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#CovidWedding - How Alberta Weddings Have Proceeded

Updated: Nov 21, 2020



Its been almost four months since my last blog and given an unexpected and different type of wedding season to navigate, I’ve finally had a chance to continue my Covid Wedding Help! Blog. Back in April I was quite sad that two thirds of my weddings postponed, but now that I’m looking back, I’m also very grateful for the smaller celebrations I still got to be a part of, and even some last minute wedding plans!


Currently we are still in Stage 2 of Alberta’s relaunch strategy. Its been quite interesting because now that we have gone through a longer period within the same stage and restrictions, our wedding season even had an “end of season bump” as shared in this article covered by CBC News. I think some couples who didn’t initially postponed their wedding arrangements or had alternate plans (such as a destination wedding) where they weren’t sure when they could resume planning- opted for a last minute wedding as to not wait any longer!


So how have weddings proceeded? How did the restrictions impact gatherings?



1. Micro Weddings are Huge


Earlier this year, the term “micro” weddings was predicted to be a huge trend. A term meant that couples were desiring for smaller guest lists, but willing to splurge more on the cost per guest and overall celebration they were planning.

As timing would have it, couples and our wedding industry have definitely become resourceful and creative in making their “50 or less” guestlist happen indoors and “100 or less” guest list outdoors.

I for one have been a part of many outdoor celebrations such as at Farm Fresh Florals, University of Alberta Botanical Gardens, The Derrick Golf Club, and of course private backyards!



2. “Elopements” have a new meaning



Elopements no longer just mean deciding to run off and get married spontaneously with just you and yours. It has evolved to mean an intentional and smaller ceremony where you decide what you want to do and how to do it best. And of course, within restrictions given covid-19’s impact.


Some couples who postponed their reception decided on an intimate elopement to share their vows, others hosted both a ceremony and reception in just the way they want it!

With restaurants reopening and no capacity limit, I was able to help a couple get married at The Parlour Italian Kitchen & Bar in a month’s turn around!



3. The New Normal


From initially smaller guest lists and social distancing floorplans, I’ve gradually seen of course the enforcement of masks (which came into effect August 1, 2020), and even temperature checks (which is optional, not mandatory). Couples have found their own way to embrace health and safety measures by providing sanitizer bottles as favours, printing custom masks to hand out, and seating guests by cohorts and who they live with, rather than a round table of eight just to fill spots.



I personally love how couples have not let covid-19 stopped their marriage plans and have used it to create cheeky signs and new invitations such as “Spread Love Not Germs” or “You’re Invited, Again!” to provide a light hearted message, yet great reminder of how important it is to be mindful.



4. Pivoting Plans


As an industry, we’ve been pivoting our services, and helping couples to wed in the safest way possible (shared in this blog!). From virtual planning services, to live streaming, to elopement packages, I like to see these past few months as an opportune time to learn and also question how I can serve my present and future clients better. I think it also shined light on the vendors that made a huge effort to help clients pivot their plans, and those that didn’t (as I’m sure we’ve all heard 1 or 2 negative reviews of how a certain vendor was not accommodating).



Thankfully virtual planning was always part of my options given that I had clients who resided or worked out of town frequently. Likewise, early on (likely April-June 2020), couples were constantly adjusting their plans to meet restrictions given that Stage 1 started May 14, 2020 and Stage 2 began June 12, 2020 - where during this time period, the joy of being able to invite 50 guests rather than just 15 was something to rejoice and celebrate over!





5.High Hopes, but not Expectations


Looking ahead to 2021, I know many couples are planning as usual and thinking that covid-19 will be behind us, but I want to provide a realistic perspective and share that this is not to be expected. We can only continue to remain positive and make the most of our plans like we have in these past seven months while keeping an open mind that things can look quite different next year.


I’ve already heard some couples share that if covid-19 remains, they will not be postponing again and will make their wedding happen as they can. I totally support this as I don’t think it’s worth postponing your marriage for another year. Personally, I am also thinking if covid-19 was to get worse, we are better prepared now and equipped more than ever to navigate future steps.


I hope this blog has helped you to understand how weddings have proceeded and options available for you whether or not covid-19 is present. If you have any questions or like to inquire, please fill out my contact form. I would love to connect further!



To all my 2021 couples, make sure to inquire early and keep options open!


Cheers,

Sarah Valencia