Easing of restrictions brings new wave of anxiety for brides and grooms amid COVID-19
Couples who have postponed their nuptials face new challenges as wedding season returns
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."
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."
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."
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."