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‘Mini-ceremonies’ offered at Okanagan wineries in wake of cancelled weddings

Minimony wedding packages in the Okanagan
COVID-19 has forced numerous cancellations this year, including some peoples plans for the biggest day of their lives. But COVID-19 can't cancel love, so 3 Okanagan wineries are offering a special small wedding ceremony to help those people who want to tie the knot in 2020.

It is being called “National Elopement Vineyard Day,” and it could be the solution to cancelled or postponed weddings as a result of the global pandemic.

Arterra Wines Canada, which operates a number of wineries across Canada, including three in the Okanagan, is offering what it describes as “mini-monies,” or mini-ceremonies.

Read more: Coronavirus: Okanagan residents forced to postpone weddings due to pandemic

The mini-ceremony includes a two-hour package at a select winery complete with a marriage officiant, a photographer, wedding confections, charcuterie platter, set-up and VQA wine.

“While traditional wedding plans may have been stifled, we’re here to help couples achieve their dreams in a safe, uncomplicated way that is still breathtaking and unforgettable,” said Andrea Hunt, EVP marketing at Arterra Wines Canada.

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Up to 20 guests can attend with social distancing guidelines in place, with the full-wedding package being marketed at $1,999 per couple.

Read more: Okanagan bride questions need for in-person weddings amid COVID-19

“These simple yet elegant options at the estates offer a wonderful and memorable backdrop for nuptials, helping brides and grooms tie the knot despite these exceptional times,” said Hunt.

The elopement day is scheduled for Saturday, August 1.

In the Okanagan, the mini ceremonies are being held at Sumac Ridge,  Nk’Mip Cellars and See Ya Later Ranch.

“To help engage brides and grooms that would have otherwise had larger ceremonies and weddings this year,” said Serena Schlueter, guest experience manager at See Ya Later Ranch in Okanagan Falls, when asked what it’s all about.

Coronavirus: ‘Microweddings’ trend gaining in popularity
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In addition to the 20 guests that can attend in person, other would-be attendees can join in on the nuptials virtually.

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Couples interested in saying their “I dos” on Aug. 1 can call the wineries directly to book a spot.

“It’s your one-stop shop. You show up in your dress and we do the rest,” said Lindsey Matthews, wedding coordinator at See Ya Later Ranch.

See Ya Later Ranch is already getting enough interest that it’s already planning to add Sept. 6 as a second day for the mini ceremonies.