A Glance Into the Wedding Industry During COVID

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An Ottawa wedding party celebrates on October 3rd, 2020 Rockbamboo Photo & Film

which uncle or aunty will be the 30th guest is only one facet of the nightmare

Despite everything going on in the world right now, many couples are still getting married in 2020. From secret weddings bringing together numbers of people far beyond the provincial limit to livestreams with four guests—Saskatchewan has had it all.

If you are planning your wedding in 2020, then you know it is no simple task. Deciding which uncle or aunty will be the 30th guest is only one facet of the nightmare. What about the honeymoon?

But 2020 has also brought out an intimate and special side of many weddings. Perhaps your wedding only has five guests, but those are five you will never forget. Also, live streams are an option you might have only considered due to the presence of a global pandemic, but this allows guests from far away to make the wedding without the uncomfortable flight. So there are some upsides, too.

A steep pain for some however, is that according to weddingwire.ca, “the average wedding cost in Canada is roughly $29,450.” Add another $10,000 and that’s the total cost of some wedding’s flowers—and that is not a stretch.

While the number of dollars spent could technically symbolize a small tangible fraction of your love for your spouse-to-be, it also could be perceived as, “just a big flex” – but who cares! Weddings are all about the excessive — you did not need those six pampas grass plumes or a dessert table of eight cakes, but you did it anyway. It is about embracing the day and its magic.

I asked Shannon Chu about her thoughts as a photographer in the industry, 

“Wedding season is a lot less busy this year thanks to COVID-19,” she said. “But that allowed me to spend more time coming up with creative ideas for photoshoots.” 

Additionally, Chu said, “I photographed a wedding in Ottawa this past weekend and while the fall colours and scenery were absolutely breathtaking, the entire wedding party consisted of no more than 20 people–all wore masks for the entire wedding, including a majority of the photoshoots.”

Other photographers have had similar experiences. The industry as a whole has been given a great amount of time to really think about branding and technique.

Although I got married a year ago, the wedding celebration was supposed to take place August 15, 2020. However, with COVID, we decided to postpone until next year. Like seventy percent of my own clients, we decided it just was not worth the risk. This has given my wife and I all the time we need to get the details perfect for the actual day. 

And as photographers, our 2021 is packed.

We have clients who moved their dates and clients who booked in advance.

If you would have asked us a year ago, we never would have imagined what a pandemic could do to the wedding industry, and we are still finding out how far-reaching the impacts will be.

Some couples hire photographers from different countries and many photographers found themselves in awkward situations where they are not able to fly to that particular country under the current circumstances—with a no-refund policy on retainer fees, yet having collected thousands of dollars from multiple clients prior to weddings, some photographers had to return tens of thousands of dollars to clients due to the special circumstances of COVID.

Thankfully COVID has been more positive for our business than negative due to the overall time it provided us, and being in Saskatchewan helped tremendously due to our open space and relatively relaxed people.

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