Arctic Newfoundlanders improvise wedding, after pandemic changes their plans

Lance Chatman and Alicia Taylor had a plan.

The couple, who work as teachers in the Arctic hamlet of Kugaaruk, Nunavut, got engaged in 2018.

Having spent a summer inspecting venues in their home province of Newfoundland and planning their dream wedding, invites were sent out, RSVPs were collected, and everything was falling into place for the big day.

“We had our hall booked, we had our ceremony booked … everything you need to have a wedding booked, it was booked,” said Taylor.

So much for that. Taylor and Chatman were set to be married July 25, 2020 — a big family wedding smack dab in the middle of the summer of COVID-19.

As the pandemic unfolded, the couple watched, heartbroken, as the province slowly shut down. Eventually, on May 15, it banned all non-resident travel — “and that kind of made the decision for us,” Taylor said.

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