Aileen Bishop and her fiancÃ© Maurice Leier are getting married in Grande Prairie on Sunday, and in addition to the traditional anxiety of the day before the wedding, Bishop is worried about COVID-19.
âI was pretty nervous about it. I really don’t want to be that bride causing a spreading event. I don’t want to be that person who negatively impacts people, âBishop said.
The couple changed their marriage due to the pandemic, dropping from 50 guests to 14 and taking many safety precautions as health guidelines changed.
âIf plan A doesn’t work, what is plan B? What is plan C? And I think at this point you kind of have to be prepared for anything, âBishop said.
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With couples trying to make sure their marriages are in tune with the last set of restrictions, sellers must be on their guard.
âIt’s tough, and I think we just did our best to just roll with the punches,â said John Takla, owner of Talent productions in Edmonton.
His company provides DJ services for dozens of weddings – a handful this weekend alone.
Every time the rules change, he has to adapt his business.
âAs soon as the mask mandate was implemented in Edmonton, we certainly noticed a slowdown in sales and inquiries,â Takla said.
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Now, the mask’s mandate is province-wide, as is a change to liquor laws, with alcohol service halted at 10 p.m.
âIt definitely puts a bit of a damper on the fun party life of an event. But I feel like we need to do something, âTakla said, referring to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the province.
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He said he hoped the drink restrictions wouldn’t prevent people from dancing.
“I feel like people will always try to make the most of their day, and people might start dancing a little earlier to account for the alcohol being shut down earlier.”
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But the end of the liquor service at 10 p.m. will certainly have an impact on bartenders, like Tina Balding. She owns BrewSisters mobile bar service in Edmonton and has nearly a dozen weddings planned over the next two months.
âHalf of these marriages are probably going to be called off just because of these restrictions. It’s a giant hole in our income, âshe said.
Balding said she is typically hired to serve between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m. It will be a huge adjustment.
“Kind of a giant knife in the stomach because, say, like an eight-hour shift, we’re doing four hours now.”
She worries that the restrictions will make things more dangerous.
âThey’re going to be leaving the facility that has been cleaned up and has protocols and social distancing, all of the things in place that are considered a safe environment. They’re going to leave this place and gather at someone’s house, âBalding said.
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But not all events are equally impacted by the latest restrictions.
âThe majority of the companies we work with are so much more comfortable with a virtual event. And so in fact, for the rest of 2021, the only events we’re working on are virtual or hybrid, âexplained Hannah Chorneyko, founder of Connected events.
She said the mask warrant is also an easy sell.
“The events I’ve attended and the events we’ve planned, we see people more comfortable with masks, especially when they’re with a group of people they don’t know.”
But for now, Chorneyko will continue to work on virtual events, where she notes that the technology has improved a lot.
âSome of the platforms we use right now are amazing and you can really replicate the look and feel of events in person. “
She recommends that people planning any type of event have a backup plan in place and whether they will postpone or cancel if restrictions require it.
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