Hitched in a hurry: Manitoba venue to host pop-up weddings to help couples tie the knot in an hour

A St. Andrews chapel will hold a day of pop-up weddings in August to help couples forced to cancel their nuptials because of the novel coronavirus, with an event planner saying an entire wedding can be done in just an hour.

Quickie weddings a great option during COVID-19 pandemic, says event planner

Tiny Chapel Beginnings in St. Andrews, Man., will be holding a day of pop-up weddings in August to help couples looking to throw a cheaper wedding, or for those who had to cancel earlier plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Still Dreaming Photography/Tiny Chapel Beginnings)

There are plenty of things you can do in an hour: get a photo printed, have alterations done, take your car in for an oil change.

Add getting married to that list.

A St. Andrews, Man., venue is inviting couples to get married in 60 minutes in a pop-up wedding.

"We've picked a day for six mini weddings," said Susi Neault, owner of Tiny Chapel Beginnings — the venue just north of Winnipeg that will host the brief ceremonies on Aug. 22.

Neault says couples can will be able to do their entire wedding in an hour, with a maximum 25 guests.

Susi Neault is the owner of Tiny Chapel Beginnings in St. Andrews, Man. The venue is inviting six couples to tie the knot in a day of pop-up weddings. (Still Dreaming Photography/Tiny Chapel Beginnings)

They can take pictures with a professional photographer, cut the cake, and even have their first dance as a married couple.  

"They can still have their dream wedding, in just a smaller scale," Neault said.

Exchanging vows this way is ideal for couples who don't want the stress of planning a wedding, or those who had to cancel earlier plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she says.

"There are so many weddings that have been cancelled this year, and it's unfortunate."

Neault teamed up with wedding planner Courtney Parker, from Zairalyn Events, who had already helped plan four pop-up weddings at East Selkirk's Hawthorn Estates in early July.  

Parker's success with those events prompted her to plan more miniature weddings, so she approached Tiny Chapel.

Courtney Parker runs Zairalyn Events. To help couples who were forced to cancel their wedding because of COVID-19, she's planning a day of pop-up weddings with a St. Andrews chapel. (EA Photography (EA Millama))

"I love it. It was fun," she said. "Just the experience of the couples — seeing them do a whole miniature wedding in one hour — was beautiful."

She says some of the couples she's helped walk down the aisle recently really wanted to get married after having to cancel their original plans.

"Some of them were engaged for a while, and they didn't want to host a huge wedding," she said.

"This was a great opportunity for them to have a smaller wedding that could just let them get everything done in one hour, and then they could go and celebrate with their families elsewhere."

All the couples have to do is show up, dressed for the big day, she says.

COVID-19 forced wedding planner to get creative

Parker says COVID-19 has hit her hard. Her company is only in its first year.  

"I had quite a few weddings that were postponed till next year."

However, she says she was determined to find an alternative. That's when she started planning pop-up weddings.

Tiny Chapel Beginnings in St. Andrews is the site of a day of pop-up weddings being hosted on Aug. 22. Couples can do their entire wedding, including exchanging vows, cutting the cake and taking pictures, in just 60 minutes. (Still Dreaming Photography/Tiny Chapel Beginnings)

Parker says Tiny Chapel Beginnings will be a fun place for couples because it's a Western-themed venue.

And because it sits on an acreage, there's room for guests to physically distance, says Neault.

She adds the venue has 30 minutes between each booking to sanitize and set up for the next couple.

The pop-up weddings will cost anywhere between $1,800 to $2,500, including the venue, flowers, cake, photographer, DJ and wine for the couple to take home. That's a fraction of what an average wedding would cost these days, Neault says.

Parker says she's already booked local vendors who are on board with being involved in the next pop-up.


Marjorie Dowhos is the host of CBC Manitoba's Radio Noon. She is an RTNDA award-winning reporter. Marjorie joined CBC Manitoba in 2010. Prior to that, she was an anchor, reporter and videojournalist in Thunder Bay, Ont., Medicine Hat, AB., Fort McMurray, AB., and Fort St. John, B.C. Marjorie is also the host of the CBC podcast 'Jets Stream'.


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