It would be an understatement to say the world and daily life as we once knew it has been turned on its head, not just in our region, but throughout the world.

There is the expression that misery loves company, but that does little to erase the pain. sorrow, loss of life of so many in the past three months.

One area in which I have personally experienced such sadness and despair has been as a wedding officiant. My heart has bled time and again for the many couples I am scheduled to marry this year whose work and planning and expense for their BIG DAY as a couple has been for nought. The only consolation I could offer them is a reminder of their love for each other and the fact there will be future opportunities for them.

But, a sliver of sunshine has crept through the clouds for some couples in this area.

In the past three weeks the City of Windsor has resumed the processing of Ontario Marriage Licences. However, even though couples can obtain a marriage licence, it is subject to other limitations.

Most venues where wedding ceremonies and receptions are held, still have not been granted permission by the Province to conduct business for groups larger than five persons including the officiant, the couple being married and their two witnesses. (note time of writing May 30, 2020)

As a wedding officiant, I will not officiate a wedding that violates the directives of the Windsor Essex County Health Unit and Province of Ontario guidelines. They must be adhered to.

So, last Friday I married a couple, Zachary and Kelsey, in the groom’s parent’s McGregor home, in their expansive and picturesque backyard. Social distance was observed by the bride, groom, two witnesses and me. Several family members watched on from the family home, some 100 yards away. And the entire ceremony was streamed to a select audience on Facebook Live. Photographs were also taken, but at a distance from the wedding site.

The beautiful bride expressed her view of the day as follows . . .

Well life threw us a lot of curve balls with the current pandemic and on top of it RAIN! BUT WE DID IT!!! Despite of it all we had an amazing day; our ceremony was in person very small, but many watched online then we were shower (quite literally) with love having our family and friends drive by! Then we ended the night with an after party video call. Overall, a wonderful day!

Zachary and Kelsey kissing with personal masks on holding the covid19 sign. Photo courtesy of Blue Rose Designs.

Until restrictions are amended or lifted, this is the future of weddings for the time being. And many couples will choose to have a more elaborate ceremony/reception when permissible.

If you decide to marry now and party later then visit the City of Windsor website for information on how to obtain the marriage licence. 

And Terry Knight Lepain, Manager of Records, Election and FOI’s with the City of Windsor, suggests you keep in mind the following:

  • licences are available for weddings occurring within the next 30 days of applying.
  • licences can only be obtained by appointment which you initiate by emailing [email protected];
  • follow all the directions provided by the city and make sure you have the necessary documents of identification.
  • be sure your wedding officiant is aware of your date, time, and location.
  • Social Distancing and other prescribed regulations must be adhered to.

Whether you choose this type of smaller wedding or wait until the pandemic eases up and allows you to reschedule to a future date, I wish all of you — on behalf of our Biz X magazine family — the very best in your life together! Cheers, Joe!

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