U.S. wedding boom is forcing vendors to scramble
In the United States, couples are rushing to the altar in a vaccination-era marriage boom that has venues and vendors in high demand, ABC News reported.
As restrictions on large gatherings loosen, wedding planners and others who are making the magic happen have said they started pushing back bookings in late 2022 and early 2023.
“We’ve been out of trucks for some dates this year and it’s never happened before,” said Ben Goldberg, co-founder and president of the New York Food Truck Association. “Our phones ring nonstop with clients looking to host weddings they had to postpone during COVID.”
Couples who have gone ahead and married during tighter pandemic times with few to no guests and are now in their second go-around with larger groups, also contributing to the rush, a reported ABC.
“We see a lot of last minute bookings with shorter scheduling windows,” said Anna Noriega, owner of luxury company Alorè Event Firm in Miami. “With increasingly widespread vaccinations and on-site COVID testing available for events, we have seen an increase in customer numbers and a surge in bookings. “
The boom is also active in wedding and bridesmaid dresses.
Economy chain David’s Bridal, with 282 stores in the United States and more in the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico, has 300,000 dresses in stock in part due to the wedding drought of 2020, ABC reported.
“Going forward, it will be an unprecedented wedding season this year,” said Maggie Lord, vice president of David’s whose online wedding planning guide, Rustic Wedding Chic, was acquired by the company. David’s has been tracking vast data on marriages during the pandemic.
“Couples get super creative and have ceremonies on Thursday evening or Friday afternoon just because of the number of people getting married this year,” Lord said. “We know that 90 percent of brides this year are looking to get married in outdoor locations,” where there are fewer restrictions.
Lord said non-traditional aspects of weddings had been normalized thanks to the pandemic – an end to past appetizers and buffets, more live broadcasts to accommodate travel restrictions, and more planning and shopping online, ABC reported.
Competition for sellers has driven up their prices. “They know they have customers who are going to pay for it,” she said. “Wedding vendors are making up for a year of limited work, if at all.”
Anna Price Olson, associate editorial director of Brides magazine, said many suppliers to the wedding industry are small businesses.
“They are trying to meet demand from new customers and customers who have postponed,” she said. “To do that, in many cases, they have to charge more. They have to hire additional resources, bring back staff. In addition, the cost of goods increases. There are only a limited number of linens, a limited number of rentals, and a limited number of flowers that were planted last season.
Justin Warsaw, Creative Director and CEO of Global Justin Alexander Group, a bridal design and manufacturing house with five and more major brands under license and white label agreements, said he saw a significant increase in bookings of wedding dresses.
He said he saw wedding dress bookings increase 593% from April 1 to May 15, 2020 compared to the same time this year. Eighty-eight percent of its 2,200 retailers in 80 countries are now open and operational, with the United States being its largest market, ABC reported.
Comparing January to May 2019, before the start of the pandemic, with January to May of this year, Warshaw saw a 40% increase in sales of made-to-order dresses in the United States.
“Much of this has to do with pent-up demand and what we imagined to be happening: so many COVID couples turning into COVID engagements, turning into weddings,” said Warshaw, who is among the new fiancés. “With the optimism of vaccinations, people want to party with family and friends and get their lives back on track. “