Brides and grooms are heading to the altar in droves. They’re also taking weddings outdoors and becoming selective about guests. After months of COVID-hampered nuptials, crowded wedding calendars mean venues (places for holding events) and other vendors are in high demand.
As restrictions lift around the United States, folks yearn for the whopping weddings they avoided due to COVID. Today, wedding planners and other wedding services providers are booking up to two years out.
Included in the wedding march are duos who married in simplicity during the pandemic—but now want do-overs with all the trimmings. Those wistful couples are competing for services with others who were already planning to marry this year.
Tirusha Dave is the owner and CEO of an upscale wedding planning company. “I think everybody’s ready for things to bounce back,” she says, “but just in a safe way.” Dave handled 10 weddings in 2019 and just three in 2020. This year, she already has 11 bookings.
Crowds at the altar may mean couples need to practice a little 1 Corinthians 13:4 advice about patience and kindness as they compete for services.
“Couples are getting super creative and having Thursday night ceremonies or Friday afternoon ceremonies just because of the [number] of people getting married this year,” says Maggie Lord, a vice president at David’s Bridal. She adds that “90 percent of brides this year are looking to have their weddings at outdoor venues,” where there are fewer restrictions.
Lord notes changes to other wedding traditions too. She predicts more livestreaming and online shopping and fewer passed hors d’oeuvres and buffets.
Co-founder and president of the New York Food Truck Association, Ben Goldberg, has noticed the change in food preferences. “We’ve run out of trucks for some dates this year, and that hasn’t happened before,” he says.
Anna Price Olson of Brides magazine predicts higher prices because post-pandemic vendors must “hire additional resources, bring staff members back.” She also points out that goods themselves are more expensive. “There are only so many linens, only so many rentals, and only so many flowers that were planted this past season,” Olson says. And a basic market principle is that increased demand without increased supply means higher prices.
Clothing is another part of the bridal boom. Justin Warshaw is the creative director and CEO of a bridal design and manufacturing house. He’s seen a huge increase in sales of made-to-order gowns.
“A lot of that has to do with pent-up demand,” says Warshaw. “People want to celebrate with family and friends and get on with their lives.”