Many people are postponing their weddings due to COVID-19. (File contributed/ Julia Loglisci)

Weddings cancelled, postponed and altered due to COVID-19

Many Vancouver Islanders are holding off on ‘I do’s’ until after the pandemic has passed

Spring and summer are the most popular times for Vancouver Island weddings, but many people are now forced to cancel or postpone their dream day due to COVID-19.

“I’ve got 15 weddings scheduled this summer and already had three cancel or postpone,” said Julia Loglisci, a professional photographer based out of Victoria. “It sucks because even though I do photograph a lot of other things, weddings are my main source of income, as it is for many other vendors.”

On March 16, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry banned any gatherings larger than 50 people, and implored everyone to practise social distancing. This forced venues to shut down and seen cancellations of most religious gatherings as well, including large wedding ceremonies.

ALSO READ: Pregnant in a pandemic – expectant mothers change birth plans due to COVID-19

“It’s hard times right now for sure, but even though I’m a small business owner, I feel worse for my brides and grooms going through this,” Loglisci said. “It’s supposed to be the best day of your life.”

One of Loglisci’s clients, Dione Travis and her fiancé, had planned to have a wedding in Greater Victoria on April 18, but chose to cancel the event as soon as they heard about border cancellations.

“We had family coming up from Australia so we knew if they couldn’t come we weren’t going to do it,” Travis said. “In my opinion, weddings should be about hugging, kissing and shaking hands, so we’ll wait until we can do that.”

Luckily for Travis, all of her vendors were understanding of the situation and had no issues postponing the celebrations. She added that in the meantime, she and her fiancé may look into an elopement and have the ceremony later.

Besides doing photography, Loglisci also owns a pop-up wedding business designed for elopements, and said so far she has seen an uptick in requests.

ALSO READ: Friends, family surprise Current Swell singer and new wife with socially distant wedding

“I got two emails just yesterday; I do really think that people will be considering doing a pop up wedding right now, and eloping,” she said. “That being said, I am respecting the ‘stay at home’ safety policy right now, and even though I am promoting my pop up wedding, elopement style ceremonies right now, I won’t be doing them until it’s safe to do so.”

Saanich woman Alexa Way had planned a destination wedding to Maui scheduled for March 24, but decided to cancel when advisories were put out stating that anyone returning home from travel would have to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

“We weren’t comfortable asking our guests to do that,” Way said. “It was a hard decision to make, but it was definitely the right call that was later confirmed when they closed the borders.”

The resort and vendors were happy to accommodate a refund, though airlines were another story and only gave her until December to use travel credits.

Luckily Way and her fiancé, Mark, already had their legal ceremony on a small beach in February to avoid any legal problems in the States.

“I’m really grateful we did that, but if we had we known the celebration in Maui would have been cancelled we would have maybe done something more to celebrate that day, we really just went home,” she said. “We’ve been planning our wedding for two years and were so close, so it was definitely a bummer.”

So far the couple is planning on just waiting it out to see what happens. In the meantime they are dealing with the stress of potential exposure to COVID-19, since Mark is a millwright at the Royal Jubilee Hospital and repairs things such as ventilators, hospital beds and other equipment.

“Sometimes I feel sad for myself, but then you realize a lot of other people are going through it, too,” Way said.

ALSO READ: Death looks different in a pandemic– Vancouver Islanders taking new measures for funerals

City hall weddings are also off the table, said City of Victoria’s head of engagement, Bill Eisenhauer. 

“All public use events, including weddings, at city hall are now on hold during the health emergency for the foreseeable future. The next date set for city hall weddings is June 12,” Eisenhauer said, noting that so far there were no confirmed bookings cancelled, with the next confirmed booking taking place Sept. 18. “At this time we are simply taking a waiting list of any inquiries for June 12, but not confirming any bookings.”

However, people are still willing to get creative with their weddings, with Greater Victoria seeing a steady number of wedding licences issued by Service BC in recent months.

According to Service BC, from February 1, 2019 to April 1, 2019, a total of 616 licences were processed. In comparison, from Feb. 1 to April 1, Service BC processed 610 licences.

READ MORE: No laws in B.C. to force businesses to offer refunds, even during a pandemic

London Drugs, the only other locations in Greater Victoria where people can pick up marriage licences, has also not seen a significant change in purchases. London Drugs spokesperson Wendy Hartley said this may be due to the fact that when licences are issued they are good for three months, and that anyone seeking an extension would need to get in contact with Vital Statistics.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

CoronavirusWeddings

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Many people are postponing their weddings due to COVID-19. (File contributed/ Julia Loglisci)

Just Posted

Surrey to pay TransLink $30M in land, $9M in cash for work on cancelled LRT

Council considered staff report on city’s 2019 annual financial statements during Monday’s “virtual” council meeting

Surrey RCMP promise enforcement at unofficial show ‘n’ shines

Cars have been impounded at the site in the last two years

‘There’s no playbook for this’: South Surrey sports organizations await approval to return to play

Local associations planning for modified summer seasons as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Local Chinese Canadians aim to counter COVID-19 backlash

Few racist incidents on Peninsula, says Community Engagement Society

Surrey now has second urgent and primary care centre, in Newton, premier says

Premier John Horgan noted that some 90,000 people in Surrey don’t have a family doctor

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Death toll rises in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

Number has risen to 22, making it the worst to date in B.C.

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read