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Wedding plans? B.C. experts offer advice amid pandemic

Last Updated Feb 12, 2021 at 12:38 am PDT

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) — The most romantic day of the year is just around the corner, and although it’s typically a popular time for weddings and proposals, the industry doesn’t have high hopes for Valentine’s Day in 2021.

Sheila Isaaks, is the manager of The Bridal Gallery on Columbia Street in New West and says the pandemic has thrown many wrenches into people’s plans.

“Especially working in the wedding industry I see brides postponing their weddings I’ve had them postpone once, twice, three times one bride has had to postpone her wedding four times.”

But Isaaks isn’t just the manager, she also has plans of being a bride herself. Seeing the pain other couples have gone through – having to postpone their weddings, Isaaks and her partner have decided a small wedding is the only way to guarantee things will go ahead.

“I just know whatever will be that will be amazing, just the two of us great, if it’s 10 people great and if it’s allowed to the 40 people we actually want  to invite, I will be elated,” she explains.

Isaaks is not alone, many are opting to skip elaborate and large weddings for more immediate intimate ceremonies – because of the current COVID restrictions and the fact that they’ve been extended indefinitely in B.C.

Richmond-based wedding planner Alice Fung runs “Events To.The.Nines” and is trying to help couples tie the knot – keeping in line with the in the midst pandemic restrictions.

With weddings limited to 10 people or under her company is now throwing pop-up weddings at the Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport.

“We give you the space, we give you the most popular décor we looked at the most ordered décor of the last couple of years and then we give the bride and groom 3 rooms they can choose from and after they choose their room we take care of as much we can we can,” Fung says.

The team provides an officiant, a photographer and even a bridal suite in the hotel. Going small may not be a bad idea, even when rules are eased according to wedding planner Maureen Brown, who feels worries when restrictions do ease demand could overwhelm supply.

“You moved it to 2021 and then to 2022 and now you have everyone who got engaged in 21 and 22 so putting together a wedding is like a jigsaw puzzle, perfect venue, perfect DJ and make sure they are all available and if you wait another year you have to see if it fits all back together again,” Brown says.

Although larger venues and service providers are still struggling, at The Bridal Gallery Isaak says wedding dresses are still being consistently sold, the only change is that the wedding itself is looking quite different.

“it’s just 10 immediate family in people backyards or on a mountain top and bride and groom and people marrying them, people are getting creative and moving away from the 250 person formal celebration.”

So whether you plan to pop the question this Valentine’s Day or start prepping wedding plans, experts advise if you’re looking for a larger wedding you may want to hold off until at least fall.