With many celebrations postponed from 2020 and 2021, this year is one for the (full) books for the wedding industry.
So much so, that many vendors are booking far into 2023 and 2024, after honoring celebrations that have been on hold before taking on new clients.
Why the sudden wedding boom? Emily Murray of Something Borrowed Event Decor notes that so many couples had to stay at home for so long and push all plans aside. Not only is she seeing postponements, but she’s seen an influx of new engagements as well.
During 2020 and 2021, the industry saw a lot of micro weddings and elopements. Now, planners are seeing couples really up the ante and request gatherings of 200 to 300 guests. Because couples have held off for so long, they’ve had more time to plan and save money to add more guests, Murray speculates. Some couples are investing in add-ons, now that their budget allows for additional room.
Murray began her business in April 2021, not anticipating much business with a goal of five weddings. To her surprise, her business took off and by the third day of her launch, twenty couples had booked. By the end of her first year, she had completed a total of eighty-three weddings.
Currently, Murray takes on three to four weddings per weekend in the Rhode Island and Greater Boston, Massachusetts areas. Larger weddings take up more of her time and can extend over several days. Murray creates beautiful signage on mirrors, acrylic and wood. She works closely with planners for custom orders of wedding guest seating charts, in memory signs, table numbers and more.
Like Murray, the rest of the wedding industry is slowly catching up. Pamela D’Orsi, owner of New England Invitations and PDR Events, said that “all vendors are in the same boat” when it comes to booking a year or more into the future. She recommends planning at least a year in advance, meeting months ahead of the wedding date to discuss final details.
With supply chain shortages, staffing shortages and lack of venues, it’s been a frenzied start to the 2022 wedding season.
Tips from the experts
For print signage, Murray recommends booking four to six months ahead of the wedding date, and one to two years in advance for custom vinyl signs. Timing is everything, and weddings in May and June book up faster, she says. Reach out early and stay connected on availability.
“Don’t be afraid to ask, even if they are fully booked,” Murray says.
She will even refer clients to other companies if she’s booked solid for the requested time frame.
“Every vendor is on your team and they want to make sure your day is as special as possible,” she says.
D’Orsi says as tempting as it might be to keep up with current trends, don’t change the design and decor of the wedding as there may not be room for flexibility. Postponed weddings are currently competing with newly engaged couples from the last two years, so the industry is stretched thin more than ever.
Brides should be aware that prices and rates have increased over the past couple of years, something to keep in mind when planning.
While most venues are booked up, couples that are more flexible with the day of the week have a better chance to tie the knot sooner rather than later, D’Orsi says. Plus, weekday weddings can put a little more money in their pockets.