By the looks of things, marriage isn’t what it used to be. Big changes have come to the big day, and happy couples are doing things differently, too.
The number of people getting married is in freefall across the country. In 2008, the last year for which Statistics Canada has data, there were 4.4 weddings per thousand people—half as many as in 1972! (In Québec, there were 22,410 weddings in 2014—almost 30,000 fewer than in 1974.)
Not only are fewer people choosing to tie the knot, they’re also waiting much longer than in the past. There are more people in their fifties saying “I do” than ever; same-sex couples, too. Religious ceremonies are on the decline and civil services at the local courthouse remain unpopular, while unions presided over by a non-religious celebrant are on the up. A sign of the times if ever there was one, “we see more and more couples visiting the National Wedding Show with… a stroller!” says Marie-Andrée Guimont, editor of Mariage Québec magazine.
Another sign of the times is people (usually in their thirties) turning to a wedding planner. “Marriage used to be all about family and showing the couple’s commitment to each other,” explains Suzanne Bouvrette Hurst, a pioneer in Québec’s event business. “That’s less true today. People are looking more to throw a party so the people they have met along the way can share in their happiness. And they want the party to be like no other.”
And so doing things your way, in a way that respects your personality and lifestyle, has become key for anyone planning a wedding ceremony and reception. For better, and for… better memories, too!
A ring set with a diamond surrounded by other smaller diamonds. Environmentally friendly weddings: recycled paper for the invitations, no wasted food, and flowers sent to the nearest hospital after the reception. Rustic chic weddings, but no more getting married in barns or wearing flower crowns. In Baie Saint-Paul, Le Germain Charlevoix Hotel & Spa is a natural fit, with countryside surroundings and a farm-inspired interior design. Making food & drink part of the entertainment: bartenders put on a show, for example, as they mix sophisticated cocktails. *The traditional layered cake goes naked, without the fondant.
Where to Find The Dress
Forget the decorative frills! Today’s wedding dresses are figure-hugging and often leave the back exposed. But where to find one?
*In Montréal, Anne Jean-Michel has distinguished itself with ready-to-wear and haute couture collections for 25 years.
*In Montréal and Toronto, White is renowned for its international fashion collections, including creations by Monique Lhuillier.
*In Toronto, Kleinfeld, an upscale bridal boutique with New York roots, can be found at The Bay.
*In Québec City, visit Élégance nuptiale for its vast selection of dresses.
*In Calgary, Pearl&Dot carries a wonderful range of sought-after bridal designers for the modern bride.
By Carolyne Parent