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COMMUNITY

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By Becca Toews

All of us have experienced some level of loss during this COVID-19 pandemic. It ranges from canceled plans to loss of loved ones, loss of freedom to loss of safety while going about your job.

Large events have been canceled and while some of us are grieving a concert or sporting event we were looking forward to, many Fraser Valley residents have been faced with the decision about what to do about their upcoming weddings. As we head into summer, more and more people are having to make the decision to postpone or seriously alter their plans for how their wedding day will look.

Jenn Bateman

Jenn Bateman, a Fraser Valley wedding officiant, has had a varied response from couples who had planned to get married this spring. “Some have just chosen to reschedule to 2021, some have chosen to forgo a large wedding and just have a small ceremony with under 10 people, and some people are having a simple ceremony this year and then we’re doing their big wedding, that they rescheduled next year, so essentially two ceremonies.”

There really are lots of options, though none of them ideal. Weddings take so much time, energy and money to plan and it can be really disappointing to give up the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. It can also be a beautiful experience.

Jenn says, “I’m a big believer that weddings don’t need to be long and drawn out in order to be special and meaningful. Starting a life together is intimate and special and deserves to feel that way, and sometimes all of the fanfare with big contemporary weddings can take some of that away. For those who choose to go ahead now- This unique circumstance of limiting weddings might be a chance for some couples to enter into that lifetime partnership in a really meaningful way. But it also deserves a celebration, so I’m hoping for a lot of one-year anniversary parties with family and friends so they get that too.”

Austin and Becca Toews

Ceremony Changes

When it comes to the practical moments of the ceremony, Jenn says she has had to make some changes, such as not touching the rings and bringing along separate pens for signing the paperwork, “I don’t come within six feet of any of the wedding guests and I make sure that the couple has checked with us about health measures beforehand. We definitely want to be able to accommodate people who still want to get married in the most simple way and still make it special for them”

Cody and Analea

One couple, Cody and Analea (Styles) Friesen held their wedding ceremony two weeks early after gathering restrictions were announced in March. They had planned on a very large wedding of 500 people and ended up having eighteen people in attendance, following the restrictions of no gatherings over fifty people that were set at the time. Cody says, “Our concern was more of ‘are we still able to get married’ because we were at the start of the COVID-19 wave, we didn’t have a lot to go off of.”

“This is why we moved the date up two weeks – worried that we would go into complete lockdown and [we would be] unable to get married at all,” adds Analea.

The Hardest Part

When asked what the hardest part of changing their wedding day was, Cody responds, “The hardest part was not having all of our guests there to witness and celebrate with us. As well as that everything about our day was different other than the person that we got to marry.“

“Losing the people,” adds Analea, “not even having our full wedding party or best friends or grandparents being able to attend was heartbreaking.”

YouTube

Cody and Analea had a great plan when it came to sharing their ceremony with their invited guests. On April 4th, which was the date they had planned for their wedding, they uploaded and published the video from their wedding ceremony to YouTube and invited all their guests to join them for their “virtual wedding” They both went live on their Instagram and Facebook (dressed in their wedding suit and dress) to answer questions, explain what had happened, and watch their ceremony with everyone on YouTube.

An Unexpected Tiny Wedding

Even though their wedding wasn’t exactly what they had expected, there are still parts of it that they will look back on with fondness, “The beautiful intimacy of [the] tiny wedding was actually so amazing. There was less pressure and the ability to be so natural and real with one another. The support and love from our community even from a distance was heartwarming and so encouraging. The realization that all that really mattered was marrying this person – not any of the extra pieces – was so special.”

While communicating with your guests and the wedding party is at the top of the advice list, one of the most important things to remember is,

“Breathe,” says Cody, “this is not normal, and that’s okay. Keep the main thing the main thing. You are marrying the love of your life and that is enough”.

Austin and Becca Toews

It Could Be Sad

Analea also has some advice for once the wedding day has passed and you’ve started your new life together, “realize it’s still going to be hard after the wedding. You’re going to be sad about what you lost and maybe struggle with disappointment, envy, and frustration, but it’s truly worth it. We’ve never regretted it for one second”.

Give and Take

Regardless of a pandemic, weddings are a time of giving and taking. So often brides and grooms think their wedding day will be exactly what they want, only to get to the planning stage and realize that their parents and other people close to them have ideas about what the day should look like too.

The Important Stuff

The wedding planning process is the perfect time to practice compromise, weighing what is really important to you and what you are willing to let go of. It seems like that is what couples are facing now, more than ever. Weighing what is the most important part of your event and making decisions based on what is best for you.

Celebrate Love

Whether you are facing a wedding that doesn’t look like what you always thought it would be, or you’re grieving the fact that you can’t be there for a wedding of someone close to you, this is a time to celebrate love, to celebrate commitment and care for one another, and to cheer on those people who are probably thinking a lot these days about vowing, “in sickness and in health”.

Photos Jamie Delane 

We are noticing Fraser Valley businesses are getting creative so that they can continue to serve their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, we invite you to continue to shop local!

Twilight Drive-In

One Fraser Valley business that caught our eye is the Twilight Drive-In. They are currently open and showing the movie Trolls World Tour and Dolittle. It sounds like a family night at the Drive-In! The only thing we would advise is to stay in your car if you can. See http://twilightdrivein.net/

Covid-19, The Passionate Home
Carrie Thachuk, The Passionate Home

The Passionate Home

Carrie Thachuk, owner of The Passionate Home in Langley City is responding to her customer’s requests with a “Show Your Love DIY Heart Project Pack.” As you may have seen local residents are displaying hearts in their windows to show support for health care workers and first responders and all those working on the front lines during the pandemic. The packs include a raw wood heart (18″ x 15″), a 4oz. Chalk Paint™ colour of your choice, and a free brush!

Carrie and The Passionate Home are providing safe curbside pick-up for all online orders from 11-3 weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays. Once you’ve placed your order they will contact you to arrange pick-up.

Website – The Passionate Home
Instagram – The Passionate Home

Well Seasoned: A Gourmet Food Store

One of our most engaged with Facebook posts so far this month (April 2020) is about Well Seasoned owner Angie Quaale delivering food to the Langley Hospital. Well Seasoned is open 9 to 5 Monday to Friday and 10-4 Saturday and Sunday. On their website, they say they are “well-stocked and doing deliveries.” They also have ready-made meals for pick-up and delivery. See https://wellseasoned.ca/

DIY Heart for health care workers
DIY Heart from The Passionate Home

Home-Based Businesses

Home-based business owners are getting creative, and why not? Many home-based businesses were online before the pandemic and set-up for online ordering and delivery.

Abbotsford resident and Epicure representative Becca Toews held and “Epic Quarantine Cooking Class” where she posted videos and recipes on Facebook and Instagram. She said, “With everything going on in the world I’m feeling extra anxious these days. Trying to take care of myself with good food and self-care. Becca listed products that she was adding to her meals to hopefully boost her immune system and keep her and her husband healthy while spending more time than usual at home. See https://www.facebook.com/groups/162588968180880/

Fun and Games

Local businesses like the Abbotsford’s Boardwalk Cafe and Games have had to quickly reinvent themselves because of the crisis. Normally a popular place to hang out with friends, play games and have some coffee and snacks, Boardwalk Cafe and Games had to close their doors to drop-in customers because of the pandemic. Owners Darin and Gabby Graham immediately started promoting their online store and selling board games with free delivery to Abbotsford residents. See https://squareup.com/store/boardwalk-cafe

Remax House for Sale
Mike Wilson, FV Lifestyle

Real Estate

Realtors are having to adjust how they are showing homes and doing business along with other business owners. To see how FV Lifestyle owner Mike Wilson is making adjustments to how he is showing homes see Showing a Home During COVID-19

Safe shopping
For advice on how to shop safely during the COVID-19 shutdown see “How to safely shop for groceries during COVID-19 pandemic” from The Globe and Mail.

Contact Us

If you would like us to give your business a shout out in future articles and social media posts, contact Mike Wilson at mike@fvlifestyle.com.

Here are seven+ things you might consider doing while in historic Fort Langley…

1. Eat

Fort Langley has become a popular place to go and have a meal because of fabulous restaurants like Beatnix Bistro, The Little Donkey, Trading Post Brewery and Eatery and the Rail and River River Bistro just to name several of our favorites. As far as reviews and ratings go, according to Trip Advisor Beatnix Bistro is ranked no. 1 with Wendell’s at no. 2 (see “Drink coffee” below), and The Little Donkey at no.3.

Beatnix Bistro – http://beatniksbistro.com/
The Little Donkey – https://www.littledonkey.ca/
Trading Post Brewery and Eatery – https://tradingpostbrewing.com/
Rail and River River Bistro – http://railandriverbistro.com/

2. Drink coffee (and eat)

Fort Langley has been a coffee shop destination for many years because of the famous Wendell’s Coffee Shop and Bakery. Wendell’s continues to be popular and some new fantastic cafes have arrived on the scene in recent years such as the Blacksmith Bakery (good food), The Lelam Arts and Cultural Café (nice location) and the Saba Café and Bistro (good food and coffee) just to name a few.  Forget rankings for this category. We’ve had coffee and food at all of these cafes and they are all wonderful.

Wendell’s Coffee Shop and Bakery – http://wendelsonline.com
Blacksmith Bakery – http://www.blacksmithbakery.ca
The Lelam Arts and Cultural Café – https://lelem.ca
Saba Café and Bistro – http://sabacafe.ca

 

3. Go for a walk

You have so many choices for excellent walks in and around Fort Langley. The Fort to Fort Trail, Derby Reach Park, Houston Trail Head, and Brae Island Regional Park all have to be some of the nicest places to walk or ride in the Fraser Valley. Houston Trail Head has a few challenging hills, but other than that all of these trails are quite easy to walk.

Fort to Fort Trail – https://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/fort-to-fort
Brae Island Regional Park –http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks/parks-greenways-reserves/brae-island-regional-park
Derby Reach and Houston Trail Head – https://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/derby-reach-regional-park

4. Ride Your Bike

Fort Langley has become a favorite place for people to ride their bikes. With plenty of relatively quiet country roads, beautiful views and plenty of coffee shops and restaurants to greet you when your ride is over, it’s easy to see why Fort Langley has become such a popular cycling destination.

5. Shop

Fort Langley has plenty of interesting shops to choose from including Fort Langley Village Antiques Mall. Located in the heart of Fort Langley, Village Antiques Mall is a 10,000 square foot mall with 60 independent dealers.

Fort Langley Village Antiques Mall – https://villageantiquesmall.com

6. Learn About History

If you want to expose your family to BC’s history, Fort Langley is certainly the place to go. Here are several venues you may want to check out…

The Fort Langley National Historic Site – Yes there is a fort in Fort Langley and it is the place where BC was proclaimed a British colony in 1858. At the Fort you can:

  • Explore the fort that was built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1827
  • Watch blacksmithing, barrel-making or historic weapons demonstrations
  • Pan for gold and laugh along with an interpretive program.

Parking is free and the Fort is within walking distance to Fort Langley village.

The Langley Centennial Museum – The Langley Centennial Museum has a collection of over 8000 archival photographs, 9000 objects and 500 works of art.  This collection spans hundreds of years and is a window on the past and present life of Langley and surrounding areas. 1

BC Farm Museum – If you don’t live on a farm or in a farming community, it’s easy to lose touch with our agricultural history. “The BC Farm Museum has the province’s largest collection of pioneer and agricultural artifacts.” 2 If you want your family to get back in touch with that history, the BC Farm Museum is an excellent place to do that.

CN Station – “The CN Station is one of the few remaining stations like it in western Canada, and the only surviving  station from this era in the Langley region.” 3 Watch this interesting video from one of the children of the last station keepers. CN Station Interview

Links to museums and historical sites:

The Fort Langley National Historic Site – http://bit.ly/3cuGpm0
1The Langley Centennial Museum – https://museum.tol.ca/museum/Portal/default.aspx
2 BC Farm Museum – http://bcfma.com/
3 CN Station – https://www.langleyheritage.ca/cn-station

7. Live Here!

There is an abundance of fun and enjoyable activities in Fort Langley. Fort Langley has a wonderful village feel along with an interesting and rich history. There is an elementary school along with a full-service grocery store. Also, we forgot to mention above that there are plenty of good golf courses in the area. If you enjoy walking and riding your bike, Fort Langley is one of the premier places to live in the Fraser Valley.

For more information contact real estate specialist Mike Wilson.

Mike Wilson
Remax Treeland
604-533-3491
mike@fvlifestyle.com

Photo: https://www.tourism-langley.ca/location/fort-langley

Jordan Bateman, a Langley resident, made the Canadian national news last week during the Fraser Valley’s unusual deep freeze when they built an ice rink in their backyard. Jordan was watching the weather and could see that freezing temperatures were on the way. His son has only skated outdoors a few times because of the Fraser Valley’s mild winter temperatures.
Jordan went on YouTube to find instructions on how to build an outdoor ice rink. He says he found plenty of helpful information that helped him to put a plan into action
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Watch the news story here:

via ytCropper

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Jordan says he grew up a hockey fan and was inspired by people like Walter Gretzky who built a backyard rink for his famous hockey-playing son Wayne Gretzky.
 
Just before stepping on the ice for the first time Jordan’s son gave him a big hug and said “thank you, dad. This is the coolest thing ever.” Unfortunately, there was heavy snow the next day making the ice rink unuseable. After the snowfall, the weather cooperated and Jordan reported on his Facebook page that the rink was useable for at least 30 hours.
 
Ironically, even though Jordan is a big hockey fan and built this rink in his backyard, he doesn’t know how to skate.
Photo: Jordan Bateman

Langley is becoming more and more popular for its breweries, and for a good reason. The innovation, craft, and passion has won some of these breweries multiple awards, and bring people from all over the lower mainland to try their goods. Whether you’re a beer expert or just starting out, these breweries offer something for everybody. And with the crappy weather ahead, Fall is a fantastic time to enjoy the warm ambience of the breweries in Langley and sample the new season’s creations.