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Alterations at the altar: Saskatchewan brides adjust wedding plans amid COVID-19

Saskatchewan brides alter wedding plans amid COVID-19
WATCH: Restrictions on group gatherings are forcing couples to rethink their walk down the aisle this summer.

While summer typically means wedding season in Saskatchewan, many soon-to-be brides are postponing their trip down the aisle. And for those that still plan to say “I do,” it won’t be the same fairy tale they dreamed.

Jenna Deboth is one of those brides.

COVID-19 threw a wrench in her 250-plus guestlist, forcing her to cancel the catering, venues and limousines planned for her July wedding.

“We’ve gone from a big group to our parents and our grandparents and that is all,” Deboth said.

“There’s no way they are going to allow 300 people to be in a room by July, but we can wishful think.”

Under the province’s Reopen Saskatchewan plan, limits on group gatherings increase to 15 people in Phase 3. It goes up to 30 people in Phase 4, but neither phase has a date attached to it.

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The uncertainty led Deboth and her fiancé to plan a small, backyard wedding that will be livestreamed on Twitch.

“Our family can stay safe but also celebrate with us on the big day,” Deboth said. “It’s kind of a cool creative twist on a bad situation.”

Deboth isn’t the only one planning a new wedding because of provincial limits on group gatherings.

Courtney Liske, a Regina wedding photographer, said 50 per cent of her clients this season had to cancel or postpone their weddings.

She said she expects more of her clients to do the same as the pandemic drags on.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Wedding planners urge ‘Plan B’ for upcoming B.C. weddings

“We’re noticing that a lot of clients are not only stressing about the wedding but they’re having to stress about all these additional outside factors as well,” Liske said.

While dealing with a loss of income, Liske said she’s also adapting her shoots for smaller, intimate weddings.

“There are a lot of special and unique touches that can come out of a smaller event than maybe could have happened if it was a 200-plus guestlist,” Liske said.

However, one thing that seems to be sticking to plan through all of this is the dress.

Bridal boutiques like Sweet Pea & Noelle are keeping busy with pickup season, according to owner Morgan Mayer.

READ MORE: Regina bridal shop featured in British Vogue magazine for unique brand

“It’s affecting so many more people in our industry even more so than us because we are that beginning kind of plan,” Mayer said.

“Lots of brides base their vibe and the wedding off of the dress.”

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Sweet Pea & Noelle closed up shop due to public health orders, putting some financial strain on the business, according to Mayer.

Had this happened during peak shopping season — September through March — Mayer said financial pressures could have been worse.

“Summer would have been maybe a little bit better, but there’s certainly no good time for this to happen,” Mayer said.

The bridal boutique plans to reopen May 19 under Phase 2 of the province’s Reopen Saskatchewan plan.

READ MORE: Alberta, B.C. couples say venue won’t reschedule 2020 weddings amid pandemic

“We’re calling it business as usual-ish,” Mayer said.

“It’s not going to be the same, it’s not going to be as busy, it will be even more intimate than we usually have.”

Under new protocol, walk-ins won’t be allowed and brides can bring a maximum of two guests with them.

Mayer said there will only be one appointment scheduled at a time and each client will be 30 minutes apart to allow for disinfecting.

For dresses already ordered, the boutique will continue to do doorstep drop-off within Regina.

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“As vendors, we’re doing whatever we can to make the rescheduling and everything go as smoothly as possible,” Mayer said.

Even with all the hiccups, Deboth continues to remind herself it will be worth it in the end.

“The reason we’re doing this is still happening. We still get to get married,” Deboth said.