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The silver lining of a COVID-19 wedding

June 7, 2021 | Shu Yi Chu

shuyi wedding

Back in August 2019, I was vacationing with my now-husband in Coquitlam, B.C. Around 6 a.m., I groggily awoke to sunshine peeking through the Burke Mountains as he proposed to me. Spoiler alert: I happily accepted!

When we returned to Toronto, the wedding planning began in earnest — with a 180-person guest list, many of whom (my parents included) would be traveling here from abroad. Then, right before we were about to send out invitations in March, COVID-19 hit.

Along with it came wave after wave of questions and uncertainty: are weddings even allowed, or just ceremonies without receptions? How many guests — 5, 10, 20, 50? Should we postpone until the following year and simply hope for the best? Ultimately, we decided to stick to our original date — with a small ceremony of 30 guests, the allowable limit at the time. We also live-streamed our wedding for those who couldn’t attend in person — and were pleasantly surprised by its positive reception among our “guests”.

So where’s the silver lining? All the avoided travelling is equivalent to the emissions of about 80 round trips between Vancouver and Toronto! How do I know? I used the ICAO’s (International Civil Aviation Organization) carbon emission calculator to estimate carbon dioxide emissions per passenger based on where our would-be guests live. Curious about carbon emission caused by air travel? You can calculate your travel emissions with the same internationally-accepted methodology airlines use on the ICAO website.

Perhaps when COVID-19 goes away, we’ll gather and those avoided emissions will be short-lived. But until it’s safe to do so, why not live-stream your big day? You won’t run up a crazy bar tab — and only your besties get a hand on the bouquet!

Shu Yi Chu

Shu Yi is the female voice on the INZ team. When she is not working, you can find her exploring a new hiking trail or trying out a new recipe. You can connect with her in English, French or Chinese.

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