Married in a pandemic - Stories from 2020 Ontario Weddings

Well it’s no secret that the idea of smaller weddings, micro weddings, elopements, intimate celebrations, or whatever you want to call them have gained popularity throughout the course of the pandemic thus far. With couples in Ontario being forced to make hard decisions surrounding their weddings; some have decided to postpone all together, some have chosen to have an intimate ceremony now and a reception later, and some are going with a micro wedding now and calling it a day!

As Jenn and I spoke about our experience with Ontario weddings last year and despite the shortened wedding season, there were 25 intimate weddings under our collective belts throughout the pandemic. We reached out to a handful of these couples from 2020 and asked them about their experiences with pandemic planning, ever changing guidelines in the province of Ontario, handling their guest lists and vendors, among other obstacles. All these couples made the choice to get married anyways, just under different circumstances! We decided to highlight the underlying motivation, lasting memories, themes and all the magical moments present at those weddings! Keep reading because we found some pretty incredible commonalities throughout the responses!

NO STRESS Most couples mentioned that they appreciated being able to actually spend quality time on their wedding day with their partner! Who would have thought! Haha! But in all seriousness many mentioned that they enjoyed the “no stress” aspect of the day. They were actually able to have meaningful, real and relaxed conversations with the family and friends that were present. Some couples touched on the fact that since they were going with an intimate celebration whether at home or elsewhere, that there was no hard set timeline or schedule. They could go with the flow, be flexible and relax and take it all in; really emphasizing the no stress atmosphere again!

FEEL THE LOVE Many couples mentioned just how strongly the connection felt with their intimate group, they could truly “feel the love and support” that surrounded them. One couple mentioned that since they had an intimate dinner of just 11 guests plus themselves, there were no set or planned speeches to be done and just a nice dinner together. But by the time dinner had ended everyone had spontaneously given a toast or shared loving words to the couple! Other couples reiterated this in other ways, mentioning how special it was to have so much more time with their partner, more time with family or other guests who were able to be present. All couples said that they truly felt like the day was about them; their relationship, the love between them and about celebrating them tying the knot!

MAGIC MOMENTS Among the responses, a common feeling that couples expressed was that their day was filled with ‘magic’ - and a lot of this happened throughout the unplanned moments! Quite a few of the couples said that since they weren’t rushing between locations and sticking to a set timeline there was less pressure to act a certain way, do certain ‘traditions’ that tend to take place at weddings, or the stress of performing in front of a large group of people. They could just go with the flow, have fun and enjoy the company they shared! Due to the unpredictability of planning during a pandemic, couples found they could be more creative with their day too. Like opting to get ready together in the morning and enjoy their coffee, having a spontaneous dance party, or calling it a night early and spending the evening together.

When we approached our couples about putting together this article we asked them about moments that they now absolutely cherish from their wedding day that may not have been possible had they been able to go ahead with a larger wedding. As you can see from our stats on 2020 weddings, many of our couples had originally planned to celebrate with a larger crowd, or in a different country, so we expected to receive many different answers about moments that were unexpected, moments that they hadn’t even considered because their day would have looked and felt so much different. We were shocked to see that all the responses overlapped with the above themes. Couples touching on specific moments they cherish with their partner that may not have happened had they been pulled in so many directions with a 100 person wedding. Or having meaningful conversations with their parents over dinner that probably wouldn’t have happened at a larger multi table wedding. In the cases where the original wedding plans involved a lot more people and a large venue, these moments were all unexpected. But it was clear that the commonalities between all these couples and their experiences were piling up. But the biggest one of all was that every single couple mentioned that their day was stress free! Couples didn’t expect to have such a carefree, stress free day, but given that they’d adjusted their plans, there was no stress surrounding timelines, travel, meal times, seating charts, small talk, etc.

To wrap things up, as previously mentioned, these intimate weddings have been taking over the wedding world throughout the course of the pandemic. After a year of being a part of them and seeing others celebrate in the same way, we honestly believe they are here to stay (for those that want it). Take it from these couples, they wouldn’t change a thing!

Combined 2020 Ontario Wedding Stats

  • 52% of couples kept their original wedding date and went ahead with their celebration

  • 44% of couples were married on private property (home, a cottage or airbnb)

  • 48% of couples chose a new wedding date (either forced to due to lockdowns or voluntarily moved)

  • Average guest count was 19 people

  • 4 destination weddings cancelled

  • 11 new couples booked