They can finally say yes

The future spouses have rushed to the dates available to get married at all costs this summer, after two years of postponements, even if it means saying yes in the middle of the week or at dinner time.

They can finally say yes

The future spouses have rushed to the dates available to get married at all costs this summer, after two years of postponements, even if it means saying yes in the middle of the week or at dinner time.

• Read also: Love in times of war

• Read also: After two years of pandemic, marriages start again

"Couples are much more flexible than in the past, we even have weddings on Tuesdays or Thursdays," says Nadine Topuzogullari, chief wedding planner at Le Cœur bohème.

It's because they have little choice: the calendar of photographers, caterers, rooms for rent, evening entertainers, florists and other suppliers has been full for a long time.

“It’s like three years in one! exclaims Ms. Topuzogullari, who is coordinating the organization of some forty weddings in the coming months.

“As soon as they started to loosen restrictions, I no longer knew where to turn,” recalls photographer Jessica Samyn, who will immortalize 22 ceremonies this summer.

If nearly 11,000 marriages were celebrated in Quebec between July and September 2019, there were only 4,750 in 2020 and 6,500 last year on the same dates.

"For us, it was inconceivable to get married with a mask," explains Stéphanie Lacroix, who is one of those who preferred to postpone their exchange of vows to this year.

Be patient

Some lovers have been waiting for this big day for so long that they have had time to change jobs or have children since their engagement.

“I have clients who put off their marriage for the third year. I'm going to miss them when it's over, "says Maryse Noël, of Créations Maryse Noël.

About 90% of the 22 weddings she is orchestrating this summer have been postponed at least once.

A few couples, however, did not survive the vagaries of the pandemic and canceled their ceremony, report many in the industry.

Disrupted plans

To a lesser extent, brides and grooms have often had to deal with menu changes, a DJ unavailable on the new date, or a new guest list.

“The pandemic has made it possible to do a natural household, I would dare say”, testifies Julie Latreille, who went from 86 to 60 guests for her wedding in an orchard in Saint-Hilaire.

“With COVID, three of my five bridesmaids no longer fit into their dresses,” adds Ms. Lacroix jokingly.

Despite these unforeseen events, the joy of the newlyweds and their loved ones at the idea of ​​meeting to celebrate without restriction is even more marked than usual, underlines Father Jacques Fortin, parish priest of Notre-Dame-de-la- New France, near Quebec.

But not everything is quite back to normal yet.

“As much as people need to let off steam on the dance [floors], there remains a certain mistrust. I still see people who wear the mask by choice, ”says Alain Simard, owner of AudioPlus disco-mobiles, from Quebec.

Repeatedly postponed weddings are a real headache for suppliers, planners and brides and grooms faced with rising prices and a shortage of labour.

"We had to negotiate hard in 2020 with the owners of the reception hall to postpone our wedding for a year at no cost, we even consulted legal aid," says Ghislain Tanguay, who will get married this summer in Laval.

For others, it is the price increases of the caterer, the delivery of decorative elements or floral arrangements that create friction.

"Today, I'm very excited, but I've been disappointed in the last two years. I think I would have canceled everything if I hadn't had an organizer to manage that portion, ”says Julie Latreille, who finally hopes to get married at the end of July.

Plan A, B, C, D

These unexpected changes nevertheless add a significant workload to experienced wedding planners.

"It's all on our shoulders, and it's a lot more pressure than before," says Nadine Topuzogullari, who is racking her brains to find an "A, B, C and D" plan for the smallest details of weddings. she coordinates.

And this, while most wedding planners have not charged extra since signing contracts dating from before the pandemic.

“We followed our newlyweds for two years, and technically, their package has been paid for a long time. These are marriages without any income, ”says Valérie Bigras, wedding planner for Life after yes.

Caterers are among the suppliers most affected by labor shortages and inflation.

"Our book is full for the summer, but we don't have enough staff to meet all the needs," confirms Stéphane Guay, owner of the Chemin faire caterer in Montreal. The latter resigned himself to increasing his prices, which his customers accepted.

He also finds himself with contracts from his former competitors who have abandoned weddings or catering since the pandemic.

At La Champenoise, which offers turnkey wedding packages on the South Shore, the cost of meals has not been increased by one cent for contracts signed before 2021.

“We are experiencing a financial loss, but it is a contract”, sighs Catherine Lussier, the manager of the place.

Two years of roller coaster

A bride from Montérégie has gone through the full range of emotions over the waves of the pandemic and postponements of her wedding date.

“I was very involved in the preparation and each time I got back into it, I experienced a disappointment,” admits Julie Latreille, a 36-year-old financial planner.

Today, the future bride is nevertheless thrilled at the idea of ​​uniting her destiny officially with that of her spouse, Dany Lepain, 36, and this, without health restrictions, on July 30, 2022.

"For us, it's going to be a celebration of love, we wanted to be able to be close, between spouses, but also with our guests," says Ms. Latreille, who called on a wedding planner.

From the church to the roof of a hotel

A wedding that was supposed to take place in a church by the water will finally take place on the roof terrace of a hotel in downtown Montreal.

“In our mind, we arrived by boat, we got married in a church on the South Shore, it was wow,” recalls Stéphanie Lacroix, who will marry her husband, Mathieu Pouliot, in August.

However, the COVID-19, but also the closure last march of the Manoir Rouville--Campbell where the couple had planned the celebrations, upset the plans.

“Let’s say we had to make compromises. I didn't want to stretch even more,” sighs the 38-year-old marketing manager.

The lovers' wedding planner finally narrowly found a hotel in Old Montreal ready to welcome them, but they had to give up on the religious ceremony originally planned.

It was time

A couple engaged during the pandemic will finally be able to get married in the fall in the presence of a very sick relative.

"We didn't want to push it back any longer," says Jade Shanker, who will marry the love of her life, Ariane Sirvent, in Rougemont on October 22, 2022.

The couple absolutely wanted Ariane's mother, who has stage 4 brain cancer, to be present at the ceremony.

However, it turned out to be particularly complicated to find a place this year, given the postponement of many weddings, including theirs.

"It was stressful, we had to make sure to pass on the information to the whole family and harmonize the changes with the suppliers", admits the nurse by profession, who carefully prepared the big day.

A failed concept

Laval lovers, together for 20 years, who planned to exchange their vows on June 20, 2020 had to change their concept.

Ghislain Tanguay and his wife, Caroline St-Jean, will finally get married on Saturday June 25, 2022 surrounded by their loved ones, which is the main thing.

"What stressed me was losing family members, because of age or COVID," says Mr. Tanguay, who still has several "fairly old" aunts.

Ghislain and Caroline had lovingly wrapped around 120 candles as gifts for their guests. They had to re-label them all by hand with the correct date due to the postponement of the ceremony.

“At the same time, we had nothing better to do in confinement,” laughs the father of three children.

“The lack of manpower complicates operations, but we experience the intense happiness of people who have been trying to get married for three years. »

- Maryse Noël, wedding planner

“People who write to me for photos in October, we forget that! »

- Jessica Samyn, wedding photographer

“It lacks everything. Both local flowers and those from abroad. »

- Marie Ève Sauvageau, florist and co-owner of Grenadine Atelier

“I congratulate the future spouses. It takes a lot of willpower to get through a pandemic and still get married. »

- Alain Simard, owner of AudioPlus mobile disco-mobiles

"I have two couples who wanted to postpone their wedding [at the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré basilica] from 2022 to 2023."

- Father Jacques Fortin, parish priest of Notre-Dame-de-la-Nouvelle-France, near Quebec.