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Emma
Frequent user September 2022 Alberta

What does a covid wedding look like?

Emma, on February 26, 2021 at 13:10 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 20
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While we are waiting to see if we can even get married in September, part of me is averse to the idea of a socially distanced, masked event. For our 40-person wedding, will we even be allowed to hug our friends and family?



Our dinner will be held indoors but there is a large patio for the rest of the reception, weather permitting. As the mask mandate is tentatively in place for the rest of the year for our city I am just having a hard time envisioning what a 2021 covid wedding would need to look like.

20 Comments

Latest activity by Christiana, on March 2, 2021 at 15:34
  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Thanks for clarifying! Smiley smile

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  • G
    Newbie February 2022 Alberta
    Gina ·
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    I have been using Pandemic as an excuse to postpone my wedding plans :p but it's been too long. I am hoping by fall most people are vaccinated and i am going to send invite for 2022. Considering our vaccination schedule is behind and even if it goes according to plan and we can hopefully tackle the newer variants. Perhaps we can have higher level of "normalcy" by end of year or beginning of next year. I am thinking of wedding abroad, but are people willing to travel, or be the first round of travelers as a guest when the pandemic is not completely over. It's so many things to consider.

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  • Tina
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tina ·
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    I guess I need to clarify: people can interact and converse with others (switch groups) while wearing masks, being outside, AND remaining socially distant. Being outside isn't a magic bullet, but there's no way couples are only going to converse with only themselves throughout the night. We plan to put out seating in a socially distant manner, but someone on one end of the terrace can join another socially distanced small group conversing at the other end of the terrace. Again, with masks, outside, AND staying minimum 6' apart.

    What we (and I mean everybody) have been doing this past year is risk mitigation, not risk elimination. I mean, you're not even eliminating risk by cancelling the entire wedding. However, we can certainly lower the risk by adding layers of protection, which include masks and best practices (distancing, sanitizing, smaller guest lists, increased ventilation, etc.).

    As much as some people would like it to be, things aren't simply black and white: there's no one sure thing to do in all situations, or even most. Last year, around the time of my postponed wedding, my city's rolling 7-day average was under 20 new cases per day and it will likely be lower this summer. The choices we make need to be done conscientiously, with consideration and intention. Can we always adhere to the strictest protocols at all times? No. So when we do break a protocol, we need to assess why we're doing it, what the risk factor is, and if there's an alternative. Couples WILL interact with each other - I mean, it's a social gathering after all. Will they do so indoors? No, Will they be required to wear masks? Yes. Can they hug? No. Fist bump? Nope - less than 6'. Chat outside, staying 6' apart, with a mask? Sure! Not to mention, as the B&G, we have a responsibility to model the desired behaviour we want to see from our guests. We set the tone and the venue ensures compliance.

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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    Yes I know. I'm talking about the future in the next few months...

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  • Morgan
    Newbie July 2021 British Columbia
    Morgan ·
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    Right now in bc we are alloud 10 people max for just a ceremony that’s it not reception and no more then 10 including the photopher and kids are included in the 10 and the one who is marrying you. It is literally a max of 10 people all together with nothing else
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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    Every province is different for the way its set up wedding bases. Alberta and BC has a bigger advantage over Ontario and some other provinces for guest counts. The only consideration is giving an earlier finishing time due to Covid with no dancing allowed. Make the best of the day and as long as guests are ok with the masks, your good with the day. It would be best to leave the hugging or any physical contact out since you do want to be safe. I have seen weddings that have taken place with the couple alone and families walk by to wish them personally leaving the gift on the table after the ceremony.
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  • Ebony
    Newbie August 2023 Alberta
    Ebony ·
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    Just plan ahead and secure some alternate options. Most venues will allow you to reschedule if it’s due to covid.


    I’ve been meeting with venues in Calgary and they all told me their covid weddings went off without any issues (or masks). There was just no dancing allowed at some during the worst part of lockdown last year.
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    I feel like you probably already know this as we’re going into a year of the pandemic, but people “switching groups” is a terrible idea. And even if somehow your venue is allowing this please for the love of god ask your guests not to do this at your wedding. The entire purpose of bubbles and restrictions re switching tables at restaurants, etc are to prevent Covid transmission outside of a person’s bubble in the event they have Covid. If even just one person comes to your wedding with Covid and switches groups a couple of times they are potentially infecting every person they come into contact with. If they stick to just their bubble then it’s contained and can be controlled before it gets out of hand.
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  • Tina
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tina ·
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    Ugh, it's so hard. I feel you!!

    In Ontario at least, it's likely to be the same as last summer: 50 indoors and 100 outdoors, with masks and socially distanced. Best practice is to seat people by household as well. Our plan is to have a bunch of 30" rounds for two-tops and have people seated in couples. Cocktail, dinner, and reception will all be at the tables. But our venue has a large outdoor terrace where people can hang out. Not mingle, but because it's outdoors, they can switch groups that they're hanging out with. We have a fair number of pot smokers, so they'll migrate outside naturally. I see it being more of a backyard get-together type of vibe than an actual wedding. No dancing though, which kinda sucks. We can still have a first dance and parent dances though.

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  • Kelsie
    Master July 2021 Ontario
    Kelsie ·
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    I think weddings will go ahead - just in what capacity I guess is the question.


    In Ontario last September, I think it was 100 outdoors at a licensed place, 50 indoors at a licensed place and I’m not sure at a private residence.
    We are planning for less than 50 immediate family and 100 immediate family and other guests.
    I’m nervous to think dancing will be allowed, I think masks will be mandatory. Socially distancing and limited people at tables.
    Maybe it’ll improve by then with vaccines but who knows?
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  • Liberty
    Featured May 2022 Alberta
    Liberty ·
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    In Alberta we currently limited to those who live in our immediate household only. If you live alone you're allowed to have 2 people in your "bubble"
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  • Amelia
    Master October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
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    Does Alberta have a family and friends bubble system? I'm in NB and we've had a few versions (right now it's a consistent group of 10). If so I would expect you could at least hug those people and be around them without masks without breaking any rules. In my province formal gatherings all require social distancing and masks, so that would mean no hugging. I think masks can only be removed while seated at a socially distanced table, or a table of people who live together.


    If you really want the more normal dancing, hugging, mask free party there's a good chance you'll need to postpone. A lot can change by the fall though, so you could always wait it out and see how the summer goes. Last September and very early October was the last almost normal time before the second waves started, so there's hope!
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  • Courtney
    Curious June 2021 Ontario
    Courtney ·
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    100% agree with this!!


    I would really advise against hugging your guest, as awful as it sounds... the point of a mask is to avoid spread, and we know that the virus can live off of fabrics, including your masks. Hugging could turn into so much more within a 2weeks time, from the mingling of clothing/hands/masks.
    That's a very good point about being reported if rules are not followed! That would be an unfortunate fine, along with paying off the wedding...
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  • Deanna
    Beginner July 2021 Alberta
    Deanna ·
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    I’m on the same boat. Our reception venue just emailed us yesterday about their rules & regulations and wow I just resent our new save the dates the week before. So now we don’t know what to do we don’t want to postpone but we don’t want to pay all that money for nothing either.
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  • Linda
    Frequent user April 2021 Ontario
    Linda ·
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    I haven't had my reception yet but when I was talking to my coordinator at my venue she said everyone has to be seated unless going to the bathroom or a trip to the bar. No mingling, no standing really. I asked about cocktail hour and she said it had to be seated. Depending on the level of restrictions you can only have a max of 6 or 4 at a table. Can't have a dj really because music has to be at talking level.


    My reception was supposed to happen in April, in Toronto Ontario. I've cancelled it for now, I believe we will still have restrictions into 2022. The vaccine is supposed to help but it really only lessens the severe symptoms. So I'm thinking we'll still have a decent about of people infected. It sucks but I'm gonna wait till covid isn't much if anything anymore.
    For us there isn't a point to paying 7000$ for maybe 20 to 25 people. If we could dance and mingle then it would be fine. (The room we would have been in at our venue is small) we're still having our ceremony it will just be outside.
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    I mean nobody can really stop you from hugging your friends and family but it's not responsible to be doing so if restrictions are still in place and cases are still high. Like I don't think the venue will have security breaking people up - but at the same time they're probably within their rights to shut down the event if they see people breaking rules. If you're in a bubble with your immediate family, then sure go ahead and hug them and sit with them for the reception, but if you're going to go ahead and hug all of your guests that sort of defeats the purpose of social distancing and risks all of your guests contracting covid.

    Nobody can say for sure what September will look like, but I'd guess you'll have to wear a mask indoors at all times unless you are seated at your table. I also assume there will be no mingling or moving around to different tables which essentially means you won't get to spend time with your guests individually. Outdoors you may not need to wear a mask but I think most venues will still be enforcing no mingling, just being at tables, etc. Basically same rules as last year, assuming weddings are allowed again.

    So essentially if you aren't okay with masks and social distancing, then 2021 may not the year to have your wedding, particularly an indoor wedding. Since your wedding isn't until September maybe give yourself until the summer to make a decision. A lot can change between now and then.

    Edit: I guess I should also add that if someone reports your event and people aren't socially distancing you risk your venue being fined, you being fined, and your guests being fined, as well as the entire event being shut down.

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  • Patricia
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Patricia ·
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    Yes I feel the same way. Like I do not want to postpone again because I honestly thought 2021 restrictions would be way less restrictive and we have no idea what 2022 will look like
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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    I'm in the same boat. We live in Edmonton and getting married in Kelowna BC. It sucks not knowing what it's going to be like for the summer. BCs mayor is like "if you are having a wedding this spring/summer think small" well what does that mean?? I hate the uncertainty and not knowing anything right now

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  • Emma
    Frequent user September 2022 Alberta
    Emma ·
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    I so wish I had paid more attention last year when weddings were still allowed in our province. I can deal with masks indoors, and I know you can take them off for photos, but if I have to spend all day in a mask after spending $$$ on hair and makeup and/or not be able to hug my family, I'm not sure I want to go ahead. That being said, my fiance points out we don't know how long restrictions will go on or if we will be facing the same restrictions next year.
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  • Patricia
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Patricia ·
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    I feel the same way. I hope people who had had wedding can shed some more light on what it was like!!
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