Gabriella (Gabi) Smith and Lloyd Morris had everything arranged for their wedding, scheduled for Friday, November 20, however their plans were turned into chaos last Wednesday when the state government announced South Australia would go into a full lockdown as of midnight, and weddings would be banned.
“I was in Adelaide at a spa with my mum and bridesmaids and was listening to the press conference on my phone, and as soon as the announcements were made, I just fell apart,” Gabi said.
Husband-to-be Lloyd was back home in Balaklava, dutifully writing his groom’s speech, unaware of the announcement until his phone started ‘going off.’
“We were initially gutted – we had thought any wedding restrictions might have seen more of a reduction in guest numbers rather than totally cancelling them,” Lloyd said.
“After getting engaged in December 2018 and making plans for November 2020 from thereon, the wedding and planning was constantly in our thoughts for quite some time, and having all of this change in a matter of words, only days out from the wedding, was absolutely heartbreaking.”
But amid the tears and hysteria, matron of honour, Gabi’s sister Jasmyn Koch, came up with an idea – get married that night!
“Gabi called me again with the suggestion, and initially I was overwhelmed at what needed to be organised, but as I had actually said to Gabi earlier in the week that if weddings were to be restricted further then I still wanted to marry her on Friday regardless, it helped me see through the overwhelming and anxious aspect of the day,” Lloyd said.
Gabi’s mother, Megan, contacted the wedding coordinator, florist, photographer and celebrant, and things just ‘fell into place.’
“Nothing was too hard for everyone – they were amazing and did such an incredible job,” Gabi and Lloyd said.
Jasmyn kept Gabi positive through what was at times an overwhelming day, and with help from their families, contacted all of the guests to advise them of the sudden change of wedding date.
“After making the decision to get married, things started to get more exciting as we worked towards our goal,” Lloyd said.
Gabi was attended by her sister Jasmyn, and cousin Bianca Smith, while Lloyd’s groomsmen were his brother Jordan, and friend Paul Bartsch.
“Paul had only recently moved to the NT for work, and if he returned he would have had to quarantine at a nominated facility, but fortunately his work suggested to remain in SA until after the Christmas/New Year break,” Lloyd said.
“We had an amazing network of people surrounding us and could not have pulled it off without every single one of them,” Lloyd and Gabi said.
“The night was incredible, we were so happy, filled with love and did our best to soak up what was such a raw and memorable moment.”
Their parents, Michael and Megan Smith of Balaklava, and Tim and Tanya Morris of Largs Bay, were very happy and glad it all worked out so well, saying a few times, ‘some things are just meant to be.’
Lloyd and Gabi still intend to have a reception at a later date, and will rebook their honeymoon to Hayman Island when it’s safe to do so.
And while it was hectic and an anxious time, both Gabi and Lloyd said they are happy they chose to get married when they did.
“It is exciting we can start our married life without further concern or stress of waiting for the ceremony, and look forward to officially celebrating with our wedding reception sometime in the future.”