How to plan your wedding in Vancouver during COVID-19

Planning your wedding during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite it being around for over a year, is no easy task. Especially with the regulations constantly being updated and unfortunately some misinformation being spread too. I felt compelled to write this post about how to plan your wedding in Vancouver. I’ll do my best to keep it updated with the latest rules and regulations. However Jelger (always the former lawyer, and I stress former) made me add that I’m not a lawyer. Therefore this post is only a reflection of my personal findings and opinions and in no way legal advice. I highly recommend you to seek the advice from a legal professional if you want absolute certainty.



These two had over 30 zoom guests!


1. The Provincial Health Order (PHO) about gatherings

First and foremost: the ONLY source of correct information on the current wedding regulations in BC is (other than a legal professional) the Provincial Health Order about gatherings. Yes, it’s a long (and somewhat sleep-inducing) legal document, but it is the legal bedrock for what is and is not allowed when it comes to gatherings. The document has been updated numerous times since the first version came out in March, with the most current version available on the BC government website.


Other than a legal professional, the PHO is the ONLY legal document you should check for 100% accurate information on events and gatherings (aka weddings).

Why am I so adamant about this pdf? Well, unfortunately news outlets and even government sources have shared information that could be interpreted in a dubious, and even incorrect, ways.


Social distanced family photo. 🙂


2. What the PHO means right now

Right now (until an undisclosed date, as announced on February 5th 2021), a maximum of 10 people is allowed to be present at your wedding ceremony, and that includes all your vendors (such as the officiant, photographer, videographer etc.). It’s not allowed to have a wedding reception or any sort of gathering before or after the wedding with anyone who doesn’t live in the same residence as you.

There’s also a requirement for a Covid-19 safety plan (detailed on page 11 of the PHO), which is mostly about people being able to social-distance and having covid safety in place. Keep in mind this order also applies to larger meetings and events which are not weddings.


Hand saniter and mask guest favours.


3. So where do I start

Once you’ve understood what the Provincial Health Order means and where to find it, the next step depends on what your vision is! Are you ok with a 10-person wedding? In that case check out our post on how to elope in Vancouver and find some amazing elopement locations in and around Vancouver.

Planning for a larger wedding? Then you’ll want to hope for the best, but plan for the worst.



4. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst

In all honesty, if you just started planning and are hoping for a larger wedding, I would highly recommend you to choose a wedding date no closer than 2022, because this year’s summer looks incredibly unpredictable. The vaccine rollout has barely begun and it’s impossible to predict how smoothly everything will happen. And while the provincial health officer has hinted in interviews that the summer will look similar to last year (which had a 50 person guest limit), as long as it’s not confirmed, this is all speculation.

If it’s important for you not to postpone, you could approach venues and ask about their policies for cancellations and reduced guest numbers. For example, if you book a venue and hope a 50-guest attendance will be allowed again by August 2021, you’ll want to double check the venue policies. Are they ok with a smaller event at a reduced rate? Or is everything non-refundable?

Most vendors have policies in place by now for postponements and contract changes down the road. And if they don’t, beware, lol. When it comes to these policies, there’s no industry standard though. Some vendors allow you to simply reschedule (and transfer your deposit) without additional fees, others only allow a change of wedding date (without fees) to weekdays in 2022, and even others will require you to pay a cancellation fee.


5. Questions to ask your vendors in regards to Covid-19

Here are a couple of relevant questions to ask your wedding vendors about their Covid-19 policies. As mentioned above, there’s no industry standard, but you’ll want to know their policies before booking so you don’t run into unexpected surprises.


  • Is my deposit refundable and if yes, what are the requirements for a refund?
  • If my deposit is non-refundable, can I instead reschedule my wedding date, and transfer the deposit to that date?
  • If I need to reschedule my wedding date, will my original contract price still be valid or is there a price increase applied?
  • Do you have a Covid-19 safety plan in place?
  • What happens if you or your staff is unable to fulfill the contracted obligations because of reasons related to Covid-19 (be it sick, or in mandatory quarantine), do you have a backup plan?



6. Does this sound daunting?

Let’s be honest, following the advice I just gave you is no cakewalk. It tires me just thinking about asking all the vendors usually involved in a wedding about their policies. 😉 Maybe you love planning and inquiring, but when you’re like me, I’d highly recommend you to hire an event planner! They’re the ones that have been eyeball-deep into vendor contracts from the start of the pandemic. So they know who to ask and what to look out for.

Don’t know who to hire for a wedding coordinator or event planner? Feel free to message me for some recommendations!


7. More fun stuff

Ok, I don’t know about you but this is as much Covid talk as I’m up for. 😉 How about some more fun things for you to check out, like our non Covid-related wedding planning tips! Or enjoy some beautiful wedding photos right here.

Thank you for reading until the end! I truly believe you’ll have an amazing wedding regardless of the pandemic and regardless of the choices you make. 🙂