It’s wedding bells for the wedding industry after more than a year of tears, tantrums and disruption thanks to Covid-19, but now weddings in 2021 are back with vengeance, according to the New York Times, this August.
Last year there was a pandemic-provoked plummet, which led to cancellations of wedding venues, photographers, florists and catered meals which inevitably put many wedding vendors permanently out of business.
But now, demand is picking up again with the re-opening of wedding venues, and numbers of guests slowly being increased, which in turn is giving a much-needed bolster to the wedding industry as a whole.
This is obviously great news for those in the business of the wedding world, especially for the wedding planner who has had to cancel ridiculous numbers of wedding plans for many engaged couples over the last year or so.
Weddings have not yet quite returned to ‘normal’ in 2021, but they are quickly recovering, and many predict that next year they will jump to the highest level since the 1980s as engaged couples who have waited out a global pandemic finally get hitched.
There’s a renewed confidence in larger gatherings which comes from a number of factors, including the vaccine availability and a steady decline in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.
This means that with this new found confidence, weddings are beginning to come back in droves, perhaps with a different vision, but they are on the return…
So, what will weddings look like in the year ahead as businesses that served the wedding industry open back up again, and the world returns to a sort of post-pandemic state?
2021 – Let the Good Times Roll…
If you want to be part of the wedding industry, this is a great time to learn and adapt to the new wave of accessible and do-able wedding themes and trends.
So much has changed since the arrival of the global pandemic of Covid-19, and how we celebrate our momentous occasions in life, including weddings, has been hit really hard, particularly in 2020/21.
It is estimated that 1.3 million marriages took place in the United States last year during the worst periods of the pandemic, compared with the typical 2.1 million. Many of those were often ‘micro-weddings,’ according to industry insiders, with just a handful of guests, if any were present at all.
Elopements and small gatherings became typical ways to celebrate the ‘big day’ and for many wedding planning became a panic with cancellations and dramatic changes.
But what is clear now is that although Covid-19 pushed back ceremonies, we are now seeing a new trend of a spending boost on cakes, china, dresses, hair, makeup, florists and photographers — which is a really welcome recovery for some vendors who saw their business drop frighteningly amid the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Wedding planners are amongst many who are suddenly finding they are packing dates into their diary as wedding couples are setting their ceremony dates as far ahead as 2023 as they compete for dates for the best ways and places to hold their wedding.
Because in spite of the devastation Covid may have caused, it has forced those of us in the wedding industry to be more creative than ever, and we’ve seen a subtle shift towards smaller, more intimate weddings for many, and with the wedding celebration itself being reimagined by couples with a focus on small, less costly weddings.
There has been more of a focus on who is in the room instead of what is in the room.
And it appears that with more intimate celebrations, couples will have the ability to take advantage of their dream venues and splurge on elevated menu options and design details…
Planning a Wedding 2021
If you are a wedding planner pro, according to many of you out there, clients are being forced to adopt a more flexible attitude towards their wedding day which they’ve previously envisioned being a certain way and have had to painstakingly re-plan.
Adapting so dramatically because of the coronavirus is not usually easy, and it’s the role of the wedding planner to help make this happen.
Dramatically slimmed-down number of guests, friends, and family celebrating via Zoom, intimate elopements, outdoor events and city hall civil ceremonies and celebrations have been amongst the most popular ways to say wedding vows during Covid-19’s interruption.
Wedding plans are therefore adapting and there is healthy growth in micro-weddings which are intimate nuptials, typically with no more than 50 guests. These wedding celebrations usually include the same traditions as larger weddings, just on a much smaller scale.
Wedding planners are seeing lots of last-minute bookings, including rescheduled weddings. The events are often more modest affairs, with smaller wedding parties and guest lists, in a nod to virus risks.
However, having said that small weddings are now the trend due to Covid-19, it doesn’t mean that all wedding planning going on is for small weddings only – some planners are taking bookings for 2023 already, and we’re talking big…
There are many couples out there who are fed up with the idea of social distancing or worrying about scaling down their guest list, not to mention having to constantly change their venue or to reschedule the date, and are therefore planning an event extraordinaire in a year or so’s time to make up for all that they feel they’ve missed out on!
Lots of people have saved a lot of money during the pandemic, thanks in part, to long months at home, a gradually rising stock market and repeated coronavirus checks from the government, and so can therefore plan to splash out more in the future.
Wedding Planning After Covid-19
So – accept it – it’s not been an easy time for any of us, and particularly so for those couples planning their weddings, and for the individuals and businesses who make a living helping them.
Many people planning a wedding have lost their deposits, or their guest list was cut, and many have had to have their dreams redefined. However, there is a silver lining to all this – because people had to postpone, they now have more savings and can therefore spend more, and vendors can therefore reap the benefits by charging more.
We have a better grasp on how to handle wedding planning during a pandemic, as well as an understanding of how to carry out safety precautions, which include temperature checks and sanitation stations at the ceremony and the reception, to rapid Covid-19 tests on loved ones who are feeling anxious, and so planning has become a bit more streamlined and safety-conscious for these events.
Because of these different concerns, new areas of attention, and financial losses from the 2020 wedding season, some vendors are raising their event costs. Wedding industry experts said they expect demand to remain healthy into 2023 before going back to ‘normal, as new bookings compete for resources with delayed weddings.
Popular Wedding Trends – The New ‘Normal’
Regardless of the pandemic restrictions, Zoom ceremonies became legal; petite parties were planned with fewer guests, and wedding vows were celebrated with everyone vaccinated. But, through all these safety measures, it became clear how much marriage still mattered.
Many of these rescheduled celebrations took place at someone’s home, often in their loved ones’ backyard. It quickly became clear that without alternative celebration options, clients who were in the early planning stages would very likely have cancelled.
So, now that we’re out and about again, it appears that although people still want to get married in style, these weddings alternatives are now a permanent part of the wedding landscape.
If we learned anything from Covid-19, it taught us to basically reimagine everything we were used to, and with weddings that meant you could break the rules, invite those people who you really want at your wedding, and to wear what you want – it taught couples to go for what feels right for them in this moment.
How to Stay Ahead
However, what is abundantly clear, is that we all still need support in these strange times when it comes to the wedding industry – so our overall advice? Be prepared, follow the news closely, and maintain an open conversation with your wedding vendors and your clients’ guests. And perhaps check out what wedding communities are up to.
Because what is still apparent is that couples still wanting to get married, still need help to navigate everything and as a wedding planner, or as a potential wedding planner, this is where you come in…
Because it’s not a matter of if, just a matter of when – people still want to get married, we just have to adapt too.
The limitations placed on the wedding industry have forced professionals, from wedding planners to caterers and florists, to get even more creative as they adapt to carry out their work, we’re all learning from each other.
The Future is Bright – and Masked
As a result, weddings today look and feel a whole lot different than before the pandemic.
From guests in masks who are still social distancing, to table assignments that may only include a few members of the same household, and with travel still being relatively restrictive, those of us in the industry are using our creativity to ensure the show goes on, regardless.
Behind the scenes, endless Zoom webinars have been coordinated to create a seamless and universal ‘guideline’ for all industry members to use as operation tools.
A recent survey found that roughly 66% of couples getting married look forward to increasing their wedding budget for aspects that may make the day extra special – this could be having a second photographer, perhaps more exotic flowers, or an increase in the guest list, amidst the continued health and safety measures.
For many people, there’s not really a better way to re-enter the post-Covid era than with a celebration that brings close friends and families together again.
This past year, as no one could go on holiday, or have a large gathering or even entertain their family and friends except on Zoom, couples who are planning their weddings, as well as their wedding guests are eager to let go and celebrate!
It’s now a great time to be in the wedding industry!
So, Learn New Skills – Stay Ahead of the Game
Like many of us in the wedding industry, our passion is still for all-things-wedding, but our major focus is education – regardless of coronavirus – we have to educate ourselves and each other with this new norm. The challenge is on.
Those of you who are interested in having a career in the wedding industry, you should check out online certification courses and the support you’ll receive from a mentor team.
Wedding education is being taken to a new level and re-imagined it making it fun, informative, flexible and above all ‘real‘ amongst the challenges of the last year, and beyond.
At the Wedding Academy, for example, we have constantly shared business ideas, pricing strategies and critiqued our students’ wedding work for many years – and we’re bringing all the creativity, ideas and challenges we’ve all been through this last year to make the wedding industry even more exciting and enjoyable to work in!
During the pandemic, those in the wedding industry found that work relationships took on a new urgency as well as dedication – wedding communities grew and the ideas with it: weekly video calls and brainstorming ways to offer prospective clients alternative weddings became the focus of wedding educators.
It’s a great time to move forward into this new era of wedding planning…
Wedding Education 2021
Because wedding traditions have always been a world of constant change when it comes to etiquette and style, Covid-19 may have tremendously changed the wedding industry and that includes a natural shift in tradition.
By studying with the Wedding Academy, you can learn how to make smart decisions that will help keep your guests safe, whether that’s by having vaccinations, negative tests, or having an outdoor wedding, by serving plated meals rather than buffets, or by seating by households.
Covid-19 has influenced greatly weddings—and why we think they’ll be here to stay, and if you’re happy to enter this world of change and creativity, we can help you on your wedding business journey embrace these changes.