Long gone are the days of cold feet. Those wedding day jitters take on a whole new meaning in the age of a pandemic.
The last thing a bride and groom want as a lingering memory of their big day is a case of COVID-19.
Owner of LP Events, Lesley Plumley, said the wedding industry can’t survive its reputation being ruined by a “superspreader” event.
“The industry has been disintegrated as it is.
“If we continue to have verbiage of ‘superspreaders’ and events connected to that, we aren’t going to have the confidence of anybody,” Plumley said.
She said vendors have taken extra precautions to ensure hand sanitizers are set up inside and outside the room and do everything they can to limit the potential spread.
“We have vendors like Chair Flair and they look after things to be sure they have disinfected everything in special bags,” Plumley said.
“They’re putting gloves on when putting linens onto tables.”
Sources say there was no professional planner involved in the Calgary wedding in early October where nearly every single guest tested positive for COVID-19.
Forty-nine out of 63 people at the ceremony and reception contracted the disease.
Roxane Carlson is the events and catering manager at Carriage House Inn. She said that incident is proof that hosts need trusted professionals to guide them through their event.
“What worries me [is] I don’t want it to be a generalization that this is what’s happening at all of them.
“I’m not sure how this even happened to have that many people in a room. It’s hard for us who are trying to follow the rules and keep people safe and something like this can totally explode that,” Carlson said.
Some event planners say they have taken training in risk assessment for mass gatherings to ensure the ceremony and reception aren’t left vulnerable to the virus.
Lynn Fletcher, operator of Lynn Fletcher weddings, said there are creative ways to make it happen.
“We can split the dance floor into two or three different ones so families can dance together,” Fletcher said. “You don’t need one big dance floor.
“We have seating plans for ceremonies where mother and father can sit together. Head tables are cohort friendly, separating maids of honor and best men.”
Plumley and Fletcher said they’ve organized many weddings all summer long — some in person, some virtual — proving it is possible to say “I do” in a safe but sentimental way.
“We’ve worked hard on educating guests and couples on what weddings can look like,” Fletcher said.
“There are ways to make weddings feel normal and loving and happy and celebratory.”