The decorated interior space which Danielle Duford created to host New Years Eve pop-up weddings in the North Shuswap. (Photo contributed)

Couples brave ice and snow for New Years Eve weddings in the North Shuswap

Discounted pop-up weddings from a local officiant allowed two couples to ring in 2020 married.

New Years’ Eve nuptials in the North Shuswap were certain to make memorable marriages — then the snowstorm started.

Danielle Dufour, a wedding officiant, advertised the opportunity for couples to be married on New Year’s Eve for a reduced rate. She said the “pop-up” weddings were an opportunity for couples who had hoped to ring in the new decade married to their special someone one last chance to do so. Dufour said she hoped the discounted nuptials would allow couples to save money to put towards a memorable honeymoon or a down payment on a house without compromising on the romance for their big day.

Dufour said two couples registered to be married on Dec. 31 and they did not let the heavy snowstorm, which led to treacherous roads and power outages, keep them from their big day.

Read More: Shuswap pop-up wedding event offers chance to tie the knot before year’s end

Read More: Update: Power entirely restored following winter storms in the Shuswap

One of the couples opted for a simple elopement with just the two of them while Scott Walshaw and Julianne Peters brought along 15 friends and family members to observe the special occasion. The newlyweds are from Kamloops and some of Peters’ family came from as far away as so the hazardous road conditions caused by the ongoing snowstorm made the journey to the north shore of Shuswap Lake a difficult one. Peters said they were stuck waiting at the bottom of Jade Mountain in Chase for an hour-and-a-half as spun-out semi-trucks delayed traffic.

When Walshaw, Peters and their guests arrived the storm had already knocked out the power and the blizzard-like conditions made an outdoor ceremony impractical. Dufour had anticipated the lack of electricity and created a candle-lit vibe with flickering battery-powered lights. With illumination taken care of the ceremony went ahead featuring a traditional First Nations brushing-off ceremony conducted by a pair of Peters’ mentors who are medicine people.

Read More: Snow keeps city crews hopping, ‘windrows’ biggest complaint from the public

Read More: In photos: 2020 Teck BC Cup held at Larch Hills

Overall Peters said she and her new husband really enjoyed the intimate setting. They had planned on a small wedding with no more than 40 or 50 people in attendance but she said they jumped at the chance to go even smaller and get married on New Year’s Eve.

Dufour said this probably won’t be the last time she offers the pop-up marriages for couples looking to get hitched without breaking the bank. She said she hopes to work with other wedding industry vendors to offer services like hair and make-up on-site for future events.

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