As pandemic eases, couples able to move ahead with wedding plans for 2021

As restrictions in Ontario continue to loosen, engaged couples in are starting to plan for their big day. In Sudbury, people in the industry say their phones have been ringing off the hook.

The pandemic has thrown a wrench into many wedding plans across the country in the past year and a half, but things are finally starting to look up.

Organizers of pop-up weddings in Sudbury said in the past couple of weeks, they have received a lot of calls from people planning a small wedding instead of waiting any longer for COVID-19 restrictions to be fully lifted.

“Three or four weeks ago, we started promoting our pop-up wedding events -- which are starting in August -- and we're about 80 per cent sold out,” said Robert Provencher, founder of Pink Door Weddings.

“Everything slowed down and stopped for a while. However, good timing I guess on our part because pop-up weddings are well suited given the circumstances and the restrictions we're now working under. It seems to really address the demands.”

It’s been three weeks now Priceless Bridals opened its doors to the public. Staff said they have had to change their working hours just to accommodate brides trying to schedule appointments.

“Our team has been helping everybody to get in, and sometimes we’re here at 7 a.m. and we are staying till 8 or 10 p.m.,” said Sandra Pyoli, general manager with Priceless Bridals.

“The girls (who) had wanted the big, big wedding are now making it a little more intimate. They are having just their close family and friends. So smaller weddings means smaller dresses, not big and poofy. The dresses aren’t as elaborate as they would be in prior years.”

The owner of Guilty Pleasures Bakeshop said she’s been receiving an uptick of calls each day for fall weddings.

“We’re seeing a lot for September and October -- I think people think that that’s kind of a safe distance away,” said Justine Martin, owner of Guilty Pleasures Bakeshop.

“I have some couples who postponed to next year who are now moving their wedding back up. So let’s say they had postponed from June of this year to June of next year, and they’re like pushing back up to September of this year.”

The Caruso Club is one of Sudbury’s popular wedding venues and it said it went from receiving dozens of calls a day before the pandemic to no calls at all.

But things have picked up again.

“In the last couple of weeks, people are reaching out. A lot of have cancelled till the end of September, but I have noticed a lot of people calling me for bookings for October,” said John Cimino, general manager of the Caruso Club. “November and December, we were booked originally from the dates before and they’re all hanging on, too.”

Cimino hopes Stage 3 of reopening will allow for an even larger capacity limit for couples still hoping to have their large dream wedding.