In 2020, countless couples were forced to cancel or scale back weddings.
The events usually filled with pomp and circumstance didn’t have much room amid the pandemic.
Now on the other side of the vaccine rollout and scaled back restrictions, wedding industry experts say they’re seeing a resurgence that points to a post-pandemic wedding boom.
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"It's like a switch was flipped overnight,” said Gro Designs Creative Director Nathan Johnson. “I think people are realizing there’s just something special about getting together, connecting, community, breaking bread and just doing opportunities to say you’re really, really special.”
After a year of pouring all of his energy into keeping his staff paid, Johnson said he can’t hire new employees fast enough with many wedding weekends double booked and more events being added to the calendar.
“I won’t say we weren’t ready, because all of us wanted this to happen, but in the 15 years I’ve been in business. I’ve never seen anything like it. In one way it’s positive. We’re all like, yes. Let’s do this. It’s time. In another, we’re all trying to figure out our rhythm and trying to figure out ok. We’ve got to hire again and get these people back,” said Johnson.
After 15 extremely quiet months, Dallas-based wedding photographer Charla Storey said she’s booked more weekdays than ever before.
Normally quiet summer months have also filled with prime Saturdays in short supply.
"It's almost like having three different brides. You've got your COVID reschedule bride, your 2021 bride and your like, 'Oh my gosh. We can get back to life. Let's do this and let's do it now' bride,” said Storey.
Some venues are now booked two years out, which Storey said is leading to more off-season and backyard events. And in a time when people are desperate for connection, a renewed focus on what matters most.
"It's really about celebrating the actual couple and what makes them unique and what they love instead of traditions. It's way less traditional, more laid back and more fun-oriented,” said Storey.