Love in a lockdown: Despite being separated by over 2,000km, lovebirds plan to marry online

Marcin and Guelcin: won’t let the virus get in the way of love. Private archive

The story of a Polish-Turkish couple physically separated by the global coronavirus pandemic is a reminder that love conquers all. Rather than get married this month, they will mark the date together online.

With many countries’ borders temporarily closed and people advised to stay at home, many couples and families found themselves stuck in different countries when the epidemic spread dramatically in March. This includes couples who were in long-distance relationships, and who are now no longer able to visit each other, or families where one member was working or studying abroad.

This was the case for Marcin and Guelcin, a Polish-Turkish couple who met nine years ago on an Erasmus programme, which enables young Europeans to study abroad.    

Guelcin was initially devastated by having to cancel the wedding.Private archive

The couple, who are now 33 and 30 years old, had been planning to get married in April. It was going to be a “huge Turkish wedding”, as Marcin put it. They had already reserved the location and the Polish guests had booked their flights to Turkey.

Earlier, Marcin visited the country to meet his future wife’s parents. A photo shows him with Guelcin smiling at the camera, together with her mother, father and brother.

Now, instead of a wedding, they have found themselves separated by the coronavirus, with the huge celebration of their marriage that they had planned unable to go ahead.

The couple had planned a big family wedding but will now have to celebrate their big day over the internet.Private archive

At first, Guelcin was devastated. In Istanbul, far from her Polish fiancé, she struggled to understand what was happening. However, her perspective soon shifted.

“I thought: I am healthy and Marcin is safe. Our families are healthy. That is what counts now. Separation is just another test of affection,” she told Polish daily Fakt.

Despite the change of plans, the couple still plans to spend the day their wedding was scheduled for together – not signing wedding documents or celebrating with family and friends in a lavishly-decorated banquet hall, but online.

“Instead of wearing wedding outfits at the [marriage] office, we will look each other's eyes online,” Guelcin told Fakt.

Like countless couples around the world, she and Marcin will rely on technology to spend time together remotely, until the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control and people are able to travel internationally again.