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Summer is officially upon us, with temperatures reaching up to the 30-degree range. And nothing accompanies good weather like a picnic. Today we’ll be taking a look at the best events and catering in the Fraser Valley this year, plus 3 great picnic spots. Read our last article about the 10 best picnic spots in the Fraser Valley here. Let us help you plan the perfect picnic outing. 

Events & Catering  

Dirty Apron Picnic for Two  Dirty Apro

Dirty Apron has curated the perfect picnic basket, complete with two sandwiches, two salads, two cookies, and two drinks, for you and that special someone to enjoy a nice day (or evening) together.  They also offer a Gourmet upgrade, coming with local cheese, crackers, and fruit. Visit dirty apron.com to pick yours up today in preparation for a lovely outing.  

Dirty Apron on Instagram
Dirty Apron Website
Photo: 📸 @kevinclarkstudios @figure1publishing

Olive & ThornOlive & Thorn  

A fine event curator, Olive & Thorn specializes in event decor and design for not only picnics but parties,  proposals, and plenty more. Check out their Instagram (@oliveandthornevents) to find out more. 

We actually ran into Olive & Thorn on Mother’s Day at Elgin Heritage Park and saw firsthand what they can do. They had a beautiful setup and what looked like delicious food.

Photo: 📸 @oliveandthorneven

Haven Events  Haven Events

Another event curator, Haven Events is a go-to if you’re looking to have a lovely setup complete with decor. They’re also an Instagram-based company (@haveneventsltd), showcasing their great work. And you won’t be disappointed. 

Photography: 📸 @diamondsedgephotography
Charcuterie: @indulgedbyher
Floral Arrangement: @thebundlesstudio

Pick Up Picnics  

Here’s a neat one. Stop by Downtown Langley to check out the participating restaurants of this year’s Pick Up Picnic. Meals are complete with your food and drink order, plus a special picnic package. Participating restaurants include Brogan’s Diner, Dal’s Poke, Egg BomB, Hot & Toasty Cafe, and more. 

Poster Design – @renecreative 

 

 

Top 3 Picnic Spots of 2021  

Chilliwack Lake  Chilliwack La

There’s a ton of lake-side spots down Chilliwack lake road, and all make for a nice picnic location. Sit down by the clear water with your family or even just that one special person and enjoy a fun day of outdoor bonding, featuring blue shiny water. 

Photo: 📸 @rempelstilskin 

Boundary Bay  

Bordering between the United States and Canada, Boundary Bay is sure to provide you with the perfect beach for a beach picnic. Relax by the ocean and look out on Washington as you sip your wine, or even just sparkling water (whatever your preference is). But you’re sure to have a good time here. 

Photo: 📸 @sandkeet604

Alouette Lake  Allouette Lake

Located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, Alouette lake is the perfect spot whether you want to go for a  weekend trip or even just a day trip. A great waterfront location as well as hiking and camping spot,  there’s something for everyone at Alouette Lake.

Photo:  📸 @bcvettech

So that’s it for our top spots, events, and catering. Now get out and enjoy this nice weather we’re having. 

Have your own picnic catering and event ideas? Want to share your favorite picnic spots? Let us know in the comments below. 

Credits:
Written by Josh Leowen
Main photo 📸 @haveneventsltd
Please message @rjanz for credit or removal

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BE PREPARED*

It’s almost impossible to predict when a crisis may occur, but there are a few basic measures you can take to be prepared for unexpected weather or life events. And not to be a downer, but studies have shown that Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley will inevitably experience a major earthquake and tsunamis, so once and a while it’s worth considering in case of an emergency: are you prepared?

Here are several things to do to help be prepared…

KNOW YOUR EVACUATION ROUTES
These may change depending on the situation, so you’ll want an idea of the different scenarios you may face. Identify your area’s major evacuation centres.

SELECT YOUR MEETING PLACESIn case of emergency
Set one in the neighbourhood, one in town, and one out-of-town. That way, your family can regroup if something pops up when you’re not together.

STAY CONNECTED
Sign up for emergency alerts from your local municipalities. Police Facebook and Twitter pages are great sources for real-time updates during emergencies.

ASSIGN ROLES
Discuss what each family member will handle in an emergency. For example, mom turns off the electricity and water, dad gets the important documents, kids get the pets, etc.

generatorCONSIDER A GENERATOR
Generators will help you keep the lights on should you lose power. Some are powered by gas, others by rechargeable battery or solar.

stock upSTOCK UP
See what already you have. If the electricity goes, use the food in the fridge first before consuming nonperishables. Have at least three days’ worth of bottled water ready.

COLLECT IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Store physical documents like birth certificates, financial information, and family records in a fireproof or waterproof box and take it with you in an evacuation.

dog walkKEEPING YOUR PETS SAFE DURING AN EMERGENCY
If you’ve got a four-legged friend or another pet in your family, make a plan for them too! here are some items to include in your pet’s emergency kit:

  • 3-7 days worth of food and water
  • Pet’s documents – Medical records and current photos (in case of separation)
  • Extra litter/ disposable trays
  • Cage liners
  • Extra collar, harness or leash
  • Travel carrier
  • Blankets
  • Garbage bags

Humane CanadaACCESS AN ANIMAL EMERGENCY KIT FROM HUMANE CANADA.
Includes a window sticker so rescuers know if your pet is still in the home during a rescue.

 

GOING TO AN EVACUATION SHELTER? LOOK FOR ONE THAT ALLOWS PETS SO YOU’RE NOT TURNED AWAY.

Download pdf – CLICK HERE

FOOTNOTE:
*© 2021 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JUNE C

Main Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

As you know, Father’s Day on June 20th is coming up fast, and you know what that means; it’s that time of the year to commemorate the father figures in our lives. There’s always something going on in the Fraser Valley, whether it’s an event or a new restaurant opening up, and we’re here to help you find what you’re looking for this year. So let’s get into it, shall we?

Quality Time

Before we dive into events, activities, and such, don’t forget that nothing beats quality time. Take the family for a fun adventure, and just spend time with each other out and about. For a couple of cool adventure spots, check out one of our recent articles: Fraser Valley Events for June 2021

Events

Old Yale Brewing Co. – Chilliwack

And of course to start off our events, what would be better than $5 pints from Old Yale Brewing Co. They say, “In the heart of our Brewery is our Tasting Room, Patio & Campfire Kitchen, where you can always count on us for delicious food, great beer, and even better friends. Don’t hesitate to swing on down and check out what they have to offer. READ MORE HERE

Langley Fresh Father’s Day Box

Tourism Langley has put together a way to support local businesses while getting a gift the father figure in your life is sure to enjoy. Complete with cranberry pepper jelly, hot sauce, and turkey spice, and a few more food items (but you can check that out on their website), we all know at least one person who would love the thought behind this. READ MORE HERE

Township 7 – Langley

Township 7 has been holding special Father’s Day celebrations for years and 2021 is no exception. This year on June 20th they are holding their 7th Annual Wine and Swine event. They say: “This Father’s Day, treat dad to our 7th annual Wine & Swine event with a fun and delicious afternoon of delectable barbecued dishes paired with our award-winning wines in our south Langley vineyard.” We (Rod – editor) had friends attend this several years ago and they still rave about it. READ MORE HERE

Father’s Day BBQ Dinner at The Estate at Glass House Winery – Abbotsford

It’s good to see the Fraser Valley Winery’s stepping up (healthy competition?) and planning events for Father’s Day. Here’s what the Glass House Estate Winery is offering this year: “Celebrate Father’s Day with a BBQ Dinner at Glass House Estate Winery from 2:30pm to 7:30pm. Enjoy a special set menu for $69 + taxes per adult and live Music from 3pm to 7pm.

“Menu highlights include a choice of Beef Roast or Pork Chop or Cauliflower Steak and all mains include Southern Coleslaw, Chicken & Apple Salad, Mac N Cheese, Roasted Garlic Potatoes & Grilled Vegetables served family-style along with Chocolate Mudcake for dessert.” READ MORE HERE

Activities

As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 gathering restrictions there still isn’t a lot of public gatherings taking place. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out and enjoy the day with your loved one(s). Go fishing, go on a boat trip, camping on the weekend. There’s really there’s an endless amount of adventures to be had. Maybe you could have a picnic too – just an idea, but we’ll save that for another article in the near future.

Have your own ideas for the perfect Father’s Day? Let us know your event and activity ideas in the comments below!

Note: As of June 8, 2021 Provincial restrictions remain in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Some restrictions are made by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) under the Public Health Act and others are made under the Emergency Program Act (EPA). Most orders can be enforced by police and compliance and enforcement officials. Please check to see what the COVID-19 guidelines are before attending any of the events listed above.

Credits:

Written by Josh Loewen
Main photo – Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
Photo: Old Yale Brewing Company Co.
Photo: Township 7
Photo: Glass House Esate Winery

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.

9_ Go on virtual tour – Check out this article from Town and Country on how to do a virtual tour to some of the most spectacular places on earth – https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/a31900863/best-virtual-tours/ For an amazing Fraser Valley historical virtual tour see Sq’éwlets: A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Community in the Fraser River Valley

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

 

The last month has brought with it increasingly warmer and nicer weather, and with better weather comes more events. Of course, while we are still kind of in the middle of a pandemic, it’s always good to keep your distance. But that shouldn’t hinder you from having a fun family outing.

Today we’ll be looking at a few more upcoming events in the Fraser Valley area, specifically for June.

June 6, 13, & 20 – Downtown Chilliwack Community MarketDowntown Chilliwack Community Market

To start us off, we have the Downtown Chilliwack Community Market. A great place to find and connect with new businesses and products you might really enjoy, the DCCM is open from 10 am to 2 pm and a great place for locally grown, crafted, and brewed products. Maybe you just need some fresh carrots, well head on over to Cultus Lake after and it could be a trip worthwhile. If you’re okay with the commute, the Chilliwack Community Market could provide you with not only handmade items and fresh produce but also meaningful community interactions. You can read more about the market here: dccm.ca

June 6 – Ride for Doug 2021 (Langley)

Ride for Doug, a motorcycle charity riding against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, is on its 15th year this June. Starting at Langley’s Colossus Theatre and ending at the UFV campus in Abbotsford, you can either pick up tickets and ride in support or watch the live stream and support from home. If you feel like a midsummer cruise, this ones for you. Or maybe you just want to show your support, but don’t like objects with two wheels and an engine. That’s totally okay, you can still donate to their cause and even keep up with the ride online.

Every Saturday in June – Fort Langley Village Farmers’ Market

At the Fort Langley Village Farmers’ Market, you can meet our local BC farmers, BC Prepared food vendors, BC Craft beer, spirits, and wine vintners, and our “Best of BC” Artisans.

When: Every Saturday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. April 10th – December 18th, 2021

Where: Fort Langley Village Farmers’ Market is located at 9025 Glover Road, Fort Langley B.C. (site of St. Andrew’s Historic Chapel)

June 18 – Golf for Kids’ Sake Tournament & Silent Auction (Abbotsford)

That brings us to another neat gathering happening this month. The Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation is hosting a golf fundraiser at Ledgeview Golf and Country Club, which would be perfect for the golfers of the family. With tickets starting at $250, your package includes lunch, dinner, a cart rental, and 18 holes, and you can be assured that your donation is going towards a good cause. You can find out more at the Big Brothers Big Sisters website.

_ _ _ _ _
Those are just a few of the interesting events to come this year, hopefully, you found one worth checking out. Remember to follow all COVID-19 safety precautions, to protect you and your family as well as the community. Do you have your own event suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.

_ _ _ _ _
Written by Josh Loewen

Photo Credits:
Downtown Chilliwack Community Market – https://www.instagram.com/ChilliwackMarket
Ride for Doug – ridefordoug.com
Fort Langley Village Farmers’ Market – fortlangleyvillagefarmersmarket.org
Golf for Kid’s Sake – fraservalley.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/event/golf-for-kids-sake-2021

Relax, Exhale, Dream with Rick Ropchan

In this episode, we visit Rick Ropchan the owner of Red Sleep Innovations.

  • They have a two-piece blanket that has a patented design that allows you to keep warm no matter what you’re doing called the Diner’s Wrap.
  • We discuss the features and benefits of the blanket. It’s a way to keep covered regardless of what you were doing.
  • Can be used on the patio, while you drive your car, or watching TV.
  • It has two different components that you put together.
  • Rick tells the story of the blanket and the wheel.
  • Made of polar fleece and water-resistant. It has such a tight weave that it keeps the wind away from your body. It’s warm!
  • A travel version is coming out later this summer. This fall they are coming out with a study cuddle.

To find out more about Red Sleep Innovations go to https://relaxexhaledream.com

Brought to you by Mike Wilson https://fvlifestyle.com/real-estate-home
_ _ _ _ _

To be interviewed for our local Fraser Valley business podcast email rod@impactintl.net

Since yet another round of restrictions during the pandemic, many of us are confined to our homes and communities, unable to (legally) go out and explore the Fraser Valley. With the month of May coming up, it still seems unsure whether COVID will calm down. Because of this,  there isn’t a ton of food festivals, concerts, or farmers’ markets to enjoy in the nice pre-summer weather. But not all is lost. There is, however, a small handful of events for Langley and Abbotsford-dwellers to attend this May. So grab out your calendar, and see if any of these events is right for you and your family. 

Please check with the event organizers ahead of time to see if the following events are still on. COVID restrictions are always changing and are impacting events.

Abbotsford

Here are a couple of events happening in Abbotsford in May.

Hanging Basket Sale – Back by popular demand!Hanging Baskets
The annual Telecare Hanging Basket Fundraiser is returning for another year. They assure us that they are doing everything possible to practice safe selling and pick-up including social distancing, wearing masks, and wiping things down with a disinfectant. Telecare’s phone lines remain open and are needed more than ever and they appreciate your support.

If you would like a high-quality hanging basket, drop by Trinity Christian Reformed Church, 3215 Trethewey St., Abbotsford on Saturday, May 1 between 9 AM and 2 PM and purchase your hanging basket on-site. To order online see https://www.telecarebc.com/hanging-basket-fundraiser

Food Festival – May 14

(Abbotsford)
Although that seems to be it for our list of Langley events, there’s still a variety of events taking place across the Fraser Valley. This brings us to my personal favourites, The Canadian Brewhouse and Grill are hosting their very own, Lobster Fest 2021. With tickets at 40 bucks apiece, you’ll be sure to get your fill of lobster, baked mac and cheese, and more deliciousness.

Langley Events

Horse show LangleyHorse Shows – May 2, 15, 16, 29  
If anyone here is a fan of English or Western horse shows, Windsum is hosting a small variety of dressage events. Starting with the Summer Classic Dressage Show on May 2, they’re also hosting a Western show on  May 15, an English show on  May 16, and an English/Western on May 29.

More Horses – May 9
Another event for the horse people in the family. Pre Teen Pony Party Night (try saying that ten times fast) is taking place on May 9. It’s a one-hour event (3-4) and includes a mini warm-up lesson, games on horseback, a dance party at the end, and even a place to take selfies with the horses. Wow!

Mothers Day Event – May 9Mothers day
Swing by the Evergreen Cultural Centre at 730pm for a lovely Mother’s Day, and enjoy a show by Ken Lavigne – a tenor singer and composer. If you and your loved one(s) are feeling up for a rather tasteful evening, consider grabbing a table for two at $70, or a table for 4 for $125. If you enjoy a classical music sound, this is worth checking out.

Paintball – May 23
This one is for the Star Wars fans of the family. Blackwatch Paintball is hosting their first Star Wars event, titled “The Beginning” – so keep on the lookout for more of these if you’re into that sort of thing. A less sophisticated choice, but sure to amuse at least one person you know, you really can’t go wrong with Star Wars-themed paint
balling.

Classical ConcertClassical Concert – May 30
And that brings us to the last non-conference or certification-related event in Langley. Taking place on May 30, from 3-4 pm, the Aurora Piano Trio is performing their “Concerts Café Classico” at the Langley Community Music School. Yet another one for the classical music lovers.

If you’re planning to check any of these out or have any other events you know of, let us know in the comments below.

Article Author: Josh Lowen

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 

There are still several live events and activities taking place this weekend including the Abbotsford Agrifair at the Exhibition Park venue in Abbotsford. In Vancouver, you can visit Playland at the PNE and the PNE Prize Home Lottery

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 

White Rock Farmer’s Market Sunday 10 – 2

Abbotsford Farm & Country Market Saturday 9 – noon 

Mud Bay Nature Walkhttps://fvlifestyle.com/event/nature-walks-in-surrey-at-mud-park-august-one/ (Photo)

Details: Hosted by White Rock and Surrey Naturalists – WRSN. Meet Liz at the Mud Bay Park parking lot @ 13030 48 Avenue, turn south off Colebrook Road. Saturday, Aug 1, 2020, 9 AM – 11 AM PDT at Mud Bay Park. Email: parks@surrey.ca. Liz will visit Mud Bay Park. and Colebrook Park afterward.

Featured Image: Chilliwack Sunflower Festival 2018

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: Summer Craft for Kids 1

  • Coffee Filters
  • Washable markers
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • 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.

Summer craft 3Step 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!

 

~ By Becca Toews

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