Editor’s Note: There are few no-risk activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, but there are ways to reduce risks. Fully vaccinated people are, of course, at much lower risk of contracting and spreading coronavirus than unvaccinated people. CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen advises approaching your decisions with that in mind.
This story has been updated to reflect the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance on mask wearing issued May 13.

CNN  — 

They had the artsy, rustic venue, the tailored dress and a guest list including about 150 of their closest friends and family. But the pandemic had other plans, forcing Carly Chalmers and Mitchell Gauvin to make a difficult decision about their wedding – twice.

“Everything was changing,” said Chalmers, a Toronto-based marketing manager whose nuptials were originally planned for May 2020, two months after her province’s coronavirus lockdowns began. “In March 2020, it felt like every day something would happen that was kind of like another nail in the coffin for our wedding.”

The couple, who’d gotten engaged in 2018, quickly shifted gears, opting for a small wedding on their July dating anniversary in Chalmers’ parents’ backyard and rescheduling their big reception for May 2021. They ultimately canceled the latter, for good, in light of Ontario’s recent Covid-19 case surge.

“We just realized it wasn’t going to be the day that we wanted,” Chalmers added. “With travel restrictions and the (slow) vaccination rollout, we just knew that people wouldn’t feel safe.”

Having to plan a wedding during normal times “is stressful enough,” she added, but an additional burden was having “to worry like, ‘Oh, somebody might get sick and die as a result of coming to my wedding.’”