By GILLIAN SLADE on April 18, 2020.
At 11 a.m. Saturday morning they were going to be walking down the aisle to be married at Heights Baptist Church.
Then COVID-19 happened.
Yessica Ramirez and Matthew Curzon sit at their dining room table on Friday shaking their heads at how quickly it all changed.
There were to be several bridesmaids and a reception for more than 50 people. Ramirez’s parents arrived from Peru a couple months ago to help with preparations and be present for their daughter’s big day. Many of Curzon’s relatives were coming from out of town.
When social distancing started and there was a 50-people restriction, they still thought it would all work out for their wedding.
Some bridesmaids were coming from other provinces, though. Slowly they began calling to say they could no longer risk travelling. Ramirez says guests from out of town started cancelling.
“They were scared already,” said Ramirez. “It was not a surprise.”
Then the government announced further restrictions on the number of guests for weddings.
The last cancellation was from the venue where the reception was to be held in Medicine Hat.
“The pastor (Rev. Patrick Schoenberger) was always available for a private wedding,” she explained.
The wedding dream though had been about a celebration where friends and family that they seldom see would come together.
Ramirez’s parents had return flights to Peru booked for April 29. That flight was cancelled.
“They will not have money to come back later in the year for a wedding,” said Ramirez.
Sometimes Ramirez and Curzon still think of having a private wedding with just her parents before they are able to leave.
“Just a simple wedding and then go for lunch,” said Ramirez.
There has been more stress for the young couple, too. Curzon was laid off from work on March 13 and Ramirez on March 20.
“We’ve never been in a position where we couldn’t work” said Curzon. “I don’t feel secure now.”
Curzon had a suit custom made for the wedding and the date to collect it from the store in Medicine Hat was April 3. The store is closed. He’s made contact with the head office via email but by Friday morning they were just offering a refund.
“It was a custom suit,” said Curzon.
Ramirez has been studying part-time to be a health care aide. She was supposed to start her practicum next week and that has now been cancelled.
Even if they wanted a private ceremony now, there is no wedding suit.
Ramirez says the stress has been mounting. She’s been talking to the Peruvian embassy to check on progress for a repatriation flight for her parents.
The sad part is if the wedding is delayed until next year it will simply not be financially possible for her parents to return to Canada for it.
“An awful situation,” said Ramirez.