Updated January 10, 2021
Well Co-vid, you are making/helping us figure out new ways to celebrate. Because even after this pandemic is over, “normal” will be different for us all. Reverse only happens in automobiles (and the odd Kitchenaid appliance). Life moves forward.
Here in BC, we have a 4 stage recovery program. Phase 4 will be when full-scale weddings are allowed again but that will be “Conditional on at least one of: wide vaccination; “community” immunity; broad successful treatments.” Part of that will be impacted by the travel industry.
On Nov. 19, the province announced a public health order that said residents need to avoid non-essential travel into and out of the province. The order is in effect until Feb. 5 for sure. Here is a is a synopsis.
It would appear that in a setting that adheres to co-vid restriction policies, up to 10 people may be present, including the officiant. At a private residence, other than the occupants, it would appear that the number of guests not from the same household will be limited to 2. Receptions or gatherings before or after are limited to people who are in the same household.
And in more detail, the most recent guidelines.
Do you have guests travelling?
This chart from a April 29 Destination BC presentation about when travel restrictions may be lifted.
I haven’t seen anything like this that is more recent. However, this may help.
Again, 2021 is going to be a year of flexibility.
Chances are, the huge wedding bash will not be an option this year, or maybe even next. There’s a good chance if/when boundaries are relaxed, the next step will be small groups outside your bubble, followed by 50 people maximum. If your dream wedding guest list is larger and non-negotiable, then it might be advisable to sit out this year for sure.
We all know by now that the alternative options are to either elope (elope now/party later) or to downsize. The details have been hashed out everywhere, so instead, let me ask you some thoughtful questions:
What happens to your life if you don’t get married this year?
How comfortable are you with uncertainty?
Nothing is certain, but how is the pandemic impacing your financial future?
What do you love to do on your own? What would you love to do, but have never done? Could that be an elopement idea?
If you can’t do the original plan, is there something else you would spend your money on? Something practical? Or frivilous?
How flexible can your original plans be? Is it easier to pivot? To reschedule? or to cancel?
How much do you want to be married, on a scale of 1 (not so much) to 10 (totally)?
About the People You Love
Is there anyone who, either from a health or age standpoint, will influence timing?
Of course you want your loved ones there, but what do THEY want for you? Would they rather you get married now? Or is being there essential on their part? How comfortable are your loved ones with uncertainty?
How far ahead will you need to plan things to know that they will all be able to attend? To not have to quarantine before/during/after?
What is their risk tolerance around travel? From a safety standpoint? And from a financial standpoint?
Would any of them be happier being there now from a video standpoint than later in person?
Some Ideas and Food for Thought
There’s an excellent facebook group for couples who are planning to divide their weddings into 2 (get married now, party later). One Love, One Virus, Let’s Get Together and Have Two Weddings. People ask good questions, provide thoughtful answers. (Thanks Sarah and Travis).
If you choose to do something smaller this year, you can:
- find creative ways to include your loved ones in your wedding ceremony (that’s my job and I’ve had fun doing it in 2020)
- use a videographer to capture your event and either:
- celebrate it with family and friends on a zoom call. (Some videographers will do a straight capture and a fast turnaround. Ask me about who.)
- play it at wedding #2/the party/an event down the road. Or your 25th Anniversary (pandemic should be over by then…:)
- there are folks here on the island who can film and live broadcast. Ask me about them.
- and of course you can zoom them in yourself (if you are somewhere with enough bandwidth, so check ahead.)
If you choose to do something larger later, perhaps ask these questions:
If you have a small wedding now and the party later, what will you do? Another wedding with the walk up the aisle, wedding party, flowers, outfits, etc? Or just a party? What are the elements you really want to keep? What can go?
How will it look if, say, 2022 becomes a year of massive weddings? For guests? For travel? For professionals? For costs?
Memorials and Celebrations of life
We come together, to remember, and to say goodbye. It’s what we do in times of loss. We mourn better together than apart. So then what happens when you can’t be together?
I firmly believe (and the folks I am serving are discovering) that Co-vid, while on one hand devastating, also has its gifts. It’s slowing us down and teaching us the lost art of grieving. Helping us learn that saying good-bye is a process.
Sure, you can do an on-line zoom memorial. But there are other rituals and activities…beyond the tired traditional…that can have more impact. Active grieving. There are a myriad of ways of saying good-bye. To come together and remember. To tell stories. To listen and remember. And along the way, to actually create a real and honest tribute that may be more personal, more real, more memorable than you ever imagined pre-co-vid. Because now you have the time to.
And everyone can come out of the process stronger. I can help you, whether it’s a zoom storytelling session or mapping out a really fitting way to honour a life now and in the future when you can come together. More coming.
People often celebrate with hugs. And if you are a hugger (like me), a celebration doesn’t feel great without them. But…there are ways to do powerful work without personal contact. More on this in my CHLY radio interview from May 18, 2020.