To get married during a pandemic you need to be creative.
That was the case for one Edmonton couple this Saturday when they decided to forego a typical reception and instead host an Amazing Race-style event for their guests.
Small teams of guests zipped around to visit nine stations throughout the city highlighting important places in the lives of Pawlaw Gay and Roger Goulden — their junior high, high school, first date and others.
"They're just trying to help people go along with them on this journey, since they can't all be in the same place gathering like a wedding usually would be," said Nickey Goulden, the groom's youngest sister.
She was running the first station of the race at Avalon Junior High School. The traditional guest book was there but also something less traditional — balloons filled with paint for contestants to pop with darts, creating a piece of art to adorn the couple's new home.
"This is a great way for them to start their life together and communicate that to the rest of the people in their lives, that they like to have fun," she said.
"They're going to play a game and be playful in their lives together."
At the final station — at the picturesque Millwoods Town Centre Storm Water Facility — guests met with the newlyweds and received party favours.
Roger Goulden called the ceremony a success, despite some trepidation about technology and the need for physical distancing.
"It's been quite stressful just keeping family and friends six feet apart," he said. "There's definitely some loss in not hugging our family members on our wedding day."
The Amazing Race-style reception provided a solution to the need to physical distance. Goulden is longtime fan of the show — something he has passed on to his wife.
"We just recently started watching the Amazing Race and I've never seen it before, and I just loved it," Pawlaw Gay said.
The couple was thankful for the support of family members who helped prepare and run the event, which allowed them to go ahead with their wedding.
"It wasn't really a question of if it was going to happen," Goulden said. "It was more a question of how."