What does the coronavirus mean for your wedding in Ontario?

A-frame cabin in the woods Ontario, Canada. Ontario elopement photographer

Update March 30, 2020 - Ontario limit gatherings to five people max.

"Based on the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately."

"Organized public events include parades, events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. This order replaces a previous emergency order which prohibits organized public events of over 50 people."

These quotes are taken directly from the Ontario newsroom website.

Coronavirus and your wedding in Ontario. The last week has been tough for a lot of people, if you are reading this, then you probably have a wedding planned in the next couple of months. First of all, I am so sorry, wedding planning can be very stressful on its own let alone when the coronavirus is a worldwide issue. Take a deep breath and know that you are not alone. There are many couples weddings affected by this worldwide and there are Facebook support groups available for weddings affected by the coronavirus.

Coronavirus and your wedding in Ontario: Get the info you need but don’t let it take over your daily life.

Make sure to keep up with the current situation but don’t obsess over it. What I mean is, yes watch/read the news but don’t be hitting the refresh button or checking every hour. Typically I will get up and have a regular morning routine, work, and take a break to check the new updates between 11 am and noon. I find if there is any new information that I need to know, it been reported and it gives me an idea if I need to check in later in the day when I finish work, so around 7-8 pm. Twice a day allows me to get the information I need without freaking out, spiralling and not getting anything done. This can be scary and anxious but setting boundaries about how much we are consuming is important. Figure out what works for you but please set healthy boundaries for your mental health. We will get through this.

Coronavirus and your wedding in Ontario: Ontario and its state of emergency

The current situation as I am writing this post is that Ontario is under a state of emergency and those larger gatherings are restricted to 50 people or under. This means conferences, parties, bars and restaurants (they can do takeout) and churches are closed or restricted in what they can do. In regards to weddings, it looks like if they are at private venues they can exempt from the restriction. But it also looks like a lot of venues are choosing to practice social distancing to keep their staff and communities safe. With things changing on the daily/weekly this practice also allows them to get ahead of rescheduling weddings instead of playing a waiting game and potentially having to cancel a wedding 24 hours or less before the wedding day.

As of March 25, 2020, in Ontario, all non-essential business is to close for two weeks the help stop the spread of the virus. Work from home and online businesses are not affected. So what does this mean? As photographers, we can talk on the phone or video chat meetings with couples and other vendors. We can edit, blog and do all the backend business stuff but it does mean that we cannot photograph people. So any couple sessions, engagement photos, weddings and even elopements are put on hold for two weeks. Afterwards, I am assuming at this time and will keep up to date as news is released. But I am assuming that we will be able to photograph couples, families and small groups of people (like elopements and small weddings) I wouldn't at this time plan for weddings to be allowed to go forward with a guest list over 50 people.

You have options for your wedding and I am planning to write a series of blog posts to help you navigate your options during this time. Remember the important thing is you are getting married and starting the next chapter of your adventure together.

I will be posting more blogs with tips and options for couples during this coronavirus time on my blog. You can get all the official updates on the coronavirus from the government of Canada website.

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