Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is calling for a stop to big gatherings to help slow the spread of COVID-19, leaving some couples planning weddings in limbo.
Faith DeSteiger and her finance Dyllan Vanderschaaf are planning to get married on July 18 in Smithers.
“We’ve talked about postponing but as of right now we’re hoping to move forward, we’ll decide for sure in a month when we see how everything is progressing,” said DeSteiger.
She said they’ve talked about making the guest list shorter but haven’t made any changes yet.
“Our family is the most important thing in the world to both of us and making sure our grandparents can be there without fearing for their health or well-being is a priority,” she added.
So far she hasn’t had much discussion with the vendors and they haven’t directly contacted her either about making changes or cancelling.
“I think in the next few weeks those conversations will happen about the ‘what if’s’, because we’re still a few months out I’m assuming everyone involved is maintaining the hope that this will pass.”
DeSteiger said planning with all the uncertainty has been emotionally tough.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into making our day reflect ourselves and our relationship and we know our family and friends have been eager as the date approaches, knowing now that it might not play out the way we planned despite the work we’ve put into it is a little upsetting, but knowing no matter what happens me and Dyllan will be married on the other side of all of this takes a lot of the stress out of the situation and keeps the excitement alive through this process.”
However, she added that whether they get married in front of 15 or 200 people, as long as they are together it will be their dream wedding.
The uncertainty of how wedding seasons will play out is also having an affect on local vendors.
Larkspur Floral Design and Gifts already has had one bride cancel her flower order for an April wedding. The floral shop has a few more still scheduled in the coming months and isn’t sure if they will happen yet.
“I haven’t heard from my April 25 bride and we don’t have another wedding booked until June, so I’m thinking they’re keeping their fingers crossed,” said store owner Kat Stroet. “Weddings are not a big part of our business, it’s more the everyday flower business that we thrive on. Birthdays, anniversaries, sympathy, thank you. This has slowed down, but we have adapted with our no contact deliveries and as of now we are able to keep two of our part time staff busy. It is a challenge for them trying to home school and work but they’re amazing and are troopers, helping to keep us afloat.”
Photographers are also trying to adapt with the uncertain times.
While weddings make up some of Thomas Camus Photography’s business, everyone is having to cancel their photoshoots.
“I lost tons of opportunities I was working on for months,” Camus said. “I think I will loose more than 50 per cent of my total revenue,”
He added he currently can’t book anything.
“It will be a minimum loss of around $10,000 or more. [It could be] $50 000 if it is going through the summer,” he said.
Nevertheless Camus is trying to keep busy. Last week, he launched a fundraiser for the Bulkley Lodge. He is offering “quarantine porch pictures.”
“Let me know if you want your family photographed in quarantine setting, on your front porch or deck, by sending me a message at email@example.com,” he said in a Facebook post.
“Feel free to dress up to spread more joy and laughter! I will stay at a distance and you don’t have to leave the safety of your own house.
“Participation is by donation and all proceeds will go to the Bulkley Lodge. Your family will have a fun activity while helping others in our wonderful community.”