The happy couple, Holly Douglas and Ryan Cheema, will have a different wedding than they planned in June, but they’re happy together no matter what the circumstances. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The happy couple, Holly Douglas and Ryan Cheema, will have a different wedding than they planned in June, but they’re happy together no matter what the circumstances. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Drive-through bridal shower a way to improvise during COVID-19

Family and friends share the love socially distanced in an Island town parking lot

Working around COVID-19 is generating all sorts of creative ideas to continue with previously-scheduled social events in a different manner.

Holly Douglas just thought her bridal shower was cancelled. But her family and friends had other ideas and the first drive-through bridal shower in Chemainus occurred April 5.

“She was very surprised,” said mom Laurie Douglas, manager of the Chemainus Public Market where cars could be parked in a circle route while Holly and her fiance Ryan Cheema drove through.

“That was supposed to be the day of her shower. That’s when I thought, ‘how about we make it this.’”

“We had quite a few people that would have been taking the ferry over for the event,” noted Holly, 28.

“My mom did this whole drive-through bridal shower. I had no idea it was happening. It was definitely a surprise.”

Douglas and Cheema, 30, who live in Duncan, were able to connect with others from the Lower Mainland virtually from the site in lieu of their actual presence which made it extra special.

There always has to be a tall tale to get someone out under false pretenses, and this was no exception.

“Ryan had been looking around for a big slab of wood for a side table for the living room,” explained Douglas. “He found the piece and he wants to go pick it up. ‘Let’s go for a ride to Chemainus.’”

When they arrived, the bride-to-be was welcomed by an entourage of well-wishers all socially distanced.

“I didn’t clue in till we drove toward the Chemainus Market parking lot,” said Douglas. “I saw a fluorescent sign that said ‘Holly’s bridal shower.’

“We were in Chemainus both Saturday and Sunday. Here I am just thinking we’re going for a drive, something to do, just oblivious to the grand plan.”

The original bridal shower had been planned for about six months, she added, and cancelled around mid-March due to COVID-19, although Douglas didn’t know her mom wasn’t going to let it rest, with some family and friends from the Lower Mainland sending videos to view.

“She’s sneaky and crafty,” Holly laughed. “It was really nice. I definitely felt the love from everyone. It definitely forces you to be a little more creative.”

The big difference for her not knowing about it was the dress code. She’d already gone for a run of about half marathon distance that morning.

“I just did a mix of road and Cowichan Valley Trail here in Duncan,” said Douglas. “Luckily, it’s two minutes away from my front door.”

She did the Victoria Marathon in 2017 and the Chicago Marathon during the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend in October 2019 after winning a lottery draw for a spot in 2018.

Douglas and Cheema have known each other for about eight years and been together for six. “We actually worked together and that’s where we first met,” Douglas said.

They got engaged on Christmas Day 2018 and had set their wedding date for June 20, 2020. They had planned for about 180 people to attend their wedding at Providence Farm.

“Because of the size of our wedding, we aren’t able to go through with that plan because of the group gatherings,” explained Douglas.

“We have been planning kind of our Plan B option. We have quite a lot of friends and family we’ve invited.”

Laurie is glad the bridal shower could still offer some normalcy in a difficult situation.

She said it was weighing heavily on her daughter with “just the realization that the June wedding wasn’t going to happen. She just felt really blue. It was supposed to be their day and then COVID happened.”

“Right now, it looks like it will be a smaller ceremony on June 20,” reasoned Holly.

“That way, we’re still getting married on our day and looking at a bigger shebang later on. We want to stay as local as we can, same as Providence Farm. For later on down the road, we’re keeping our options open for what might be out there.”

CoronavirusWeddings

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Laurie Douglas’ car is all decked out for the occasion. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Laurie Douglas’ car is all decked out for the occasion. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Holly Douglas is very much surprised when she thought she was going to Chemainus for her fiance Ryan Cheema to pick up a slab of wood for a side table he was making and ended up at a drive-through bridal shower for her instead. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Holly Douglas is very much surprised when she thought she was going to Chemainus for her fiance Ryan Cheema to pick up a slab of wood for a side table he was making and ended up at a drive-through bridal shower for her instead. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Jessica Peters, with Holly’s cousins Hudson and Emily, share the love for the bride-to-be. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Jessica Peters, with Holly’s cousins Hudson and Emily, share the love for the bride-to-be. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Jack Frost does some filming of Sarah Cheema from Victoria at the scene. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Jack Frost does some filming of Sarah Cheema from Victoria at the scene. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Proud mom Laurie Douglas organized the drive through bridal shower for her daughter Holly and fiance Ryan Cheema. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Proud mom Laurie Douglas organized the drive through bridal shower for her daughter Holly and fiance Ryan Cheema. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November, 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches – a fact highlighted in a report released by the BC Humanist Associaton on Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Christian-based prayer at inaugural Vancouver Island council meetings violates court ruling

Blessings violate Supreme Court decision that prayer in council is discriminatory

Karl Ablack, chair of the Port Renfrew Recovery Task Force, says visitors should steer clear of the community after the second wave of COVID has begun to hit across the province. (Black Press Media file photo)
Port Renfrew, Pacheedaht First Nation asks visitors to steer clear of community again

Tight-knit community of 400 has yet to report single case of COVID

The BCCDC has added WestJet flight 3349 on Nov. 23 to its flight exposure list. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
New COVID-19 exposure on WestJet flight from Edmonton to Victoria

The BCCDC has added WestJet flight 3349 on Nov. 23 to its flight exposure list

The old home at 785 Island Rd. is coming down as the developer was unable to find a feasible business case to save it. (Black Press Media File Photo)
With no takers to move old Oak Bay home, teardown begins

‘We tried a last hurrah,’ developer says

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Port McNeill councillor Derek Koel busts a rap to help promote the town’s active transportation plan. (Facebook video screenshot)
VIDEO: Vancouver Island councillor makes rap video to promote active transportation plan

Active transportation is a personal matter for councillor Derek Koel.

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

Most Read