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I Do, I Do, I Do! Or Do I?

Will your ‘I DO, I DO, I DO!’ become ‘I WILL, I WILL, I WILL!’? The state of the wedding industry and its related businesses have been in limbo since the start of this pandemic some fourteen months ago; the fragile weekly/monthly change of policies and regulations consequent to the weekly/monthly rise or decrease in cases, doubled by color-code changes, have hit hard on the industry and are keeping business owners on their toes, if not down on their knees.

While they have been pleading with different government decision-makers to agree on a 50% venue capacity, they realize that it is wishful thinking in best case scenarios. And with no clear end in the near future, booking weddings has proved to be an organizational nightmare, both for suppliers of services and for aspiring couples.

Whether you are planning to wed locally, regionally or in an exotic destination, whether in a church setting, town-hall or other setting, let us think of all small businesses and individuals involved, a specialized ecosystem of services: restaurants, caterers, florists, clothing stores, jewellers, hair stylists, limousine rentals, tents and furniture rentals, photographers, musicians and DJs, and the list goes on and on.

Some specialized wedding-planners suggest alternatives in case you decide to go ahead with your plans now rather than delay to after-Covid days:

-MICRO-WEDDING, downsize to an intimate affair with limited number of guests

-SEQUEL WEDDING: spread the fun over a few weeks with different groups of guests

-POSTPONED WEDDING: if it’s the best option for everyone involved.

The 2020 wedding season was a disaster in all aspects and most of those cancelled bookings were re-booked for 2021; but 2021 doesn’t look like it will be any rosier, some planners already confirming a loss of 80% or greater. Which means that if all is well by 2022, the number of bookings will be triple the original; obviously, in spite all efforts, it will be a great challenge for our local providers to deal with the two-year backlog and offer services to everyone in the same place at the same time.

A few weeks ago, Le Régional conducted an interview of Mr. Robert Kirby, mayor for the township of East Hawkesbury; he pointed out that one important financial blow to his township’s revenues was the closure of the Chute-à-Blondeau Community Centre and its loss of rental revenues: weddings, funerals, concerts, crafts exhibitions, private parties…Thousands and thousands of dollars definitely. And the situation is surely the same everywhere you go and anyone you ask, all across our villages, municipalities and towns in county of Prescott and everywhere else.

While in a wait-and-see mode, couples to-be may lighten up their mood by watching this Youtube video of André Rieux, should you decide to modify your original plans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVOKV02WRzA

All our best wishes to you all!  GENTLEMEN: As the old saying goes: ‘Happy wife, happy life!’  LADIES: I’ll let you think of an ending: ‘Happy husband, …’

*****

Or you may enjoy this 1896 sentimental short story, written by Cyrus Thomas, about a  young couple from Chute-à-Blondeau who tied, then un-tied, then re-tied the knot, and lived happily ever after.  After which, so as for Rosy and Joannise, we wish you all a happy life together!  And a few quarts of rum to help you deal through the waiting!

This story is taking place in the 1830s. Mr. and Mrs. Kirby lived on a farm in Chute-à-Blondeau. Mrs. Kirby had in her employ a servant, a French girl named Rosy, to whom she was much attached. Rosy had a sweetheart named Joannise, and when the two were married, Mrs. Kirby presented Rosy with a half-dozen silver spoons, on which the bride’s name was engraved.

Squire LeRoy, who had been some years in the country, and had settled on a lot adjoining Mr. Kirby’s, was the only one in this section empowered to marry, and so he was called to officiate on this occasion. After their marriage, the happy couple departed to their humble dwelling three or four miles distant, and for a short time their domestic happiness seemed unalloyed. But in a few weeks, discord began to disturb the serenity of their lives; more serious trouble ensued, and after wisely discussing the matter, and finding that permanent peace was not likely to establish between them, they decided to have the nuptial knot untied. Accordingly the following morning, Joannise visited Mr. Kirby, laid the matter before him and asked if he did not think Squire LeRoy would, for a reasonable sum, undo the work he had recently performed. Mr. Kirby, unwilling to lose an opportunity for a little sport, replied in the affirmative and suggested that they should together call on the Squire and get his opinion. The latter, after hearing the tale of Joannise, and his question as to whether he would un-marry him or not, gravely replied that he would. ‘How much will you ask?’ was the next question. ‘Oh, I suppose it ought to be worth a quart of rum’, an article commonly used for traffic in those days.

Joannise gladly accepted the terms, and the following morning appeared with his wife before the Squire. We are ignorant of the ceremony performed on the occasion, but at its close, Joannise and the hapless Rosy, evidently believed that they were legally divorced (…). Back at their cottage, they proceeded to make a division of their personal property, which they were to share equally. All went well until they came to the silver spoons which Rosy claimed as her own. The divorced husband objected, averring that this was contrary to the agreement by which he was fully entitled to one-half of the spoons. After considerable altercation, Rosy yielded to his wish and three of the coveted articles came into his possession.

After the division was made, they bade each other an affectionate farewell, kissed and embraced, but before the completion of the last act, a feeling of contrition suddenly possessed their hearts, their arms refused to untwine from each other, tears and humble confessions of hasty tempers and harsh words followed, and here they parted, pardon  for past errors had mutually been granted, and they had vowed to be re-married. In the afternoon of the same day in which their marriage knot had been severed, they trudged back three miles to Squire LeRoy; Joannise presented him with another quart of rum, and soon afterward, they started arm in arm for home again; and tradition asserts that, like the hero and heroine of the modern romance, they lived happily together ever afterward!

(From History of the Counties Argenteuil, Quebec and Prescott, Ontario)  

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