Julia Cundliffe officiates a small wedding on Golden’s Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, just as COVID-19 was beginning to make its way into the collective conscious of the country. (Contributed)

Golden weddings still happening, despite COVID

While the weddings tend to be smaller, Julia Cundliffe says the commitment is still real

For many, the ongoing pandemic and the restrictions it has placed on large gatherings has meant the unfortunate cancellation of many ceremonies, most notably weddings.

While there’s definitely been a down-swing in weddings this season, some are deciding to move forward with smaller, more intimate ceremonies, according to marriage commissioner Julia Cundliffe.

Cundliffe, who has been a commissioner for five years this month in Golden, says it’s still a pleasure to be a part of such a special moment for these people, regardless of the tough times.

“I had one over by the bridge at the end of March, everyone was starting to get a bit scared at that point,” said Cundliffe.

“But we kept our six feet of distance and it was a lovely ceremony, it was a full wedding in every sense.”

While usually Cundliffe would be ramping up for her busy season, which she says usually lasts from mid-June through September, she’s had several cancellations and postponements due to COVID.

Read more: COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

She’s still had a handful of smaller weddings though, which says have primarily taken place in people’s backyards with groups of under 10 for more private, socially distanced ceremonies.

While ceremonies are shrinking, Cundliffe doesn’t mind and has been noticing a larger pre-COVID trend of smaller weddings to begin with.

“I just had one at a place just up on Barbara Road, open air, lovely thing, the dad had set up a beautiful archway for them and the weather was just perfect,” said Cundliffe.

“People seem to be choosing smaller, which I think is sensible. It’s more realistic, you can save your money to put towards a house or a down payment.”

Cundliffe feels for many of these couples, who often book their weddings a year in advance in order to wed on a particular date that is important to them.

“It must be disappointing for many who chose important dates. I knew 2020 was going to be a weird year, just not like this,” said Cundliffe.

“When these weddings do happen though, it’s always a bright spot for me, because it’s really gonna happen for them. When people take that final step, it’s real commitment.”

She added couples this year are sure to never forget having their wedding in the midst of a pandemmic. Despite the wedding downturn this year, she still has a few booked for later this summer as people wait to see if the restrictions lift before their big day.


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