This is the second in a series of stories looking at the new reality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Maritimes. You can find the full series here.
The day a couple walks down the aisle is supposed to be one of the happiest days of their lives.
But those who work in the wedding business say that some couples’ nuptials are going to be overshadowed by COVID-19.
“The pandemic has definitely sent us into a bit of a tailspin,” said Brenna Brady, who manages The Music Barn wedding venue in Sackville, N.B.
Brady said she typically hosts about two dozen weddings a year at the old rustic barn, many of which have been larger celebrations.
“When looking at our new normal, we just may have to rethink how we hold our weddings and how we celebrate together,” she said.
Brady is still unable to open her doors amid New Brunswick’s COVID-19 restrictions, and she said that some of her clients are considering rebooking their spring and summer weddings into next year.
Once New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health allows for gathering in groups of 50 or less in the province, Brady said she’ll open up her now-empty altar to her first couple.
And until a COVID-19 vaccine is created, Brady said weddings held at the barn will have to be more intimate gatherings to allow for physical distancing.
“We do have a large enough venue that with 50 or less, we do feel that it is possible,” said Brady.
She says policing that number will be a struggle and she is trying to figure out how to pull it off and tape physical-distancing markers on the floor without putting a damper on the celebration.
“We don’t want anyone to be heartbroken over their special day but we are trying our best,” said Brady.
Karla Cordova works as a wedding planner and owns The Wedding Vogue in Halifax.
She said the whole look and feel of weddings will be different for the foreseeable future.
Cordova said that big parties and long receiving lines are things of the past. Due to the pandemic, shorter and smaller standing-room-only services will become the new normal in order to allow for easier physical distancing.
“We are going to be finding hand sanitizers all over the reception area,” said Cordova.
The tradition of tossing confetti or rice is out the window, too, she said.
“We are also going to see a lot of hand wash stations like portable ones; I think that is going to be the new normal,” she said.
While all this may not sound overly romantic, Cordova says it is the new normal for couples who plan to tie the knot amid the pandemic.
But Brady said there is a positive: the pandemic may serve as a reminder for some of what is most important on that special day.
“Hopefully, it will help us to take things less for granted,” she said.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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