For Anistasia Mechefske & Chris Hibberd, the plan was to have more than 150 guests and a traditional wedding ceremony.
That changed with the latest round of restrictions limiting weddings to only ten people in the room as they tied the knot.
But instead of cancelling, the couple got married anyway and hosted a drive-thru Zoom wedding on Wednesday.
“We wanted to have this to share with everyone,” said Hibberd. “This was the option where we were able to adhere to all the guidelines but able to share it with a broader group of people.”
More than two dozen cars filled with family and friends parked outside of Flores & Pine, just west of Calgary and watched the ceremony on their phones.
Bock McMillan works with Hibberd and said it’s the first wedding they’ve been able to attend this year.
“I think it went quite well,” said McMillan. “I know they’ve been planning this for a long time and there’s been a lot of adjustments and changes to their plan so I think it worked out well for them.”
Guests who showed up in person also got a take-out dinner to enjoy at home, something that Flores & Pine’s general manager, Brye Ponto, said helps her feel like she’s running her business pre-pandemic.
“I miss waking up to tables and seeing how people are enjoying their dinner,” said Ponto. “So (I enjoyed) seeing that immediate reaction and that they enjoyed their day.”
Ponto said that since weddings are a big portion of their business, she did have to lay off all of the servers and bartenders before the holidays, and that they’re keeping afloat through take-out and meal kits.
“The cost of just opening the doors and turning the lights on (is still high),” said Ponto. “Our labour costs have gone down but just to keep the doors open, it’s literally week by week, looking at the numbers.”
Anistasia and Chris hope that others on the fence about getting married during the pandemic do think about a similar wedding and supporting local businesses since, in the end, it’s about starting a new chapter.
“(Being married) feels great,” said Hibbered. “It went well and she said yes so that’s always a positive.”