If you live in the Fraser Valley you may think that you will have to travel for hours to Nahatlatch Canyon, Thompson, Coquihalla, or Green Canyon (Whistler / Pemberton) to go river rafting, but excellent rafting is closer than you think.
River rafting is available just an hour away from Vancouver on the Chilliwack River. You can have a variety of adventures on the river from heart-pumping rapids to a bit more of a scenery family-oriented ride.
River rafting is available year-round. We happened to see the good folks from Chilliwack River Rafting several weeks ago when we went fishing and snapped a few pics and this video.
Here’s a look at where the Canadian market stands right now, and what you’ll want to keep an eye on moving forward.
LOW HOUSING INVENTORY
At the end of last year, tight inventory created a great market for sellers. Even if the market begins to cool, 2021 may still bring favorable conditions for sellers and a competitive market for buyers(1)
BUYER DEMAND IS INCREASING
Many millennials and renters still have plans to buy a home in the next few years(2) With interest rates hovering at historic lows, homeownership could be more affordable for many during the first mortgage term, making this the perfect time for those with a steady income to buy.
MOVING TO THE COUNTRY
At the end of last year, close to a third of Canadians 3 wanted to leave the city and move to rural or suburban communities, especially as remote work becomes more common. But those who prefer city life may be able to scoop up a recently-vacated condo(4) for a lower price as some owners leave for the country.
WE NEED MORE SPACE
Homes with extra rooms and outdoor amenities like a pool, balcony, or patio are attractive to an increasing amount of buyers looking for more living space(3) as family and work needs shift.
SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A MOVE THIS YEAR?
ARE YOU FINANCIALLY SECURE?
If you have a steady stream of income and can secure a downpayment, now is a good time to enter the market, since low-interest rates will make your monthly mortgage payment more affordable. Otherwise, keep saving and revisit your search when finances are more stable.
DOES YOUR JOB ALLOW FOR EXTENDED REMOTE WORK?
Employees with a flexible work-from-home policy don’t necessarily need to live in the same place they work. This can lead to housing opportunities in areas you hadn’t previously considered.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU FIND YOURSELF NEEDING MORE SPACE?
Most families could benefit from an extra room or two, these days. Consider upgrading this year while market conditions are solid. If you’d rather renovate your current home, call me for a referral to a trusted contractor!
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR CURRENT LOCATION?
This is the perfect time to find a great deal in your dream location. For moves locally, I’m here to help you figure out your options! If you’re trying to change cities, still give me a call — I’m part of a vast network across Canada and the United States.
Oh, by the way…if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me with their name and contact information. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them in a way that is healthy and safe.
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SOURCES: 1. Robert Hogue, “Monthly Housing Market Update,” RBC, October 2020 2. CIBC, “Millennials: Rent or own?” 3. RE/MAX CANADA, “Canadian Housing Market Outlook (Fall 2020)” 4. Matthew Halliday, “Canada’s big-city condo market most vulnerable to pandemic headwinds,” The Globe and Mail.
This conversation with Rod Clapton, President of the British Columbia Federation of Drift Fishers (BCFDF) and Mike Wilson – BCFDF member and Publisher of Fraser Valley Lifestyle was recorded podcast style by Fuelradio.com. In this episode, we discuss the future of fishing on the Fraser River, particularly for families and drift fishers. You can listen here:
Conversation (paraphrased) with Rod Clapton and Mike Wilson:
Rod Clapton started fishing as a child with his dad. Throughout his teen years, he continued fishing on the Fraser River near the Pattullo Bridge that connects Surrey, BC with New Westminster, BC. Fishing has always been and remains a passion for Rod.
The BCFDF started 25 years ago. At that time there really wasn’t a unified voice for river anglers or an association for drift fishers. Drift fishing is a method of angling separate from stationary bar fishing or fly fishing. It is practiced in rivers where anglers prowl the river searching, as opposed to waiting, for fish to come to them. It is much more active than stationary river fishing. The idea is to let the current carry your bait or lure through the river using a float or small weights for bouncing on the bottom. It is a highly skilled fishery technique requiring years of experience to master.
Rod has been president of the BCFDF for 25 years. He says, “we’ve attempted to represent an aspect of the fishery, but our membership certainly includes anglers from all other methods. Our mandate is “Protection of Fish Stocks & Preservation of Angler opportunity now & for future generations.
The BCFDF formed because the other fishing organizations at the time mostly served a narrow, more exclusive group of fishermen and were not inclusive of other types of fishers. There needed to be a more inclusive group.
It is clear that fish stocks continue to decline, especially in the last 10 to 15 years. As part of the drive for resolution, Rod and other federation partners have tried to form “alliance groups” to further forward stewardship options on our rivers. This is an ongoing challenge.
There is a bit of a pecking order in the minds of “decision-makers” and some groups are being excluded from fishing the Fraser River. While the sport fishery contributes $1.1 billion per year to the BC economy and employs over 9000 people it is one of the groups on the lower end of the pecking order and is being excluded from fishing on the Fraser.
Rod is a supporter of the heritage value and the social value of family fishing. “It’s priceless! It’s a wonderful experience to teach your kids and grandkids in nature.”
Rod acknowledges that First Nations people have constitutional priority. The ongoing concern is that the heritage of family fisheries are not being considered and not being granted. This is the biggest challenge for the group that he represents.
Over the last two years, family fishing has been denied on the Fraser River. Rod feels like this is a dereliction of responsibility by our fisheries managers. He believes that fishermen are capable of responsibly fishing selectively and targeting stocks that are healthy, leaving the stocks alone that are of concern.
Rod says the best bonding time he has had with his son is spending the day fishing. It’s a simple and inexpensive pastime.
Mike Wilson of Fraser Valley Lifestyle, also on our call, agrees. He adds that pretty much every time he goes fishing with his son they have a great conversation and have good quality time together. It’s not just about catching a fish. (Many days they don’t catch any!) It’s also about existing and spending time in the beautiful environment and the excitement of fishing. Mike says he’s been blessed to be a part of that. “We have to have access to the rivers to enjoy these great moments with our families and friends.”
Rod says it’s imperative that we work with our first nations brothers on these initiatives. He has consulted with First Nation bands, particularly on the Fraser River, recognizing that our goal of preserving the fishery for our children and grandchildren is mirrored by their goals. With the political and public sensitivity to the rights of First Nations peoples, it’s a delicate challenge to raise awareness and allowances for all of the different fishing sectors who would like to fish throughout the province.
“We’ve tried negotiating with the government and we have made headway with local First Nations people,” Rod explains, “Our biggest issue is with the government. The reality is we’re not getting very far with them.” He thinks the government has failed to manage fish species for all Canadians. The BCFDF has retained legal counsel and says someday the issue of protecting the Public Fishery may make it to the Supreme Court. It may be one of the few avenues left to him and those who share his passion to ensure that their children can take their children fishing.
Today there are many great organizations in addition to the BCFDF throughout the province that are involved in conserving the fishery. If we work together, we can support the great Canadian heritage of family fishing.
Put these notes after the sign-off and you could include Mike’s gratitude for Rod leading the charge at BCFDF for 25 years.
Link to website. There is lots of information about all of the details and all of their efforts. They are affiliated with a Fraser River Sports Fishing Alliance. BCFDF was influential in getting that organization up and running. See https://fraseralliance.com/contact/
It costs just $20 a year to join the BCFDF and gives you a voice. Rod says, “Individually we are ignored collectively we are heard.” See https://www.bcfdf.com/
Events like funerals and weddings have been really impacted by COVID-19 and the restrictions on gathering. We did an article in the late spring on weddings and how they were being impacted by COVID-19, and so we thought we would do a follow up by talking to a few wedding officiants to get their side of the ongoing story.
Donelda decided to became a wedding officiant when she started to think about what she might do during retirement. She is a school counselor and would like to do something different than counseling once she retires.
A Backyard Wedding
A wedding that she performed recently was in a backyard. To plan the wedding they met at a Starbucks with masks on. There were 10 people in the backyard for the wedding and Donelda noticed that before and after the ceremony people were standing apart from one another and in their own little bubbles. The couple would have done a much larger wedding if it weren’t’ for COVID. The couple’s parents watched on Facebook because they couldn’t attend. She made the print on the vows very large so that the couple could read them from a distance.
By comparison, Donelda‘s first wedding prior to COVID was at Canada Place with about 800 people. She says it was beautiful but very long. She added that it was a very different preparation for that wedding compared to the most recent one that she did.
Donelda has really enjoyed some of the backyard weddings that she has done. She told us about one couple that had been living together for 15 years and wanted to get married. She asked them what brought them to this now? The fellow said that he really loves his partner and he just wants to honor her. He said that to me, this is the best way that I can do that. Donelda noted that this couple had never been to a wedding and neither had many of the people in their community. Donelda added, when they did the wedding in their backyard it was a really beautiful occasion and very touching.
Donelda finds that most couples are doing video and Facebook so that other people can tune in. Couples have to choose who is going to attend their ceremony due to restrictions and that is a very hard decision to make. With smaller events, couples are considering how to still make it nice and have people who are watching on video see the scope of the event. This is a challenge because some people have friends and family who aren’t techy.
Donelda says with weddings today there are some trade-offs. Like anything, there are some gifts in it and some challenges. A smaller event on video can be a little bit more intimate, but fewer people get to share in the celebration. She mentioned that people are adapting. It can still be meaningful and something that people enjoy. That shouldn’t stop them from getting married. It’s just not going to look the same as it would have pre-COVID.
Donelda says, one of the touching things about doing this job is you get to bless someone‘s intention to honor and love someone. Donelda believes it’s a privilege to do what she does and wants to root for people who decide to get married.
Kristen is the owner of Vancouverofficiant.com which is a team of individuals who love connecting with people and walking along beside them to their wedding day. Typically, if people have found her website they can take a look at the team, their photos bios, and testimonials, and then choose to meet with the officiant and decide if it’s a good fit. Kristen says she handles all of the bookings so she is right in the middle of all the goodness that is going on.
Kristen became a wedding officiant after her husband told her that he thought she’d be good at it. He knows that Kristen has had a diverse background working as a nurse, teaching, living in different countries and that she loves serving and listening to people and hearing their stories.
She says being a wedding officiant isn’t about being a dynamic speaker. It’s about going on the journey with a couple. It’s highly relational so you have to love people. She says don’t get into this field if you’re not people-focused.
Dreams and Farytales
As far as COVID-19 is concerned she observed that starting in March, April, and May couples realized that their weddings weren’t going to look like they wanted them to look before the virus hit. Thoughts and dreams of a fairytale wedding were being lost. She says March, April, and May were the rescheduling months. The vast majority decided at that time to reschedule to a date in the summer or into 2021. Rescheduling and changing wedding dates causes chaos. Couples don’t know if they can get their venue again, so they often have to come up with a whole different plan.
A Wedding Therapist
Kristen mentioned that in June, July, and August people began to realize that we are in this for a long time. These months are typically high volume wedding months. It was a difficult time for couples to decide, should they go ahead with their wedding? Kristen said she felt like a therapist at times. Her coaching and educational background came in handy. How do you think about planning a wedding with everything going on in the world? It’s one of the most important events in your life. For some the decision was really clear because relatives couldn’t come from overseas, so they postponed. But for others, it was a decision to have an intimate ceremony, or take the risk of putting their lives on hold for a year.
A Silver Lining
Kristen has observed that a lot of couples do see a silver lining. It can be magical to only have 50 guests or less. Also, it’s more affordable because large weddings can cost a lot of money.
A Dream Come True
One story that Kristen finds really touching is that of a couple where one participant was from the United States and one was from Canada. They were able to get married in the Peace Arch Park neutral zone. The couple was in their 60s and they fell in love a few years ago and wanted to be together. Once the paperwork was final the groom broke down and wept with joy. Kristen says she’ll never forget it. She felt privileged to share that moment with them. Their dream came true in a very difficult time.
Currently, we’re still permitted to have weddings. Kristen says she’s not there to regulate the COVID-19 guidelines. As a citizen, she wants to do what is mandated. Kristen says one of the minor challenges for her early during the pandemic is that she is a hugger and there is none of that going on.
Kristen is also trying to be positive and to see the silver lining. She says we’re still seeing couples getting married and she loves that. Kristen said she saw a surge of couples deciding to have a ceremony in recent months.
Gordon is a Marriage Commissioner which is a government appointment. Marriage Commissioner’s positions were designed to give couples a lower cost, strictly non-religious ceremony.
Peace Arch Park
Gordon did a wedding at Peace Arch Park at the beginning of the shutdown on March 21, 2020. The bride was from the US and the groom was from Canada. Each couple only had four or five friends and family in attendance. Gord says it was a beautiful day and a little bit odd because there was no traffic at the usually extremely busy border crossing.
Gordon observed that there was a flurry of ceremonies into May until the park was eventually closed due to its popularity not meshing with COVID restrictions.
Quite a few ceremonies were canceled early on in the pandemic and Gord says overall the number of ceremonies he has been performing from April through July was down about 40%. A lot of the couples that canceled shifted into next year which could make next year very interesting for him.
Gordon has noticed that quite a few couples are deciding to go ahead with their ceremony, and then in the future when circumstances allow they’ll do a larger reception.
Through August and September Gord found that he was actually busier than he was in past years. He speculates that it might be that people are becoming a little more relaxed or worried about a second wave and trying to squeeze in their ceremony in case there is another shut down. He says no one knows, and it is impossible to predict what is going to happen.
Gordon is finding that a lot more couples are getting married on short notice. He recently did a wedding where he was contacted on Tuesday and the wedding was performed on Saturday.
As far as technology is concerned Gordon has noticed that there are a lot of cell phone photos and videos being taken. One of the cool uses of technology is that friends and family from all over the world are able to watch.
Gordon has only been asked to wear a mask during the ceremony twice out of about 100 ceremonies that he has done during COVID-19. During one of his ceremonies, everyone even wore masks during the photo session.
For Gordon, October is looking like it might be as busy as it was last year.
Stay tuned for more!
We recorded our interviews with Donelda and Kristen and will be posting them here podcast and videocast style soon.
For a lot of people, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family, but like most special celebrations and gatherings this year, it might have to look a little different than in the past. By now, maybe you have become used to connecting with family and friends online. With BC officials encouraging residents to consider celebrating Thanksgiving virtually this year because of COVID-19 we were wondering what your plans are?
Earlier this week on September 29, 2020, there were 69 patients in the hospital and 20 of those were in critical care. The number of active cases declined to 1268 and recoveries increased to 7485. There are 3337 people who are under active public healthcare monitoring after being exposed to COVID-19.
There was one more death as a result of COVID-19 in the Fraser Health Region increasing the number of deaths to 234.
BC’s top doctor Bonnie Henry, is quoted as saying “rather than traveling to see friends are hosting a large family dinner, make it small this year and plan to connect virtually instead.”
Is that something you will do again this upcoming holiday?
Please comment on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fraservalleylife
Throughout this past summer Shelley Coburn, a Trustee at the Langley Board of Education partnered with local business owner Brenda-Lee Hunter from The Village Work and Play Space and organized The Village Market in Langley City. I had a visit with Shelley to get her perspective on how the market started and what it might look like in the future.
Shelley grew up in Langley City and describes the community as “a very caring community” and as I spoke with Shelley I got the sense that The Village Market is her way of caring for the community that she grew up in and now serves as a politician.
According to Shelley, The Village Market started in response to COVID-19. She saw it as a way of giving local vendors and farmers the opportunity to sell their products because so many events and markets that they would normally attend were canceled due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has made business difficult for local vendors and farmers. Shelley is moved by the appreciation participants in The Village Market have expressed.
You might have noticed that The Village Market includes crafters who sometimes don’t get to participate in local farmer’s markets because the rules and regulations typically exclude them. For that reason, Shelley says she is going out of her way to include them and give them an opportunity to sell their products.
Some of the leftover fruits and vegetables from The Village Market go to Brogan‘s Diner who then provides meals to people who are homeless. Shelley is creative and looks for local nonprofits to distribute leftover food too like the Douglas Park Community School neighbourhood food bank.
Shelley says that the market has a definite family feel. Her family and many of the vendor’s families participate in the market. Once in awhile local politicians show up like Peter Fassbender with his wife and grandson, Councilor Teri James, and Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek. Shelley says she appreciates the support but her favourite part is when her friends from the community show up to support the vendors and the market. She would also like to extend her thanks to folks at Discover Langley and the Downtown Langley Business Association who helped her get the market started and have been there ever since.
Shelley has a Facebook page for The Village Market in Langley City, but likes to promote the market in an old-school fashion. Nicole Longacre-O’Brien from the Langley UPS Store helps provide advertising and Shelley drops off flyers in the community a few days ahead of each event.
As Shelley looks ahead she says she may formalize the market a little bit more. In the meantime, she hasn’t set a definitive date for the next market but promises there will be another one this Fall, so stay tuned. If you’re interested in getting a table, prices start at a reasonable $30. You can contact Shelly at email@example.com for more information.
The 2020 BC Day Long weekend is going to be a little different because of the coronavirus. Gatherings of 50+ still aren’t allowed. In the Spring of 2020, a lot of events were canceled in the Fraser Valley due to the coronavirus including the Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival and others.
On Canada Day back on July 1 there were several events that took place online instead like The Virtual Surrey Canada Day festival that included music and cultural entertainment, and performances by a number of different artists including 54-40, Bif Naked, Colin James and many others. Similar to Canada Day some Vancouver BC Day festivals are planning to do online activities including the Pride Festival and the Powell Street Festival
Since it’s in the Fraser Valley and it normally opens on August 1 until September 15 we want to give a special mention to the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival. We heard it may be opening mid-August, and on their website, it says “Dates TBA.” See the link above for more details.
The White Rock Sea Festival usually takes place on the first weekend in August, but due to the coronavirus it has been canceled and is expected to return in 2021. You can always head to White Rock Beach this weekend and enjoy the sand, shops, restaurants, and the ocean on your own!
Long Weekend Activities in the Fraser Valley
Fort Langley Farmers Market, Saturday, opens at 9:00 for Seniors and 10:00 AM
It’s heating up here in the Fraser Valley and you might be looking for some new summer craft ctivities to help cool down. Here’s a fun and “cool” (literally) summer craft you can do with your kids!
What you’ll need:
Ice Cubes (you could probably also use water with paintbrushes but ice cubes are the “cool” part of them because, you know, they’re cool)
Plastic table cloth
Step One: Flatten the coffee filter and begin to colour. I did a few in wedges of colour and a few in patches of colour. The girls (4 and 2) just did squiggles for the most part, which of course is fine, but if you put more colour on the brighter the butterflies will be.
Step Two: Move an ice cube over the coffee filter to blend the colours. I like to use a circular motion but really anything that gets the ice cube melting and the colours running together will do. Step three: Set filter aside to dry.
Step four: Once dry pinch the coffee filter in the middle and wrap the pipe cleaner around the center to make antennae.
That’s it! Super cute and a great way to cool down on a hot day!
As we speak it’s hard not to be struck by all of the things going on in the world and some online writers mentioning how difficult it is to think about celebrating Father’s Day this year. We want to honor that and at the same time celebrate the men in our lives Fraser Valley style.
1_ Celebrate Online Many businesses still are trending at full capacity so the typical Father’s Day brunch probably isn’t happening this year. you can still gather just be aware of what the restrictions are in your area and be sensitive to elderly people and whether or not you have been potentially exposed to the virus. you might be getting tired of it but a family Zoom celebration is an alternative especially if you have family members who might have recently been exposed to the virus.
2_ Celebrate Outdoors It’s a little easier and potentially a little safer to gather Outdoors. we expect parks and public places to be quite full so maybe consider celebrating fathers day in your backyard if that is an option.
3_ Celebrate at home Of course if your family has been living together and you want to celebrate at home you have lots of traditional options to choose from Like having brunch and playing family games.
4_ Hiking or going for a walk Many of the local trails are open to the people who live in the area, so why not go for a leisurely walk with your home crew. Some of our favourite walking trails include some Langley trails like Derby Reach (easy), the Fort to Fort Trail (easy), and Houston Trailhead (moderate). The dikes in Pitt Meadows are flat and have wonderful views. The trails in the lower part of Golden Ears Provincial Park A suggestion for a Golden Ears walk is to park in the Main Corral Parking Lot which is just after the entrance to the park and then follow the signs for the Mike Lake Trail (moderate).
5_ Do a home beer tasting party Pick up beers from your local breweries and do your own beer tasting. You can do this online too. Some of our favorite Fraser Valley breweries include Yellow Dog Brewing in Port Moody, Dead Frog Brewing in Langley, and Fieldhouse Brewery in Abbotsford. There are so many good breweries to choose from these days!
6_ Revisit some of the best games in sports history Many of the sports channels are still forced to show reruns. You can check the channel guide now and schedule recordings of anything that might show up for your Dad’s favorite teams.
7_ Go Fishing You will have to do some research to find out where you can fish in the Fraser Valley because finding a place to fish that is open is a challenge right now. One place to start is the Fishing the Fraser Valley brought to you by BritishColumbia.com. Check out the guide and then contact the location that you think might suit you. It will ruin the surprise, but if the man in your life likes to fish, he will know if his favorite location is open, so you can always check with him first.
8_ Go for a bike ride – Bike sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic. If you have a bike it’s a great way to practice social distancing and get some exercise. One of our favorite Fraser Valley rides is to park in Fort Langley and then head out on River Road for as long as you want. With some maneuvering, you can ride all the way to Abbotsford if you want (difficult)! When you get back to Fort Langley there are all sorts of restaurants, coffee shops, and bistros to visit.
10_ If you follow FV Lifestyle you know we are big fans of shopping local and wine. The Fraser Valley has some great wineries, so why not pick up some local wine and do an in-person or online wine tasting. To discover Fraser Valley wines see https://winebc.com/discover-bc-wine-country/fraser-valley/ Shout out: If you like blends and are open to recommendations one of our current favorites is Reserve 7 from Township 7
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, 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.”
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.”
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”.
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.
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”.