Marriage commissioner Marla Paul-Merasty is using her backyard to provide socially-distant services.
Many who have been planning weddings for years have had to make significant adjustments during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gathering limits are currently restricted to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors in much of Manitoba, while gatherings are restricted to 10 people in the Prairie Mountain Health Region.
Travel restrictions from other countries and parts of Canada also make it difficult for families to visit for a couple’s special day.
Paul-Merasty says she has aimed to make it an easy process.
“People need to get themselves a marriage license, then phone me to schedule an appointment and we’ll make it happen,” she said.
Paul-Merasty holds these weddings in the backyard of her south St. Vital home. The service lasts about 15 minutes.
“I want people to come in and have something easy, something new and something different in these crazy pandemic times,” she explained.
Feedback has been quite positive so far.
“Once we posted what was happening in my yard, it took off like gangbusters.”
“I never thought it would get that big, but it did,” she laughed.
She said it is gaining a lot of buzz on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms.
“This is so awesome,” Sandy Smith commented on a Facebook post Paul-Merasty shared.
“This is a great idea,” Loreen Coutts also commented.
Marla Paul-Merasty takes a picture with the happy couple.While the process is speedy, Paul-Merasty says she’s so glad to witness so many memories.
“Everybody has such a unique story on why they are getting married. It’s very fascinating to me actually.”
The marriage commissioner also has a buy-and-sell page to help connect those with wedding items, as many people are only using items for their big day once.
“I saw the need for this in Winnipeg. It offers wedding dresses, bridesmaids, dresses and shoes,” she said.
Paul-Merasty is still taking clients for the drive-thru services. More information can be found here.
Manitoban on livestreaming wedding
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.