COVID-19 Global Diaries: ‘Our wedding left 42 guests struck down with the virus’

Emma and Scott Metcalf never imagined their honeymoon would be interrupted with shocking news from home. Emma recalls how their dream wedding became a living nightmare for their loved ones

When I married Scott surrounded by 120 guests, I remember being so happy hugging and kissing everyone. All of them are our loved ones and they made the day so special. The reception was one big party where we all laughed, danced and enjoyed every single moment.

We left Sydney for our honeymoon in the Maldives in a love bubble. Four days into the trip, one message burst the bubble. We found out two of our lovely guests had tested positive for COVID-19. It was a huge shock and it caused us a lot of worry. We immediately informed our other guests, directing them to get tested if they had symptoms and provided information to the health department.

As more and more of our guests tested positive, we knew the severity of the situation. So far, 42 of our loved ones are confirmed cases. Of course, we couldn’t help feeling some guilt that our beautiful day had now impacted so many people, even though we knew we hadn’t done anything wrong.

coronavirus wedding

Emma & Scott with guests at their wedding in March

On the day of our wedding – March 6 – there were no restrictions on events or travel bans in Australia. We never would have gone ahead with the wedding had we known what would happen. We have received negative feedback online for ‘putting people at risk,’ but we’ve been trying to champion a message of empathy and education.

When we landed back in Australia, both Scott and I (remarkably) tested negative, but we still self-quarantined for two weeks. It was really challenging being separated from our loved ones when all we wanted to do is help them. I couldn’t have got through all of this without Scott. He’s had to pull me off the floor a couple of times.

We’ve joked that we knew the universe would test us as a married couple, but we didn’t realise how strong it would push us in the first week or married life. Despite what’s happened, I will always remember our wedding as a day filled with extreme amounts of love.

Thankfully, three weeks after the wedding, we started getting messages from everyone saying they were now in the clear.

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