As a couple planning your wedding in 2021 during a huge wedding boom, it goes without saying that you’re likely a little more overwhelmed than those that have come before you. For starters, you’re vying for the same vendors and the same date(s), which can be stressful enough. Throw in navigating health and safety measures in addition to having the wedding of your dreams, and there’s no question that you may feel a bit out of your depth.
Have no fear – we enlisted the help of some wedding experts to help guide you through an era of wedding planning like no other.
First of all, what’s the wedding boom?
The newest buzzword may garner a bit of confusion, but essentially, the ‘boom’ that we’re seeing amongst couples is a result of COVID-related cancellations and postponements. There was also an influx of couples getting engaged during the height of the pandemic, so naturally, we’re seeing a race to the altar, so to speak.
Nora Sheils of Bridal Bliss and Rock Paper Coin elaborates, “Wedding pros are underwater dealing with reworking weddings that would have taken place a year ago, managing expectations of clients planning a 2021 wedding but have planning replanned it a few times, and couples just getting started. It’s pure chaos and leaves little option for work/life balance!”
According to Ashley Paul, owner of C&A Event Planning: “It is estimated that about 2.4 million weddings will happen in the US in 2022. With all the postponements from 2020 and 2021 along with the couples who were already planning a 2022 wedding, it adds up quickly.”
A crash course for hiring vendors
Considering that many are planning their first major event – and with limited vendors no less – how can you make an educated decision when it comes to your wedding day team?
For Stephanie Stopka of Flowers by Stem, it’s all about intuition. “Be decisive, but do not feel bullied into making a decision you are not ready to make. Select 3 well-regarded vendors in each category to consider, and once you’ve seen their offerings/plan, quickly commit. Once you know who you want as your vendor, put your deposit in. There is usually plenty of time to refine/finalize details, but in the meantime, you can rest easy knowing you’ve secured a great team of vendors to work with.”
Ruth Haskins of Posh Posy Designs agrees, noting, “Couples just beginning their wedding planning in 2021 and 2022 should expect longer response times from their sought-after wedding vendors. With the influx of couples reaching out to vendors, we as wedding professionals are waking up every day to inboxes filled with couples asking for assistance with their wedding. Answering all those emails is time-consuming. Couples should give grace to their favorite wedding vendors. If they haven’t received a response within 24 to 48 hours the couple should send a second email to follow up with the wedding professional they are wishing to work with, keeping their name fresh in the vendor’s inbox.”
Everything you need to know about shortages
In addition to the stress that comes along with the nature of planning a wedding, COVID has been behind a surplus of shortages across the globe. So, the question remains – how will this affect you?
AnnaMarie Rubio of AR Weddings N Events says, “[Couples] should consider the increase in pricing and may want to rethink their budget. Venues are already booked for 2022 and starting 2023.”
To help guide you through the inevitably tough decisions, Becca Taylor of Anthem House advises: “We recommend that, first of all, couples book a planner to help navigate these uncharted waters with them. Second of all, understand that anything that needs to be shipped or is a consumable product may have a higher price tag than before based on shipping fees and the shortage.”
Bri Marbais of The Bridal Finery also adds, “Floral and catering have seemed to have been hit the hardest with an increase in cost and severe labor shortage. Being able to provide accurate pricing to inquiring couples is the new challenge wedding vendors are facing.”
Being flexible is key (within reason)
It should be said that one of the most helpful factors in getting through planning during the boom is going to be flexibility. While that doesn’t mean that you have to necessarily bend on details that are important to you and your partner, it could help you in the long run – especially when facing availability issues.
Marissa MacLeod of The Treasury Venue Collection – The Treasury on the Plaza and The Lightner Museum – speaks to 2022 couples, saying: “For those wanting to get a jumpstart on planning a 2022 wedding, we recommend having conversations with your partner and your families on what is most important when you start the planning process. Is having a specific date, a specific venue, or a certain venue really important to you? If there is a vendor or aspect of your wedding that is a must-have, start there, and try to be flexible with the rest of your vendor selections.”
Marci Guttenberg, CPCE, CWP of An Affair to Remember by Marci, LLC notes, “When ordering dates and goods, those items should be ordered early, and flexibility is highly recommended. As an Invitation Retailer, I work with various companies and getting specific products does not change just daily but almost hourly. Be prepared with 2-3 backup paper selections and print methods in mind to execute your request for invitations or wedding day papers.”
Oona Breyer of Dragonfly Photography also contributes, “So many things can open up for you if you’re willing to do a Friday or Sunday wedding. Or heck, plan a destination micro wedding, get away somewhere amazing you’ve always wanted to go, and get married on a Tuesday. A lot of this panic we’re seeing is about being able to do things exactly as you’ve seen before, so if you can think outside of the box a bit a whole lot opens up to you.”
Although these are certainly unprecedented times for planning a wedding, just know that you have plenty of help in your corner with all of your hired vendors. The professionals that are expertly trained in worst-case scenarios know how to stay calm under pressure during the current wedding boom, so let them do what they do best!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.
We’ve partnered with OFD Consulting to bring you this great advice from their collective of wedding professionals.