How to Plan a Wedding in Toronto during COVID-19 Restrictions

Having a wedding in Toronto during COVID-19 has many challenges.
Having a wedding in Toronto during COVID-19 has many challenges.

The last few months have been an emotional rollercoaster for couples with wedding plans. My niece had to postpone her Toronto wedding that was scheduled in April 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Couples hoping for a summer wedding were waiting to find out if Stage 3’s lighter restrictions would mean they could arrange a scaled-down wedding.

Planning a fall wedding may have been even more nerve-wracking. Restrictions were lifted in Ontario and the GTA over the summer, only to be tightened again in September 2020, with an uncertain future.

Having a wedding in Toronto during COVID-19 has many challenges.
Having a wedding in Toronto during COVID-19 has many challenges.

With that in mind, here is what the current restrictions look like and how they may impact your wedding:

How Small Does My Guest List Need to Be?

In Ontario, September 2020’s changes mean that you’re now allowed 25 people at an outdoor gathering or up to 10 people at an indoor gathering. It’s important to prioritize the safety of your guests and comply with the social gathering limits; otherwise, each of your guests could be fined $750 while the host of the event could be fined up to $100,000.

Also, keep in mind that the maximum number of attendees includes a minister or priest, justice of the peace, or other designated individual required to officiate the wedding.

While this restriction has certainly meant lots of unexpected changes to wedding plans, especially those planning large, indoor weddings, there is a bright side for some.

Fewer guests mean lower costs. For some, that means putting the savings towards other goals, like a down payment on a house, and for others – perhaps treating themselves to wedding perks that will last a lifetime, like a stunning engagement ring or wedding band from somewhere like Alexis Gallery . You can customize the creation to your liking and come up with something unique.

Can I Have a Destination Wedding?

Unfortunately, all non-essential air travel is discouraged for Canadians, particularly if you’re planning on leaving the country. This is bad news for anyone planning tropical holidays, and absolutely devastating for those planning destination weddings.

You might have to make some tense phone calls to see if you can get a refund or get your wedding date pushed forward until next year.

We all want to be optimistic and think positively, but it’s also important to be realistic and remember that there are no guarantees as to what travel restrictions will look like in 2021.

Also, remember that you need to factor in the travel restrictions in Canada, as well as your destination. For example, Italy and Mexico could each have very different restrictions in place in 2021.

When Should I Make the Tough Decisions?

Professional wedding planners say that you should make the call to cancel or postpone your wedding five months in advance, whenever possible. But, right now, that number sounds impossible. There is no way to know what restrictions will look like five weeks from now, much less five months from now. It’s a frustrating game of wait-and-see: Wait and see what the COVID-19 numbers look like, then wait and see how the government adjusts restrictions accordingly.

At this point, your best bet is to have an honest discussion with your venues and vendors to see what can be saved, and what can be put off to next year.

Having a wedding in Toronto during COVID-19 won’t be easy. Cross your fingers and hold your partner’s hand. You’re in this together, and you will get through it together.

You might also be interested in reading, “Things To Consider When Planning a Backyard Wedding“.