Due to COVID-19 restrictions that limit the number of guests who can attend indoor weddings, many have chosen to move their celebrations outside.
David Pranger, owner of Lethbridge Event Rentals, says last summer most of his summer bookings were meant to be outdoors.
“We were able to put up to 50 and 100 people outside in the summer, that was fantastic and that’s something we hope for again this summer. Mainly because the smaller 10-person gatherings obviously aren’t that good at finance. “
Pillory adds that during a typical year he hosts between seven and twelve weddings on a weekend, but this year he’s hoping to get back to that number.
“This year we’re looking at these seven areas again, which is good. Last year it was almost five weddings a weekend. We stood a little higher on some weekends, last summer it was almost seven or eight. I hope that we can reach that 12 mark again next summer. “
Local wedding venues say they are already booking fast for 2022. Galeana says many couples have moved their wedding date from 2020 to 2022 in hopes that more people can attend their special day.
“I will say with confidence that I have never seen such demand as I am seeing right now. We sometimes get eight requests a day for 2022 so I think 2022 will be the year of weddings and it looks very optimistic. “
Despite a busy summer, Pillory believes the wedding industry has been neglected by the government over COVID-19 restrictions.
“It’s a little daunting to see places like restaurants put up acrylic pieces [between tables] and there are still guests gathered, that’s something we could do in a ballroom, no problem. “
Many wedding venues would like the restrictions to be based on a percentage of capacity, as some ballrooms are over 10,000 square feet and can accommodate more than 10 people while they are physically apart.
Due to the ever-changing restrictions, Lethbridge wedding venues say they are flexible and work with their clients to plan their special day, even if it means their wedding is postponed to 2022 or beyond.
As of January 18, wedding ceremonies are limited to a maximum of 10 people, according to Alberta Health Services. Wedding receptions are not permitted.
A full list of current restrictions can be found on the AHS website here.