Saskatchewan

Easing of restrictions brings new wave of anxiety for brides and grooms amid COVID-19

The future easing of COVID-19 restrictions is welcome news for many, but for brides and grooms who have spent a year continuously tweaking plans for their dream wedding, the announcement brings new frustrations.

Couples who have postponed their nuptials face new challenges as wedding season returns

As of May, just 30 people can attend a wedding reception in Saskatchewan, and food and drinks cannot be present. Neither can a dance floor. ( Alexander_DG/Shutterstock )

The future easing of COVID-19 restrictions is welcome news for many, but for brides who have spent a year continuously tweaking plans for their dream wedding, the news serves up frustration and anxiety.

Amanda Osicki, 36, has rescheduled her wedding three times since the pandemic began. She's now weighing the option of postponing it a fourth time.

"It's frustrating because I am right on the cusp of two stages," Osicki said. 

Saskatchewan has revealed its roadmap to reopening, which includes three stages, with the final stage occurring in late-July where most restrictions will be lifted.

However, Osicki's wedding is scheduled for June 19th — which is right before the province is expected to move to the second stage, which will allow more guests at wedding receptions, but most importantly, it allows food to be served. 

"The thing that I'm not OK with, or feel is unfair, is the fact that we can't have food at this time," Osicki said. "Going into stage one, you have your restaurant opening, and you can have six people per table. But I can't have a caterer booked, who has the capability of serving everyone individually."

Amanda Osicki with her fiancé Matty. The two have postponed their wedding three times throughout the pandemic. (Amanda Osicki)

Navigating through the unknowns

Brides and grooms have spent the past year navigating through the unknown. 

Kelsey Stewart, who is an event planner in Regina, often works with engaged couples, helping them navigate through COVID-19 restrictions. 

"The unknown of the timelines has been the biggest challenge," said Stewart, who owns and operates Noctuary Events.

"Changes can come weeks or days before your wedding."

Those planning a wedding in Saskatchewan must follow the province's reopening plan. The province has also laid out a roadmap that will lift most restrictions by the end of July. Note: The dates provided above for the reopening roadmap are estimates only. Event planning will be required to abide by the public health measures and guidance in place at that time. (CBC)

She has worked with brides to help them focus on things they can control, and for the things they can't, they roll with the punches. 

"Decide what you're willing to sacrifice, and what you're not. If you're not willing to have a 30-person wedding, then postpone your wedding," Osicki said. 

But with Saskatchewan's reopen roadmap underway, larger weddings are again a possibility. 

"It seems like the finish line is in sight," Stewart said.

Return to wedding season brings new challenges

Brides who have postponed their wedding are facing new challenges as wedding season returns.

"Venues are the biggest thing, and they're booking up really fast because there's so many people that bumped their wedding from 2020 to 2021," Stewart said. "And still people are bumping from 2021 to 2022."

Kelsey Stewart is an event planner that owns and operates Noctuary Events in Regina. She says brides have been embracing smaller gatherings. (Kelsey Stewart/Facebook)

Osicki said it's also been tough to rebook services because everyone's competing for the same venue or caterer, and even for hair and makeup. 

"It's not as easy to just pick a new date and then everything will fall into place," Osicki said. "People and services aren't available for later dates."

Stewart said some brides are meeting that challenge by keeping their wedding small, despite the easing of restrictions. 

"People are really embracing the COVID wedding and the small gatherings," Stewart said. 

"They say it's a much more intimate feel and they don't mind the idea of a small wedding."

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