Love in the pandemic: Summer wedding uncertainty continues for 2021
CALGARY -- Angad Suri and his fiancé Simran Kalkat were supposed to get married in August 2020. Thanks to the pandemic, their big day has been moved to June 2021.
The original guest list was around 450 people. It’s now down to 200.
“We have people coming up to us and asking when’s the wedding? We give them the date but in the back of my mind it’s always that I honestly don’t even know if I would be able to invite you just because I don’t know how many people by June are going to be allowed to attend the wedding at that point,” said Suri.
Suri said planning a wedding with so much uncertainty about restrictions has been challenging.
“For not having the wedding that we wanted I believe it's taken more of a toll on my other half than me,” said Suri. “Her family being from Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, she’s having more of a tough time that I have been having with the restrictions of the amount of people allowed.”
Suri said they are not planning to postpone again and are staying optimistic.
“We are hoping for the ideal of at least hopefully 200 people for the gathering and that way we can get all our close family and friends there.”
MICRO WEDDINGS CONTINUE FOR 2021
Julianne Young, owner and lead designer of Julianne Young Weddings said some couples are remaining hopeful, while many of their clients have made the decision to either postpone or cancel for 2021.
“It’s very heartbreaking to watch our couples go through this rollercoaster of postponing, waiting to see, seeing some clarity and then having it all basically start from ground zero time and time again," Young said.
(Commonwealth Banquet Hall & Conference Centre, located at 52 Ave NE is booked for larger weddings starting this spring. The owner says couples are continuing to postpone events until later in the year.)
Young said couples planning to get married in a pandemic have to ask themselves tough questions.
“Is it that you want to get married at the end of the day and follow whatever restrictions are in place at the time, or do you want that party?” said Young. “We’re telling everyone to plan low right now.”
Young said the most important thing is keeping in mind scalability and adaptability.
“Rules can change on the fly so you have to be ready for that …and being able to adapt to whatever cards you get dealt with over the summer.”
OPEN LINES OF COMMUNICATION
Young said the bride and groom need to keep open lines of communication with guests making sure they know the event is proceeding no matter what.
“That might mean a couple cuts to the guest list which can feel uncomfortable, but as long as your guests are aware of what the plans are and they know this is going ahead, they will be totally understanding,” said Young.
Young said communication between vendors is also key, planning for several guest-size scenarios.
While the vaccine rollout is providing hope to bring back larger events, Young said she’s not anticipating 150 person guest lists are going to be coming back yet.
Young said there are many benefits to what many in the industry call ‘micro weddings.’ Couples can have the wedding they've dreamt of on a smaller scale.
“They’re meaningful, they’re personal and I find that people absolutely love that experience of having more of an intimate day that they wouldn’t have necessarily thought of doing without all of this.”
For those who are considering cancelling or postponing, Young suggests making the decision no later than 90 days out from the wedding in order to give guests and vendors enough time to change their plans.
VENDORS HIT HARD
Jaspreet Jawandha bought Commonwealth Banquet Hall & Conference Centre in Northeast Calgary last March, just before the pandemic hit. The venue provides in-house catering, decor and DJ service.
“This year almost 30 to 35 weddings are cancelled,” said Jawandha. “Right now people they do postponing and pushing to October, November and now they’re going (to) December and some weddings (are event) going to next year.”
Jawandha said the next large in-person wedding is scheduled for the spring, including receptions with guest lists starting at 300, with others having even 600 to 800 people booked.