Weddings Are Back In A Big Way (VIDEO)

Weddings are back in the US, but services are expanding and costs are rising.

After more than two years of delays and cancellations, Weddings is bouncing back with a bang.

Across the US, couples are running down the aisle, eager to shake off the COVID-19 pandemic and finally tie the knot.

According to wedding planning site The Knot, an estimated 2.6 million couples will say “Yes, I do” in 2022 — an increase of about 18% compared to the average pre-pandemic wedding years. Industry experts say this year will mark the most weddings since 1984, with October set to be the busiest month.

“People are ready to party,” said Susan Cordogan, owner of Big City Bride. “They are ready to get married and this is the first time in two years that it’s been more normal in the wedding world than we know it.”

Wedding planners say it’s all hands-on deck as they work to balance backlogged nuptials with new engagements.

“People want the great American wedding,” Cordogan said. “They want the big ceremony, the big dinner dance, all the fun that comes with it, and it’s absolute whiplash.”

From multi-day events to colorful engagement rings, LGBTQ+ wedding magazine Equally Wed says couples don’t hold back on the attention to detail.

But while what appears to be a record-breaking number of couples are ready to get married this year, experts say the wedding industry isn’t quite ready to meet the demand.

One hurdle is finding a date and location for the big day.

“Saturdays are booked for the most popular places on the most popular dates for at least a year or two,” Cordogan said. “Our industry will only level off in 2024.”

Some couples have no choice but to get creative.

“We see a lot Friday and Sunday,” Cordogan said. “Recently we even have weddings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We get calls from people who aren’t engaged and they won’t be engaged anytime soon. They want to book their venue, they know it’s coming. “

Even when couples are on a date, Corodgan says finding vendors for the wedding can be difficult.

“A lot of people packed their bags and got out of the industry, so our faithful caterer or florist or photographer, a lot of them changed industries completely because they said, ‘We don’t want to be in an industry that’s like this volatile and that can be so overlooked in a time like the pandemic,'” Cordogan said.

Add in price hikes due to staff shortages and supply chain disruptions, Cordogan says couples are likely to face a higher bill.

“Everything from fuel prices affecting the flowers and groceries and all the groceries that are flown in or trucked in — those prices are going up, even shuttles for weddings and things like that,” Cordogan said.

According to trade group The Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was $24,675. Industry experts say that number is likely to increase, with some estimating it could reach $30,000.

“We’re sort of creating the new norm when it comes to planning the big American wedding,” Cordogan said. “It’s kind of a different ball game when it comes to planning the wedding, budgeting the wedding and overseeing it.”

The best advice wedding planners have for couples right now is to set expectations with a valid budget, time frame, and guest list. Weddings Are Back In A Big Way (VIDEO)

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