Wedding Planner

British Columbia’s COVID-19 restrictions are leaving the wedding industry in shock

Ally Collinson and Colton Harrison got engaged almost two years ago.

The pandemic has caused their first wedding date to be postponed.

Now COVID-19 is forcing them to change their plans again.

“(It’s) really stressful and scary and we’re just worried if six months from now we’re rescheduling (and) it’s still going on,” Harrison said, explaining what it was like to hear their next reception. marriage was now banned because of new health restrictions.

The couple had only planned a small event with 30 people.

“It doesn’t make sense to me to be able to sit in a mall’s food court with more people than with me at my wedding and that’s totally okay,” said Collinson. “People can’t be with their families, but they can be with strangers in a mall. “

The couple’s event planner, Tracy Byron of Cinderella Slip-Ons Event Rentals, is doing what she can to help, even as the losses for her own business continue to mount.

“(It’s) a little upsetting, to say the least,” Byron said of the new restrictions.

“It’s number three for all of us in the industry, not just for us.”

This time around, Byron has had six weddings, a wedding show, and private events off the calendar.

The latest rules are another blow to its long list of COVID-19 cancellations.

“As soon as COVID 2020 hit, I had 230 marriages canceled or postponed or they weren’t sure what they were going to do,” she said. “I have clients who move their dates three and four times.”

She has diversified her business to make ends meet and, fighting back tears, says her business has only survived “with the tremendous support of her family and friends.”

She says the new rules are confusing.

“You can go to a Canucks game with 9,000 people, but you cannot go to a wedding with 30 people,” she said.

Reservations for wedding photographers are also in limbo.

“It really is like a waste of last minute work,” said wedding photographer Amanda Coldicutt.

“We have weddings planned and then all of a sudden they’re called off,” she added. “It’s been a constant roller coaster of ups and downs… I like to think that (the rules are) there for a reason and that’s what we have to cope with, but it’s definitely difficult for small owners. companies. “

Florist Alyssa Ryan says a couple she worked with got married last year but were hoping to have a big party this year.

The rules just changed that, and now she ends up with flowers she ordered months ago.

“So now I’m stuck with a bunch of products that I’m going to have to try and make money on because they don’t need it anymore,” she said.

The British Columbia Ministry of Health said in an emailed statement that health officials “know how difficult the restrictions are” for businesses forced to shut down.

“Funeral services, weddings and religious services in a funeral home or religious center are not affected by this ordinance,” the ministry statement said. “It is the celebration of life, it is the wedding reception after that will have to be postponed for this period of time.”

As for Collinson and Harrison, the couple will forgo the party for now and speak out in a private ceremony on New Years Day.