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."
Your wedding plans and the coronavirus: Ontario in state of emergency
Your wedding plans and the coronavirus is a phrase you never wanted to hear but if you planned a spring wedding, unfortunately, it has become we are dealing with worldwide. 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 all 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.
Your wedding plans and the coronavirus: Rescheduling
Deciding to reschedule your wedding is a difficult and often emotional decision. It’s important to follow your local government rules and recommendations regarding large gatherings and weddings specifically. If you feel like you don’t want to reschedule and want to go ahead with your wedding, it’s important to realize that you may not be able to have it at your original venue (many venues are closing for the recommended amount of time). You might not be able to have the same guest list, many areas are restricting the number of people that can be at weddings, the last I heard they are limited to 50 people or less. Keep in mind that these can change so keep on to date on regulations and have a list of must-have guests 10 or under as a safety net in case things change.
There are options to have your guests who can’t be there to celebrate your wedding see your ceremony. Consider video options. You can hire a videographer to document your wedding day and share the wedding video with your friends and family. Plus you can enjoy your wedding video for years to come. Depending on where you are getting married and if it has a reliable internet connection you could use a live streaming service (like Zoom) to connect with your friends and family. You could have a guest film your ceremony with a camera or phone and share the video or do a Facebook live video.
Know that your vendors care about you and your wedding. Nothing like this has happened before and all the wedding vendors I have talked to are trying to figure out the best solutions to take care of their couples and keep their business afloat during this period. The important thing here is communication, most vendors I have talked to are being proactive in talking with couples about the possibilities of rescheduling and what that entails. If you have not been talking with your vendors please reach out, especially before you officially move your wedding date.
This can be an emotionally difficult and overwhelming time for couples getting married and it is okay to have those feelings. I am so sorry you are going through this. Remember that throughout this process that the most important thing is that you are getting married to your love and starting another chapter of your adventure together.
Just think, having your wedding and reception to look forward to at the end of all the social distancing and self-isolation could be a motivation for you, your family and your guests. There is no doubt that this is a hard time to be living through but the idea of your wedding celebration, of seeing everyone and dancing the night away. Let this motivate you and your love ones through rough times. Your reception date might change but the people closest to you are going to be so excited to celebrate your wedding with you.
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