Future spouses rushed the available dates to marry at all costs this summer after two years of delays, even if it means saying yes midweek or at dinner time.
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“Couples are much more flexible than in the past, we even have weddings on Tuesdays or Thursdays,” says Nadine Topuzogullari, wedding planner at Le Cœur bohème.
It’s because they have little choice: the calendar of photographers, caterers, rooms for rent, night entertainers, florists and other caterers has long been full.
“It’s like three years in one! exclaims Mrs. Topuzogullari, who is coordinating the organization of about forty weddings in the coming months.
“Once the restrictions started to loosen, I didn’t know where to turn,” recalls photographer Jessica Samyn, who will immortalize 22 ceremonies this summer.
If nearly 11,000 weddings were celebrated in Quebec between July and September 2019, there were just 4,750 in 2020 and 6,500 last year on the same dates.
“For us, it was inconceivable to marry with a mask”, explains Stéphanie Lacroix, who is one of those who preferred to postpone the exchange of vows until this year.
Some lovers have been waiting for this big day for so long that they’ve had time to change jobs or have children since their engagement.
“I have clients who postpone their marriage for the third year. I’ll miss them when it’s over,” admits Maryse Noël of Créations Maryse Noël.
About 90% of the 22 weddings she is orchestrating this summer have been postponed at least once.
Some couples, however, did not survive the whims of the pandemic and canceled their ceremony, many in the industry report.
To a lesser extent, brides and grooms have often had to deal with menu changes, an unavailable DJ on the new date, or a new guest list.
“The pandemic has made it possible to make a natural home, I dare say,” testifies Julie Latreille, who went from 86 to 60 guests for her wedding in an orchard in Saint-Hilaire.
“With COVID, three of my five bridesmaids no longer fit into their dresses,” adds Ms. Lacroix playing.
Despite these unforeseen circumstances, the joy of the newlyweds and their loved ones at the idea of getting together to celebrate without restrictions is even more marked than usual, underlines Father Jacques Fortin, parish priest of Notre-Dame-de-la-New France. , near Quebec.
But not everything is back to normal yet.
“As much as people need to vent [pistes] dance, even if a certain mistrust remains. I still see people who wear the mask by choice,” says Alain Simard, owner of Quebec-based disco-mobile AudioPlus.
Inflation came to the reception
Repeatedly postponed weddings are a real headache for caterers, planners and brides and grooms in the face of rising prices and labor shortages.
“We had to negotiate a lot in 2020 with the owners of the reception hall to postpone our wedding for a year at no cost, we even consulted legal assistance,” says Ghislain Tanguay, who is getting married this summer in Laval.
For others, it is the supplier’s price increases, the delivery of decorative elements or floral arrangements that create friction.
“Today, I’m really looking forward to it, but I’ve been disappointed in the last two years. I think I would have canceled everything if I didn’t have an organizer to manage that installment,” says Julie Latreille, who finally hopes to get married at the end of July.
Plan A, B, C, D
These unexpected changes, however, add a significant workload for experienced wedding planners.
“It’s all on our shoulders, and it’s a lot more pressure than before,” says Nadine Topuzogullari, who is racking her brains to find an “A, B, C and D” plan for the smallest details of the weddings.
And this, while most wedding planners have not charged more since signing pre-pandemic contracts.
“We have been following our newlyweds for two years and technically their package has been paid for a long time. They are weddings without income”, says Valérie Bigras, wedding planner at Life after yes.
Suppliers are among the suppliers hardest hit by labor shortages and inflation.
“Our book is full for the summer, but we don’t have enough staff to meet all our needs,” confirms Stéphane Guay, owner of the Chemin faire buffet in Montreal. The latter resigned itself to raising its prices, which its customers accepted.
He also finds himself with contracts from his former competitors who have abandoned weddings or catering since the pandemic.
At La Champenoise, which offers turnkey wedding packages on the South Shore, the cost of meals hasn’t increased a penny for contracts signed before 2021.
“We’re at a financial loss, but it’s a contract,” sighs Catherine Lussier, the venue’s manager.
two years of rollercoaster
Photo courtesy of MARIE-PIER LAVOIE
A bride from Montérégie has gone through the full gamut of emotions with the waves of the pandemic and the postponement of her wedding date.
“I was very involved in the preparation and every time I came back, I was disappointed,” admits Julie Latreille, a 36-year-old financial planner.
Today, the bride is, however, thrilled at the idea of officially joining her fate with that of her wife, Dany Lepain, 36, and that, without health restrictions, on July 30, 2022.
“For us it will be a celebration of love, we wanted to be able to be close, between spouses but also with our guests,” said Latreille, who called a wedding planner.
from church to roof of a hotel
Photo courtesy DeBelle Photography
A wedding that was supposed to take place in a church by the water is finally taking place on the terrace of a downtown Montreal hotel.
“In our minds, we arrived by boat, we got married in a church on the South Shore, it was wow,” recalls Stéphanie Lacroix, who will marry her partner, Mathieu Pouliot, in August.
However, COVID-19, but also the closure at the last march of the Manoir Rouville-Campbell, where the couple planned the celebrations, derailed the plans.
“Let’s say we had to make concessions. I didn’t want to go any further,” sighs the 38-year-old marketing manager.
The lovers’ wedding planner finally found a hotel in Old Montreal ready to welcome them, but they had to back out of the originally planned religious ceremony.
it was time
Photo courtesy, KARINE BOIVIN
An engaged couple during the pandemic will finally be able to get married in the fall in the presence of a very sick relative.
“We didn’t want to put it off any longer,” says Jade Shanker, who will marry the love of her life, Ariane Sirvent, in Rougemont on October 22, 2022.
The couple absolutely wanted Ariane’s mother, who has stage 4 brain cancer, to be present at the ceremony.
However, it turned out to be particularly tricky to find a place this year, given the postponement of many weddings, including theirs.
“It was stressful, we had to make a point of passing on the information to the whole family and harmonizing the changes with the suppliers”, admits the nurse by profession, who carefully prepared the big day.
a concept fall into the water
Laval’s lovers, together for 20 years, who were planning to exchange their vows on June 20, 2020, had to change their minds.
Ghislain Tanguay and his wife, Caroline St-Jean, will finally get married on Saturday, June 25, 2022, surrounded by their loved ones, which is the main thing.
“What stressed me out was losing family members, either because of age or COVID,” says Tanguay, who still has several “very old” aunts.
Ghislain and Caroline lovingly wrapped around 120 candles as gifts for their guests. They had to manually re-tag them with the correct date due to the postponement of the ceremony.
“At the same time, we had nothing better to do in confinement,” laughs the father of three.
a year off of the common
“The lack of manpower complicates operations, but we experience the intense happiness of someone who has been trying to get married for three years. »
– Maryse Noël, wedding planner
“People who write to me asking for pictures in October, we forget about that! »
– Jessica Samyn, wedding photographer
“Everything is missing. Both local and foreign flowers. »
– Marie Ève Sauvageau, florist and co-owner of Grenadine Atelier
“I congratulate the future spouses. It takes a lot of willpower to go through a pandemic and still get married. »
– Alain Simard, owner of AudioPlus disco mobile devices
“I have two couples who wanted to postpone the wedding [à la basilique Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré] from 2022 to 2023.”
– Father Jacques Fortin, parish priest of Notre-Dame-de-la-Nouvelle-France, near Quebec.