FREDERICTON -- Wedding bells are in the air for New Brunswick couple, Justine Gauthier and Brandon Elford. Having been together for six years and engaged for two years, the couple is set to tie the knot on May 30. However, COVID-19 restrictions
are threatening their big day.
The problem: Elford’s side of the family lives in Nova Scotia; because of public health orders, they aren't allowed to cross into New Brunswick.
“She [Justine] has her dress, we have the rings, we have the license,” says Elford. “We have everything except my parents.”
Elford’s parents, who live in Lower Sackville, N.S., are just as torn over the predicament they’ve found themselves in.
“You just want to be there when he gets married, wherever it is, even if it’s for one hour just to be there in person,” says the groom’s mother, Cathy Elford. “That’s a special moment, a special day – we need to be part of it.”
“How often do you see your son get married?” says the groom’s father, Trent Elford. “It’s once.”
The couple was initially scheduled to be married in March in the chapel at the University of King's College in Halifax, but all events were cancelled by the school. Now the couple has their sights set on the end of May.
With uncertainty looming, Eflord’s parents remain hopeful.
“Our plan is to leave here, drive straight there, see them get married, turn around and come home,” says Elford’s mother.
The groom’s family has considered many options to ensure they’re present for the couple’s big day. Elford’s parents say they’re willing to quarantine in New Brunswick for two weeks before the wedding.
Taking measures further, Gauthier’s father recently completed a program so he could perform the ceremony – without involving anyone else.
“He became ordained just so we wouldn’t have to include another person here,” says Elford.
The couple has reached out to health officials, MLAs, the RCMP and the Premier’s office. However, the only person to respond was an aide from Green Party Leader David Coon’s office. The aide said there was nothing they could do because of the uncertainty around COVID-19.
Unfortunately, the couple says they can’t postpone the wedding again – it will have to proceed without Elford’s parents.
“We are really excited to be married,” says Gauthier. “We want everybody to be there – but we just want to be married.”
Fortunately, Gauthier's parents, who live in Saint John, will be in attendance to witness the exchanging of the vows. Meanwhile, Elford's parents might have to watch their son tie the knot via the internet.