, so that they would only have
one anniversary. 

They tied the knot at The Gatehouse at St Albans Register Office with only 12 people in attendance, while other immediate family joined on FaceTime. Lucie’s brother delivered a reading over his iPhone.

“It was so strict on numbers that at one point my uncle had to leave the room so the photographer could come in!” she says. 

The ceremony was followed by a small gathering in Gil’s parents’ garden. The mums collaborated on catering, with Lucie’s mum making a wedding cake, while other family members added little touches to make it special, such as a wedding car to take them back and forth from the ceremony. 

At the ceremony

But despite having had such a special day – “I never imagined I’d actually say ‘I do’ like in the films,” says Lucie – Part Two, in a country manor in Windsor, will still be the main event. 

“We did the best we could to make Part One special, and it does remind you what it’s all about: getting married,” says Gil. “But we won’t feel married until we’ve stood under a chuppah,” Lucie adds. 

“However, you’ve got to do what works for you. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone likes to share those opinions! But at the end
of the day, I get to marry the love of my life twice. And not many people can claim they’ve done that!” 

 

 

 

 

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