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A Toronto Bride needs Pittsburgh Advice-- G20 and Wedding

Hello,

I'm getting married in Toronto on June 26th, 2010-- a date which has been set for a year and a half at our downtown cathedral parish, far longer than the decision to host the G20 summit here in Toronto for that weekend.

This, of course, has only added to my panic, and I was hoping that there might just be a Pittsburgh bride who had to deal with the same issue last year, who was still around, who might be able to offer advice.

Thank you so much for your help!
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Re: A Toronto Bride needs Pittsburgh Advice-- G20 and Wedding

  • jrsygrl10jrsygrl10 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    yeah, there were some G20 brides, but because of the G20 i think they all opted to move their date. i live in the city, and most things were shut down completely. there were tons of protests and riots..and we can't forget about the people that hung themselves from the bridge in protest of something. though the protesting was not as bad as they were anticipating. i didn't have any problems getting around for those few days, but i also stayed clear from going to the city center. the bride that i can recall that had her wedding scheduled in the city during the G20 definitely moved hers up by a month. she was having problems with her hotel blocks being guaranteed, among a few other issues that were coming up. anything on the outskirts of town were seemingly fine though. the only other issue was when they blocked off the highways when the president and other VIP's were heading from the city to the airport and back. i sat on an exit ramp for 30 minutes before the VIP's finally passed and the ramps were opened back up.

    so, i guess in your case it depends on where you are getting married. if you are getting married right in the center of where the G20 will be...you might want to consider getting it bumped.

    the flip side is that the city looked fabulous for the G20! they did what they could to clean it up. course, the downside were the many store fronts that boarded up completely in an effort to reduce the risk of their windows being smashed...which did happen during protests.

    good luck~
  • ros3392ros3392 member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I have no advice.. I live in the suburbs and totally avoided the city. I just want to say good luck and I'm sorry that you have to deal with this!
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  • MorfuddMorfudd member
    100 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Oh well, unfortunately moving it isn't an option at this point-- too many airplane tickets purchased by international guests and vendors signed (and we did get a hotel block- we got it early because it also coincides with Toronto's Pride Week). We are downtown for the ceremony, but outside of the security zone, which is a blessing. I know the churches in the security zone have had to move weddings.

    Thanks for the help!
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  • jrsygrl10jrsygrl10 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    you might want to check with the hotel on their policies. the bride that had her block at the hotel during the G20 had her block long before the G20 was announced, but apparently most hotels in the area have clauses that give them the right to book the rooms to the VIP's coming in for the G20. she was also having some issues with the security that was going to be going on in the hotel. she was concerned that the rooms that her OOT guests had reserved would be bumped and given to the G20 people, which was a very likely situation.

    did you talk to the church to see what they are doing to handle the G20?

    it seemed like some of the protests that took place were on the move. meaning the group would start in one place and then walk certain streets. windows were broken. and then the SWAT would come in and blare these really loud sirens that would get louder the longer they were on, in an effort to make the protestors stop. i was 100% enthralled with the coverage for those few days-it was like nothing i had ever seen. and i'm pretty sure that the protests didn't take place within the security zone, for obvious reasons that they couldn't get in to those zones anyways.

    good luck figuring it out. i wish i could tell you it wasn't a big deal, but within the city center it was a pretty big deal. we had weirdos camping out in the suburbs for months prior, ready to be here and participate in the protests. it was really an event that turned things somewhat upside down for a few days!
  • LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Yep, ditto jrsygirl- the G20 really messed things up for some brides last year.  I can't remember if there were *any* who had downtown weddings and decided to keep them.  These were the biggest issues I remember:

    *Hotel blocks/ hotel reception sites- some brides were told that their guests could be bumped if a country that had contracted with the hotel needed extra rooms.  I would re-confirm with your room block sites that this won't happen.  Some guests were told they had to have photo ID with them at all times and would be stopped and checked at several points in the hotel, both for those who were hotel guests and those who would be attending a reception at the hotel.  Check to see if this will be necessary for your guests too.

    HIghway/street closings- since your ceremony will be downtown, figure out if you can ahead of time if any major thoroughfares will be closed.  Tell all your guests specifically to leave plenty of extra time to get to the ceremony.  Maybe arrange for some early entertainment at the ceremony site, like have your organist start playing a half hour earlier than anticipated.  Are you providing transportation?  Will the reception directly follow the ceremony?  If it will, make sure you discuss having a flexible timeline with your reception coordinator in place of delays.

    Public transportation closings- I'm not sure of the public transportation system in Toronto, but in Pittsburgh, they stopped all the buses and such at the security zone, which meant a looooong walk for those needing to take public transportation downtown.  If this will be the case, let your guests know about this too.  Reconfirm all the parking lots or garages you were planning to use, as many of these were closed for security purposes in Pittsburgh.

    Airport delays and issues- again, make sure your guests are aware of the situation.  Let them know that they will need to arrive to the airport much earlier than usual for their return flights home because of long lines and much increased security.  If anyone is planning to cut it close with a flight in before the wedding, be sure they are aware of the added time required with the summit in town.

    Good luck!
    7.17.10

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  • jrsygrl10jrsygrl10 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    ah, thank you, lafemm-you put it all much better than i did. i forgot about the public transportation snafu!

    i remember being amazed that we had no issues on mt washington. but i also remember being able to stand on grandview and hear the police cars & SWAT. other than the fact that there were SWAT guys stationed all along grandview ave, we wouldn't have known the difference. within the city was a whole other story.
  • kime31kime31 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I know i am late to this, but my cousin is going to a wedding in Toronto on that date.  I know the bride is concerned of the same things - if this isn't you then there should be at least another bride out there that you could bounce ideas off of!
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  • MorfuddMorfudd member
    100 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Having recovered from the initial disappointment that people didn't just say, "oh, it will be alright," I'm so grateful for all the advice and ideas. I'm heading home for the weekend, so we'll have a family meeting and discuss what we need to do in the way of communicating with people.

    Thanks again!

    kime-- I don't have any friends or relatives in Baltimore, so there must be someone else out there! I should seek her out.
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  • jrsygrl10jrsygrl10 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    that's all you can do, and chances are it''l be just fine..we just can't say that for sure. since there's nothing that you can do about it-just ride it out and see what happens. if nothing else, just think, down the road you guys will be able to laugh and talk about how your wedding was so important that international ambasadors came to town for it!
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