Montreal couple’s wedding in danger of being cancelled amid COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 may force Christel Bardakji and Michael Meletakos to cancel their wedding.

For Christel Bardakji and Michael Meletakos, getting married in Greece has always been a dream -- one that was about to come true until the COVID-19 pandemic brought their plans to a screeching halt.

“We've been together for 10 years, engaged for two years and we delayed it because of my schooling," Bardakji told CTV News. "So, I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit depressing. We've been planning for over a year. Everything was aligned perfectly.”

After getting engaged in the spring of 2018, the couple and 100 of their closest friends and family were supposed to jet-set off to the sunny destination on July 2; the wedding was scheduled for July 11.

“His grandmother was really sick and I had this nice relationship with her and he wanted to propose before she passed away,” Bardakji explained, adding the matriarch died a few weeks after their engagement. “We were debating whether to have the wedding here or abroad and we decided to do it in Greece [where he's from].”

If the destination wedding is postponed -- or cancelled -- Bardakji says they stand to lose about $15,000 in deposits, flights and hotels.

“It’s a lot of money. We don’t know if we'll be able to get it back,” she said. “I’m fine, I’ll just have to accept that this is the reality and the money part isn’t an issue at all. I'm just worried about the guests who have booked everything. It sucks having to have the responsibility of 100 people on your shoulders and you don't know what to tell them. That’s what’s more stressful.”

Bardakji pointed out they not only have to monitor the situation in Montreal, they also have to see how things unfold on the other side of the Atlantic.

“We haven’t made a decision yet. We’re kind of waiting a couple weeks to see how it’s going to play out,” the 27-year-old told CTV News. “We reached out to our wedding planners in Greece and told them we’re concerned, and let them know how we’re feeling.”

The couple noted they will probably make an official decision on whether or not to postpone their wedding in the coming weeks.

“We'll decide on a date and if things aren't back to normal by then, we’ll have to make an official decision,” she said.

Nevertheless, Bardakji, who works as a pharmacist, said she’s much more concerned about making sure people take care of their health during the pandemic -- and whatever happens to her wedding, happens.

“We’re not the only couple in this situation. It's just really bad timing, so if we have to delay, we’ll have to delay,” she said. “We don't have a choice. Everyone’s health is more important.”

Bardakji said she’s still hoping she'll be able to have her dream Greek wedding -- whether it’s this summer, or not.