After a year of long delays, cancellations, and Zoom ceremonies, couples are finally heading back to the altar to say, “I do.”
The coronavirus pandemic cheated thousands of couples out of the weddings they had originally planned, but those plans are now back on the books. As a result, the wedding industry is booming. Caterers and venues are booked well into 2022 and 2023. Engagement rings are flying off the shelves. Invited friends and family members eager to put the past year of isolation behind them are booking flights and hotel rooms well in advance.
Caroline Scarpinato, the director of event services at the Breakers Palm Beach in Florida, said she’s never experienced a busier wedding season. Many couples have even given up trying to book a weekend wedding date, she said.
“Monday is the new Saturday in Palm Beach,” Scarpinato told the Wall Street Journal. “With such limited availability, couples are willing to host their event on a Monday or Thursday.”
Some sort of post-pandemic wedding boom was to be expected. The coronavirus might have successfully shut down weddings, but it wasn’t going to stop new couples from getting engaged. So, now, the couples forced to wait are running headlong into the recently engaged, creating a logjam. That can mean only one thing: higher prices.
“[Vendors are] trying to meet the demand of new clients and clients who have postponed,” said Anna Price Olson, the associate editorial director for Brides magazine, according to HuffPost. “In order to do so, in many cases, they’re having to charge more. They’re having to hire additional resources, bring staff members back. Also, the cost of goods is increasing. There are only so many linens, only so many rentals, and only so many flowers that were planted this past season.”
At least for right now, the higher prices don’t seem to be affecting couples’ plans. Justin Warshaw, the creative director and CEO of a bridal design and manufacturing house, said wedding bookings have increased by 593% over the past year. Ben Goldberg, the co-founder and president of the New York Food Association, said he’s running out of trucks to offer clients.
Couples aren’t willing to wait any longer, so they're making sacrifices to make their weddings work. Maybe that means paying more than the budget allows or reducing the guest count or exchanging vows on a weekday. Either way, as someone who had to get creative with my own coronavirus wedding last year, I can promise you — it’s worth it.
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