8May '20

Planning your wedding amid social distancing? – Vancouver Island Weddings

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It is an unprecedented time for couples who were anticipating a 2020 wedding. As the reality of the Covid pandemic surfaced in March and April it left many brides and grooms disappointed and stressed. Now, as we move into Phase 2 recovery what do we know about 2020 weddings? What is allowed? what is advised? And will these rules and recommendations change? Truthfully, there still isn’t concrete answers. For many, this uncertainty is the most challenging part of looking forward. So how do you proceed?

Couples should start by writing down what is most important to them for their wedding. This will help guide you through your decisions. Ask yourself questions such as “Are we having international guests? Do we feel good about scaling down our guest list? For you, is it a wedding without wild dancing and ridiculous hugs?” I have one wedding couple who see the pandemic as an opportunity to have the small wedding that they initially dreamed of, but had not planned due to obligations to have all their extended family attend. Now they can have the quiet romantic wedding by the ocean they had initially dreamed of.

After talking through these questions you will have more clarity as you consider your options.


BC offers some stunning backdrops to bask in nature and exchange vows. On the North Island, I have photographed epic elopements in the Cumberland Forest and on the beaches on Comox. A few of my couples are working with 49 North Helicopter and heading to mountain vistas – it is an epic experience. Elopements are romantic and authentic and I am excited to have more of them on my calendar this year. 

I have created an ELOPEMENT PACKAGE for 2020 couples. I  can also make numerous recommendations and help you work with other vendors.   40 Knots Winery, Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort , Tria Fine Catering and Unveil Studios for video and AV support to stream your wedding, Relay Rentals to create a sweet set-up,  Celebrant Barbara Densmore and Bezaire Floral are just some of the pros I have been in touch with that are ready to help you! These folks are incredible.

Keep in mind you need a minimum of five people at your wedding. The two of you, your officiant and two witnesses – yes, I can be a witness (it is an honor) and I can bring an assistant to be the second witness.

SUMMER 2020 Social Distancing Wedding

The province announced on May 6th that no gatherings with more than 50 people can occur in BC and that we should expect that guidelines to be in place throughout the summer. If you are planning a Summer 2020 wedding check in with all your vendors to find out :

  • What they need put in place to deliver their services amid social distancing.
  • How a social distancing wedding would impact their ability to do their job. For me, it just means a longer lens, discussions around ceremony set up, and knowledge that those who are sick are not attending.
  • If you need to sign a fresh contract. Many vendors have also been advised to provide clients with a fresh contract to cover Covid related issues, such as what happens if we are sick (although this should already be in your contract) and what would happen if a vendor feels Covid related protocols are not being followed.
  • How many people will be part of their vendor team? Remember vendors are part of the 50 person count.

Also don’t leave out your  Marriage Commissioner or Officiant as part of your vendor check in. 

As the food and beverage industry develops the ways they will operate I anticipate we will know more in the coming weeks about how 2020 Summer weddings could unfold. I see Micro-Weddings in our future. Barbara Densmore has a great post about the beauty of  Micro-weddings here : Options for your Summer Wedding. 

If you are planning a 2020 summer wedding please respect the needs of your vendors and do not put them in a situation where they are working in ways counter to the provincial recommendations. Vendors care deeply about their clients and want to say “yes” to you, and at the same time operating outside of recommendation puts them in a terrible situation as far as their reputations and potentially their health goes.

FALL 2020 Weddings

So what does that mean for fall? Truthfully, we just do not know that answer. If you are planning for fall, work with your vendors. My wedding was planned for April 10, 2020, and we have rescheduled to the fall. However, we are aware that we still might not be able to have the celebration we envision and are ready emotionally to change our plans if needed. If you are in the same situation, have discussions with all your vendors about what this would like and are staying in contact with them.

An ELOPEMENT and A Party 2020

If you are wanting to tie the knot in 2020 consider an elopement now and a reception party in the future. You can even include a ceremony repeat. Two celebrations? This is going to be a “heck-yes” option for many people.

WAITING until 2021

This is the decision that most of my clients are making. If this is what you are wanting to do:

  • Contact vendors and try to line up a date that works for everyone
  • Do this NOW! You want to reach them before they get booked.
  • Find out if you need to sign a fresh contract to reflect your new date change.
  • Stay flexible: We do not know if we will be in a similar situation next year –  but plan with optimism!

There is justifiably a plethora of emotions, and confusion, but rest assured the love and care of your vendors,  is still certain.  We are going to be okay though this, really we are,  and I can’t wait to be part of capturing all the couples expressing their love. Reach out to me with any questions or conversations you want to have about possibilities. I have more than ten years of experience helping couples plan their day and I am here to help.