May Newsletter


by Alan Viau

As more people are getting vaccinated, the hope of restrictions being lifted is increasing. Yet we have just heard that the Ontario lock down maybe extended. In addition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged provinces to maintain strict public health measures until COVID-19 case counts are much lower than they are now. It looks like we are in for a long haul with restrictions. So what can couples do about planning their wedding?

It was certainly disheartening to read that Trudeau said tough public health restrictions, like the lockdowns in Ontario, should be kept in place for the foreseeable future to drive COVID-19 case counts to more manageable levels.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said the number of new cases reported daily in the province needs to be well below 1,000 before he can recommend lifting restrictions.

Pointing to modelling data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Trudeau said provinces should begin to lift public health restrictions only once 75 per cent of the adult population has had at least one vaccine dose. This will occur in July for most provinces.

This means we will still be in zone restrictions for some time to come. If you are in a Grey zone, you are shut down and cannot have a wedding. Red zones are restrictive. However, couples can plan their weddings if they feel that their wedding may be in the green, yellow, or orange zones for their day.

The OGWIA published a post with a great table that shows what each COVID restriction color zone means for Ontario as of March 20, 2021. From this chart, you can look across it and see what is common across the zones and what changes. With that information you can plan accordingly.

What is common between green, yellow, and orange zones.

  1. Wedding ceremony space can be used at 30% capacity or 100 people outdoors
  2. Private receptions, ie in a backyard, are limited to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors
  3. Commercial venues (not restaurants) are limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
  4. No singing or dancing is allowed

What will vary from colour to colour?

  1. Number of guests per table
  2. Time when liquor sales end
  3. Closing time

Please note:

  1. That when number of people are stated that includes the officiant, photo/video-graphers, caterers and other hired staff.
  2. Physical distancing and PPE use are still required no matter what zone you are in.
  3. The colour coding system is specific for that province. Orange restrictions in Ontario are different than Orange restriction is Quebec. Check your appropriate provincial colour zones.

What decisions must couples make?

  1. where do you believe your area will be in the colour zone chart for your date
  2. plan for the common items
  3. develop scenarios for the variable items

Some trendy ideas that couples are exploring:

  1. A long leisurely dinner with intimate family and friends instead of a rush to get to the party
  2. Hiring a live small band such as a jazz trio or singer/pianist
  3. Hiring a DJ that can lead interactive games
  4. Plan an early closure to the event like 10pm
  5. Have a wedding ceremony at 11am with a lunch reception


By Brian Henry

Everyone is encouraged to join us for the final social event before the start of the wedding season and it’s coming up on Monday, June 7th at 7pm on Zoom. There will be a trivia game, prizes, chit chat, and other surprises during the evening. We are also going to give you 30 seconds to promote your company to everyone in our wedding industry on the call. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to have some light-hearted fun and the chance to tell everyone about your services. Mark the date on your calendar and we will see you on Monday, June 7th at 7pm.


By Brian Henry

We had another excellent well attended seminar on Monday, May 3rd when the OGWIA presented professional lawyer Jake Vogl from Momentum Law. The topic was contracts and the seminar dealt with terms and conditions. Each member who attended the seminar was provided with a contract template they can apply to their business. For those members who are interested in adding specific points about their own company or industry to the contract, they can contact Jordan Narod from Momentum Law who will be able to assist you while Jake Vogl is on his sabbatical. Jordan’s email address is: This concludes our seminar series for the season. We hope you enjoyed the seminar by business coach Catherine Fair from Rhapsody Strategies back in March, the seminar on April 5th by Ted Williamson and Carol Catchpole from SRT Accounting on government grants, programs and taxes, the open forum on mental health with Crystal Smalldon – the Registered Social Service Worker, Psychotherapist, and Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor and finally our seminar in May with Jake Vogl from Momentum Law. If you have a topic that you would like us to consider for a future seminar, please send us an email. The next thing on the agenda for members is a social event called Spring into Summer being held at its usual time – the first Monday in June on the 7th at 7pm on Zoom. There will be a trivia game, prizes, chit chat and other surprises. This will be the final event for the next few months as we are all getting ready for the upcoming wedding season. Keep your eyes open in your inbox for an email and watch Facebook for more details.

In other membership news, we added three new members in April. The Ottawa Gatineau Wedding Industry Association would like to welcome Prior Engagements, Party and Event Rentals from Arnprior, Ontario, Manoir de la Foret from Cantley, Quebec and Memories Event Planning from Gatineau, Quebec. That’s it from membership services. I strongly encourage you to read the entire newsletter as soon as possible as there are great articles for your business.


We are happy to report that we have three new members that joined the association in April and every member is paid up. We have made payments to our usual monthly expenses and we made payments to the presenters for the seminars by SRT Accounting and Jake Vogl from Momentum Law. Coming up, we will spend some money on prizes for the upcoming Spring into Summer Social event and our regular monthly expenses.


Personal article by Brian Henry

Are you tired of being tired? Are you feeling sluggish and you need a boost? Don’t worry. You are not alone. We’ve all had these feelings over the past 14 months. Today, is the day we pick ourselves up, stand proud and face the incoming challenges with confidence and a smile. Over 25 years ago, I heard a line from a business person that I respect and it has resonated with me for my entire life. Sir Terry Matthew, the successful serial high-tech entrepreneur and billionaire who created Mitel, Newbridge Networks, the Marshes Golf Club and the Brookstreet Hotel and many more companies once said in an article to offer inspiration that we should “act like the company we want to be. . . not like the one we are now”. Based on this one quote, I personally took on new challenges with our company and we built it into the largest company of its kind in Ottawa. We never worried about competition and we never considered anybody to be a threat to our business. We stayed focused on being the best company that we can be and we don’t think about what other companies are doing – we don’t even look at their websites. I highly recommend you do the same thing.

I want to give you two great examples of companies that have popular products and how they made changes to stand out from their competition. The companies are Amazon and Apple. Why we do buy things from Amazon? I buy items from Amazon because their app and delivery service make it so easy to order almost anything and get it delivered to my office or home. Other companies don’t have good apps, I have to enter my address and credit card number each time I purchase something, I have to pay high shipping fees and they can never tell me when the item is going to arrive. With Amazon, they learned if you satisfy all those frustrations with a consumer, they will buy from you. They were not the first company to offer online sales – but they were the first to make the experience better. If you look at your own business and do the same, then you won’t worry about your competition. In the example of Apple, they were not the leader of the mobile phone market when they introduced the first Iphone. The mobile phone leader at the time was Blackberry. Rather than trying to make a better Blackberry phone with a keyboard, they used their out of box thinking to develop a better phone that everyone loved. Blackberry and Apple both make phones – just like you offer the same service or product as your competitor. How can you make your service or product stand out? This is the question that you must answer to be successful and now is the time to do it before you get too busy. I hope these examples of my own life and two other well-known companies will inspire you to re-think the way you conduct your business and I hope it leads to tremendous growth and success.

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