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Saying ‘I do’ during COVID-19: 2021 weddings return as restrictions loosen

With case counts going down and vaccination rates going up, people are starting to feel comfortable getting together and moving forward with postponed wedding plans.

The COVID-19 pandemic made many couples reschedule, postpone or cancel tying the knot, with Ontario going through three lockdowns and various limits on social gatherings.

Last week, the province entered stage two of its reopening plan, allowing outdoor social gatherings of up to 25 people and indoor social gatherings for up to five people. With Ontario expected to enter stage three at the end of July or early August, things are expected to open up even more.

For newlywed Emily David, after 15 years dating her husband, three children and three different wedding dates, postponing until 2022 was not an option.

“It takes the excitement out of it. At the end of the day we just wanted it to be done,” she told Global News.

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“I had always envisioned something bigger and a lot more elaborate.”

Read more:
Ready to tie the knot in summer 2021? Here’s what to expect for the wedding season

Cameron and Emily Davidwith daughters L to R Ally, Ryleigh, and Madelyn at their backyard wedding in June 2021.

Hillier Photography supplied by Emily Davis

She married her high school sweetheart, Cameron David, in a small backyard wedding with only immediate family members in June, but the couple is hopeful they can celebrate with more loved ones in August.

“He always wanted something just family, but I always want big, so he ended up getting what he wanted,” David joked.

The couple was initially planning to marry in June 2020, but those plans were postponed when the pandemic struck earlier that year.

“It was so heartbreaking because it’s something you look forward to and then a pandemic hits.”

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Postponing came with its setbacks, with the high school sweethearts going through three different photographers and struggling to try and get the wedding dress tailored in time.

But despite the setbacks, David said she is happy their parents and siblings were able to attend in person for their ceremony, and she is looking forward to getting to wear her wedding dress all over again for the reception in August.

“At the end of the day it was lovely and we had all our family.”

Read more:
Couples making rules about COVID-19 vaccine status for weddings, event planners say

Nicky Carali, founder of Caralis Weddings and Events, said the last 15 months have been pretty stressful for everyone involved in the wedding industry.

She said couples have had to push their wedding back two to four times because of lockdowns and capacity limits, but she is hopeful with more vaccines and low case counts things will continue to open up and stay that way.

“Some went head with the number of guests they were allowed, but a lot pushed their date back several times, and are now hoping they can have all the guests they want.”

On top of issues with capacity limits, Carali said there is the added problem of several venues closing down permanently due to COVID-19.

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“If couples are willing to be flexible and go with the flow, they can really have some amazing and beautiful events, just in unusual spaces, ” Carali said.

Choosing a different space is how soon-to-be-married couple, Lauren Eedy and her fiancé Lucas Fisher are doing things.

The couple, who got engaged in Christmas 2019, is looking forward to getting hitched next month in a friend’s backyard in their hometown of St. Marys.

Soon-to-be-married couple, Lauren Eedy and her fiancé Lucas Fisher of St. marys Ont.

Soon-to-be-married couple, Lauren Eedy and her fiancé Lucas Fisher of St. marys Ont.

Supplied by Lauren Eedy

Read more:
Many engaged couples choosing to delay weddings, with some looking to late summer 2021

Eedy said they started planning their wedding for the summer of 2020 shortly after getting engaged, but that they had to push that back once the virus hit.

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Eedy is a liver transplant recipient, making her immunocompromised, so she said she knew right away they would have to postpone.

“I had already bought my wedding dress and we had our flowers arranged and the location where we were having the wedding arranged,” she said.

“The bonus is we did not put any money down other than the dress, so we did not really have any deposits we had to worry about.”

She said they always wanted a smaller wedding and with COVID they have had to pare down their guest count down even more.

“We did not want a really large wedding, so this actually worked out for us, and we really want to get married last year.”

She said they are looking forward to being married after four years together and will consider a larger celebration with those that could not come to their wedding next year.

“It’s one day. It’s a very important day, but we are putting more emphasis on us, and what we like to do,” Eedy said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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