Animal-loving Durbanville couple to get hitched at home during lockdown

Marichen Weich and Erastus Beukes will get married at their home in Durbanville on June 15.

A Durbanville couple are not letting the lockdown stop them from getting hitched – they will marry in a private ceremony at their home on Monday June 15 – the twist is that the groom’s two French “girlfriends” will also be at the wedding.

Marichen Weich and Erastus Beukes booked their wedding before lockdown after getting engaged on June 20 last year, but now, with all their first options cancelled, they’ve decided to go ahead with it anyway. 

Marichen says they had everything planned and paid for so the cancellations caused them some stress. “However, we decided that seeing both of our fathers are pastors, we can just have the ceremony at home. We did consider the option to take advantage of the new rules, but it turned out to be too much admin, so we will just have a small ceremony at home with about 12 people. My brothers and sisters are in Gauteng at the moment and Erastus’s sister is in China, so we will just have our parents and another couple.

“My father, Hugo Weich, will conduct the ceremony, and Erastus’s father, Rudi Beukes, will speak as well so it will be a combined effort by both of them.” 

Marichen’s two French poodles, Daphne and Phoebe, will also be at the ceremony – they helped to bring the couple together in the first place.

“I am an introvert,” explains Marichen, “so when we had our first date, I was kind of nervous because Erastus is a lot more outgoing. So I didn’t just want to meet up at a coffee shop because I thought that might be a bit boring. Instead, we decided to go for a walk at a park with my dogs, and it worked out perfectly because he fell in love with my dogs, and that’s how our relationship began. We have a joke with each other that he fell in love with the dogs first – they are his girlfriends, and I am his fiancée.” 

The couple turned to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA to make the event more special and also show their love for animals.

“I saw that the SPCA was selling these cute face masks that have dogs and cats on them, and we decided that this would be a great addition to our wedding,” says Marichen. “We then purchased a few for the wedding, and they will be worn during the ceremony and make for some great pics on the day.” 

The SPCA sells the masks for R50, and its spokeswoman Belinda Abrahams says the society is thrilled to be part of the couple’s love story. “It is really special that they have chosen to wear our masks to not only represent their unifying love for animals but to also support the work of the SPCA. We wish them both a forever of happiness filled with a lifetime of beautiful moments created with each other and their furry companions.  May they always love each other in the way that their furkids love them – unconditionally!”  

Erastus says finding a unique way to get married is fitting because there have been plenty of these moments during their two-and-a-half years together.

“Before I met Marichen, I was working overseas sailing yachts, and while delivering a yacht from Singapore to Auckland, I fell overboard somewhere off the coast of Papua New Guinea, and I spent about two hours floating in the sea because the crew members did not notice at first. Eventually, I was rescued, and when I got back home, I went to church to thank the Lord for keeping me safe, which is when I met Marichen. Last year, I decided to propose, and, to do so, I arranged with her brother to come across a message in a bottle while walking on a beach in Mossel Bay.”