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Should You Get Married During COVID-19?

Should You Get Married During COVID-19?
March 27, 2020 Riana Ang-Canning

Disclaimer: This post was written on Mar 26, 2020 and in adherence with the current federal, provincial and municipal guidelines to the best of our ability. For the most up to date information, please check the guidelines in place for your region.

Let us start by saying that if you have a wedding planned for March, April or May, our hearts go out to you. This is a really difficult and uncertain time, and you’re likely being forced to make some very tough decisions. This is not what wedding planning is supposed to be. 

But here’s the big question: Should you get married during COVID-19?

Should you have a big wedding?

Short answer: No.

Almost everywhere, gatherings of over 50 people (or fewer!) have been banned. A large wedding is impossible at this time. It’s no longer a question of whether you should have a big wedding – it’s simply that you can’t.

And that really sucks. 

If you have been planning your wedding for months or years, only to have everything change in a matter of days, that is not a fun feeling – to put it mildly. The stress, the disappointment, the worry and the other emotions you may be feeling at this time are all valid. We are so sorry you have to go through this. We sincerely hope you’re able to postpone your wedding and still have the wedding you want, just on a different date. 

What about a small wedding? 

So you’re not allowed to have a big wedding during the coronavirus pandemic, but what about a small wedding? What about eloping now and then having your big reception next year? 

That might sound like a good idea at first – and believe us, we’d like nothing more than to get you married on your chosen wedding date – but let’s really think about it. What does it look like to have a small wedding during COVID-19?

To start, you won’t be permitted to invite any guests. So it won’t be enough to simply shrink your 150 person guest list to 49. In this age of social distancing and self-isolation, even small weddings should only be attended by the two witnesses required by law to sign your marriage licence – and even they would need to stand pretty far away from you.

Your officiant would also need to respect rules of social distancing, in order to protect not only themselves but the two of you, all of your families, and anyone you’re in touch with. This might look like your officiant wearing a mask and gloves, and standing two metres away from you as they conduct your ceremony. 

There are a million other things that would be impacted by COVID-19 at your small wedding. Your photographer, if one is willing to work, would not be able to get near you for close up portraits. You would need to sanitize your pen before signing your licence, or have everyone bring their own pen. You might not be able to get flowers, decor, a cake, or hair and makeup done as vendors are closed. And you wouldn’t be able to hug your parents or best friends right after you make things official. 

Why you should consider postponing 

Your wedding is an important and joyous day. It shouldn’t be a day full of pressure or stress about a global pandemic. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not you’re standing far enough away from your loved ones as you say your vows. 

We want you to have the wedding that you want. We don’t want you to have to sacrifice a single thing – whether that be your venue, your vision or your guest list – on your wedding day.  

As wedding officiants, we’re not usually in the business of telling engaged couples not to get married. But in extreme circumstances such as we find ourselves in, we strongly believe that if you are able to postpone your wedding, no matter its size, you should do so. 

We say this looking out for your safety, looking out for our safety, and doing our part to obey government guidelines and protect public health. And we don’t say it lightly. We know postponing a wedding is the last thing anyone wants to do. Our hearts go out to you. We want to do everything we can to make your postponement easy and to help get you married as soon as it is safe to do so! 

But you still want to get married now! 

If you still want to make a commitment to your partner, that’s awesome! Marriage is incredible and we applaud you for wanting to stand up, commit to one another, and celebrate your relationship. Especially in times of uncertainty, there’s something so special about two people who want to face all things together. 

So what are the options if you want to get married now? 

  1. If you want to make a symbolic commitment with your partner during this time, we would be honoured and thrilled to officiate a virtual ceremony for you. We’ll connect with you online and marry you over a video call, completing the legal paperwork in person at a later date. If you are interested in a virtual ceremony (with a signing to follow), please get in touch.
  2. While we encourage all couples to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided to hold their ceremony, we also understand that some couples wish to move forward with getting legally married now. We are handling everything on a case by case basis, and safety is always our priority. If you wish to get married now, please reach out to us and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.    

If you are in an emergency situation and need to get legally married, please get in touch

Final notes

We are facing some very uncertain times, not only in the wedding industry but in every industry and every household across the world. This is an unprecedented global situation and it’s requiring all of us to make sacrifices and tackle tough situations. 

At Young Hip & Married, we want to care for you. We feel the best way to do that at this time is to encourage you to postpone your spring wedding. It’s also a great way for you to care for yourselves, your guests and your vendors. 

By postponing, you’re not only prioritizing everyone’s safety but you’re helping small businesses, like most of your wedding vendors, stay afloat. The harsh reality is that during this crisis, wedding vendors are not making any revenue and some may even need to close down. By postponing your wedding, and not cancelling, you allow these vendors to continue to pay their staff, pay their bills and keep their business going.