Friday, September 18

Breathing a Little Easier by Jana Richards

My daughter’s wedding was last weekend. I was looking forward to it … until the pandemic hit. Then it became a source of worry and even fear. 

But in the end, everything went off smoothly. At least I hope so.

When my daughter and her fiancé, now husband, got engaged in March 2019, they chose August 15, 2020 as their wedding date, and a beautiful, elegant old hotel as their venue. After a few months of the pandemic, it became clear that August 15 wasn’t going to happen. The hotel offered them an alternative date: December 5, 2020. So, our summer wedding was now going to be a winter wedding? But then a date in September opened up and they grabbed it. The hotel kept assuring them that by September things would open up more and the government would allow more people to attend indoor functions.

But by the beginning of August, it was clear that wasn’t going to happen. If they wanted 100 people at their wedding, it had to be outdoors. So, we said goodbye to the elegant hotel wedding and hello to a more rustic country wedding. 

Luckily, my new son-in-law’s sister and her husband own an acreage outside of the city. Three years ago, they had their own wedding there. They knew the people to call, like the company who put up a giant tent, and the guys who supplied the porta-potties. Basically, we started from scratch and put a wedding together in six weeks.

And it actually came together! They found the essential services like the caterer and a company that supplied the dishes for dinner. The table and chairs came with the tent, but we still needed linens for them. My daughter rented silk flowers to decorate the church and the tent. Her mother-in-law got very creative with decorating as well. When she passed a house in a small town that had hundreds of potted plants, she stopped in and asked if we could borrow some for the wedding, even though she didn’t know the owner. And this being “Friendly Manitoba”, the lady said yes. We got several beautiful, big pots of colorful petunias. We hung some of them from the tent supports and placed others strategically inside and outside of the tent. It was beautiful.

The bride and her maids

I now have a great appreciation for the people who organize such events. It’s a huge amount of work and we had to do it all ourselves. There are so many things to do! We had to try to think of everything that would be needed, including all the supplies required to stock a bar. And of course, this year, nothing was needed more than hand sanitizer. We made sure we had plenty of that. We also had a hand washing station at the porta-potties. 

We could control everything except the weather. I worried about what would happen if it rained. The whole place could turn into a mud pit. Since we had to keep some of the tent flaps open to allow for air flow, it could get very cold inside, even if didn’t rain. 

Fortunately, we lucked out. Weather-wise, it was a perfect day, not too hot and not too cold. It was about time the kids caught a break.

In the end it was a lovely wedding. But I have to admit, the worry hasn’t completely ended for me. No matter how careful you try to be and the precautions you put in place, you can’t control everyone. Once the dancing started, people got a little closer than I was comfortable with. I won’t rest easy until two weeks pass without incident.

The bride and her dad

In the meantime, things can start getting back to normal, or at least what passes for normal these days. I’m looking forward to writing again, since I haven’t had the bandwidth to concentrate on anything except the wedding all summer. 

And I’m also looking forward to breathing again. Hopefully, soon.


  1. What a beautiful bride! I'm glad it went so well and--for your sake--that it's over.

    1. Thanks Liz. I feel bad to be so relieved that it's over, but these days nothing feels like it should feel. I'm trying to get back into my writing, but haven't had any success yet. I was going great guns in the spring and I have to find my way back there.

  2. I love it when things come together like that! And your daughter was a beautiful bride. Enjoy your down time.

  3. Thanks Margie. Yes, considering the pivot we made, the wedding came together amazingly well. Rachel was indeed a beautiful bride.

  4. Beautiful bride is right! I'm so happy things went well. As far as people dancing close together: They knew the risks. If you'd tried to break them apart, you'd have been like the fuddy-duddy chaperones at Ridell High ("Grease".)

    1. That's funny, Janie! Yeah, I wouldn't have wanted to do that, and if I'm honest, I was dancing too. Two weeks and a day have officially passed and there have been no reports of illness among our guests. So I can officially relax!