Christiana
Super November 2020 British Columbia

We got married during the peak of the second wave

Christiana, on May 8, 2021 at 15:40 Posted in Just married 6 28
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Recently I've seen a lot of posts about people stressing or panicking about their upcoming weddings and covid restrictions. I thought I'd go over my pandemic wedding story to give you some of my fails and successes regarding how to plan during this crazy time, but mostly just to let everyone know that you aren't alone. So many of us have had similar struggles with planning over the last 14 months or so. It really sucks and at the end of the day we all need to do what is best and safest for ourselves and our loved ones. But whether that means postponing until things are safer or scaling back and having a small covid safe ceremony now, I promise that your wedding day will be special and memorable.

TL;DR: We got married on our original date with a small 10 person ceremony at the peak of the second wave. We made a million plans that all fell through but I'm still glad we went ahead with it!


Plan A: My husband and I got engaged in early December 2019. We chose a wedding date of November 28, 2020 because it would give us about a year long engagement and it was the third anniversary of our first date. We started booking vendors in January and by the beginning of March 90% of our planning was done. I sourced most of our decor, we had our venue, caterer, photographer, coordinator, my dress, my husband's wedding band, and our 100 person guest list. The only major thing left was our bartender.

Then the pandemic happened and we paused all of our planning for several months. We didn't think the pandemic would affect our wedding which was still more than 6 months away, but we decided then that we would get married on our original date no matter what it looked like.

By summer it was obvious we weren't going to have our wedding as originally planned. We reached out to our venue to see what our options were. We were hoping to have a small ceremony and to postpone our reception to late 2021 or sometime in early to mid 2022. We were told we could go ahead on our original date but with only 25 people given the venue's capacity - all with masks, distancing, etc. Postponing wasn't an option because our venue was being demolished and would not be available after December 1, 2020. The venue would try to return deposits but there was no guarantee. We ultimately decided to take a chance and request our deposit because we couldn't justify spending the full venue cost on a wedding we weren't happy with - we did end up getting it back, but we thought the money was gone forever.


Plan B: At this point we decided to just have immediate family for a small ceremony and dinner. We found a new venue through my husband's work and kept on planning. I came up with a full timeline of the day, a floorpan for the ceremony and reception, and new decor ideas. However cases were rapidly increasing in BC and a few days after securing this venue we were told they couldn't accommodate us anymore. We were about 6-8 weeks away from our wedding at this point and scrambled to find another plan.


Plan C: We settled on a ceremony in an outdoor setting to keep our officiant and photographer as safe as possible (despite the 99% chance of rain in Vancouver in late November) followed by dinner with our families in our 750 square foot condo. In hindsight the dinner part of this was a terrible plan but we were desperate and I'm not sure we were thinking clearly. I placed an order for rental tables/chairs/linens/dinnerware/etc, created a floor plan to squeeze everything into our apartment, and I contacted several outdoor locations to use for our ceremony. Then about 4 weeks before our wedding, BC brought in further restrictions prohibiting more than 6 guests at a time at a private residence. Our immediate families would make 10 guests, not including us. Cases were also increasing exponentially and we were getting nervous.


Plan D: Since my family was travelling from Alberta for our wedding, we made the tough decision to have a post-wedding dinner with only them at our apartment. We would then wait 2 weeks to have dinner with my husband's family who lived nearby to reduce the risk of transmission. But within 2 weeks this plan was also disrupted when even stricter rules came into play. No social gatherings whatsoever. Wedding ceremonies were limited to 10 people. These rules were set to expire a few days before our wedding, but we were pretty sure they would be extended. We prepared for the worst and started working on Plan E.


Plan E: As anticipated, the restrictions were extended and we pivoted once again. My family cancelled their trip to BC. We found an area in a public park to have the ceremony and I spent a few days decorating our apartment and making our cake for our virtual reception. My husband and I got ready together at home the morning of our wedding and met our photographer a few hours beforehand to take photos. We live-streamed the ceremony for my family. My husband's family was able to attend in person. Afterward, we ordered takeout from a nice restaurant and video chatted with our families. While it wasn't at all what we originally planned, I loved our wedding day and wouldn't change it if I could.


During the planning and replanning process, we received a lot of unsolicited opinions regarding how we should proceed. Some people said we should postpone due to weather concerns (??) others said we should "get it over with" and just sign the papers. Obviously none of this was very helpful and it caused us a lot of unnecessary stress. I will say, we did also receive a lot of support from other friends/family, but unfortunately that tends to be overshadowed by the negative.

Fortunately my husband and I were on the same page throughout all of this and we knew we just wanted to get married. We ended up having a great wedding day and I'm really glad we didn't listen to the outside opinions we were getting.


A few final words of advice (feel free to ignore per second point of advice lol):

  1. Coming up with as many plans as possible. You think you've planned for the worst case scenario? Think again! We didn't end up needing our worst case scenario plan, but we were fully prepared to elope with the bare minimum of 5 people in attendance if necessary. Don't get me wrong, it is A LOT of work to make multiple complete plans for your wedding day. But when you're a week or two away from your wedding date and restrictions are constantly changing you will be glad you're prepared.
  2. Limit outside opinions. If possible, don't listen to anyone other than you and your partner. It's your day and you should be happy with whatever you choose to do. If you want to postpone because you can't imagine your wedding without all of your guests and dancing and hugging then postpone! If you want to elope because you're sick of planning during a pandemic then go for it!
  3. Make the most of your pandemic wedding. We could have easily cancelled our photographer, worn more casual clothing, and ordered pizza for dinner, but we still wanted our wedding to feel special. Just because you can't have the wedding you planned doesn't mean you can't still have a beautiful and meaningful day. So wear your dress (or something else special if you really want to save it), go all out with decorations, take lots of photos, and celebrate that you just got married!


I hope that this is helpful for at least one person out there and ideally this kind of advice won't be necessary for much longer. Just know that no matter what happens you can make something work and I think as long as you make the best of it you'll have an amazing wedding day. Smiley heart

We got married during the peak of the second wave 1

We got married during the peak of the second wave 2

Photos by Shannon Elmitt Photography

28 Comments

Latest activity by Vinod, on May 27, 2021 at 13:05
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    Congratulations! Great plans that didn't go through as planned and yet kept going with what made you both happy at the end. Its true that the pandemic didn't get better and still doesn't feel so at this time. The fact plans will change and dates will effect further celebrations will just be another obstacle to face a happy ending wedding.
    • Reply
  • Jenny
    Newbie June 2021 British Columbia
    Jenny ·
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    Thank you for sharing , this is awesome
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  • Juliana
    Newbie August 2021 Alberta
    Juliana ·
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    I love this! Thanks for sharing!
    • Reply
  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Thanks Rayanne! Totally agree! Smiley smile

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  • Rayanne
    Featured January 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    I'm so happy your day turned out so well. With everything going on we just have to find the happiness wherever we can.
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  • Rayanne
    Featured January 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    Congratulations tomorrow is supposed to be such a beautiful day.
    • Reply
  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Thank you! And congrats! I remember how excited I was the day before! Wishing you all the best tomorrow Smiley smile

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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Congrats! I'm sure it will be a beautiful day!

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  • Darren
    Frequent user May 2021 Ontario
    Darren ·
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    I’m getting married tomorrow & it’s despite the pandemic it’s going to be amazing. Happy that you we’re able to have your wedding.
    • Reply
  • Teresa
    Beginner June 2021 Ontario
    Teresa ·
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    My wedding is on June 26 2021 and have opted to have a small outdoor ceremony at a public park in Ontario. No matter what, we aren’t going to let Covid get in the way of us getting married
    • Reply
  • Tamanna
    Curious June 2021 Ontario
    Tamanna ·
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    Thank you so much! Your photos are stunning too 😍 your post was so reassuring because people really be sharing their unwanted 2 cents haha. Like it's a pandemic wedding, stop expecting it to be "traditional" lol.
    • Reply
  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    View quoted message

    Thanks so much! Hopefully things are much better by then, but it's good to be prepared Smiley smile

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  • Tamanna
    Curious June 2021 Ontario
    Tamanna ·
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    I just wanted to congratulate you and say that I'm extremely proud of you and your partner. Our wedding is on June 27, 2021 and we're not postponing, we're ready for just a small ceremony with 10 people if that's what it takes. Ontario is extremely bad right, peak of third wave I suppose. So we're hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
    • Reply
  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Hopefully things are a lot better then and you can have a small dinner after!
    But if not I suggest doing what we did. I know it doesn’t sound all that exciting, but decorating your dining space and ordering in a fancy dinner goes a long way. Go all out and order appetizers or a charcuterie board for your “cocktail hour”, buy some of your favourite drinks, make a playlist, set up a zoom cocktail party with your best friends/family and do the cake cutting over zoom. You can even do speeches over zoom and a first dance.

    It obviously won’t be what you planned but I think you’ll find it’s special no matter what because it’s your wedding day.

    • Reply
  • H
    Newbie June 2021 Ontario
    Hannah ·
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    Our wedding is June 5, 2021 after already postponing from February 2021 (we planned it January 2020 before covid happened). We are not wanting to postpone again and have the same issue on the next date we pick - hoping to have our one friend each come with us but with the knowledge we can’t even eat dinner together the thought of that is disheartening with the current rules in ON likely to extend past May 20.


    Not sure how to make an elopement just the 2 of us still feel special 😔
    • Reply
  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Aww thank you Smiley heart

    I really think things will be much better in August, but even if they aren't I'm sure you'll have the perfect day!

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  • Sarah
    Expert August 2021 British Columbia
    Sarah ·
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    Thank you for sharing ♥️ I am a little emotional after reading your story because we also have many plans in motion.You look stunning in your dress and you give me hope that even if our absolute worst case scenario comes into play it will still be perfect because we are getting married.
    • Reply
  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Ohh exciting!! I’m sure no matter what happens it will be so special! Enjoy your last week engaged! ❤️
    • Reply
  • Bethany
    Curious May 2021 Nova Scotia
    Bethany ·
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    My fiance and I are having our ceremony next week (!!) and we have been in much of the same boat with planning and re-planning. thank you for sharing this, although we are excited to be moving forward whatever comes our way, it's so helpful and comforting to hear about your wedding from the other side Smiley heart

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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Thank you!

    People definitely thought it was overkill for me to have so many fully fleshed out plans, but I'm so glad I did because it made making decisions so much easier as things changed.

    Keeping my fingers crossed the vaccines start to make a real difference and the lockdown lifts before your wedding! Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • A
    Newbie June 2021 Ontario
    Ainsley ·
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    Thank you for this post! Seriously needed to hear it today as I’m currently going through all of our RSVP’s. Our wedding was originally last August but we postponed it to June 12 this year and said we will not postpone again regardless. Being in Ontario and currently locked down and knowing it will likely get extended until at least the week before our wedding, we have a million different back up plans. I feel like I’ve been stressing more than I need to and annoying others with all the backup plans but reading this post reminded me that it’s all necessary.
    You look stunning in your dress!
    • Reply
  • R
    Curious August 2021 British Columbia
    Rhi ·
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    View quoted message
    Me too! You look so stunning In your dress by the way 😊
    • Reply
  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Yay for multiple plans! We still want to have a reception one day and I'm kind of like I've already planned 5 weddings, I'm not sure I have the energy to plan yet another one hahaha.

    I really hope restrictions are eased by the summer and you can celebrate with a few more people Smiley smile

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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    View quoted message

    Thank you!

    Lol it's ok to feel all the feelings. I can't even count the number of times I swung between getting really excited and then just like breaking down crying whenever we had to change plans. But it is such a relief to know the end game no matter what the restrictions there are.

    I hope everything works out for you!! I really think (and hope) things will be a bit better by your wedding but even if we're still in this position I'm sure you'll have a wonderful day! Smiley smile

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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    View quoted message

    Thank you!

    • Reply
  • R
    Curious August 2021 British Columbia
    Rhi ·
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    This was a much needed post, thanks for this. My fiancé and I are suppose to be getting married August 7th, we have a plan a, b and c. Much like you and your partner we just want to get married so if it’s an elopement with just the two of us we will be so happy, we’d obviously love to have immediate family there but who knows what will be possible.
    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Newbie June 2021 Alberta
    Jennifer ·
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    Thank you so much for this! Our wedding is June 24th, so about 6 weeks out and I just don’t know how to feel ahaha! The unsolicited negative options do really suck but like you said, as long as fiancé and I are on the same page it is all good. We will just keep hoping and adapt to whatever restrictions we have to deal with Smiley smile I’m so over planning, I just want us to be married and have a day where it can be about us two and not the pandemic.
    Congrats to the both of you!
    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    Just beautiful Smiley heart Love the photo of the two of you!

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