Making up for lost time: Large weddings are booming again
Experts say brides and grooms are ready to put the pandemic behind them and celebrate in a big way.
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The wedding and hospitality industries took a major hit during the pandemic. Two years of uncertainty forced many couples to scale back, postpone or even cancel their engagement and wedding celebrations.
A study from the Center for Disease Control shows there were 1.7 million weddings in 2020, a drop of 17% from the year before and the lowest recorded since 1963.
The good news is experts say large and extravagant weddings are ready to make a comeback. This year’s wedding boom is projected to be big, according to a new report from wedding planning site The Knot. It anticipates as many as 2.6 million weddings to take place in 2022.
Kelly Markwood is a wedding coordinator with Ashley and Company. She says it’s been a tough couple of years for many weddings, event planners, and caterers but things are picking back up, and business is booming.
“It’s great to be busy. In this industry, we always say busy is a good thing,” said Markwood.
“Right now truly wedding season kind of feels 24/7,” said Markwood. " There’s a lot of brides who couldn’t get dates in 2020 or 2021. They’re doing a lot of transitioning so they’re kind of grabbing up whatever they can. "
The National Restaurant Association estimates over 90,000 foodservice-related businesses have shut down, some permanently, as a result of the pandemic. At the height of the pandemic catered events across the country were canceled in droves, prompting many to alter business operations to stay alive. Many companies turned to family meals to keep business flowing.
Catering companies are starting to see the boom as well. Jade and Steven Hope own Through the Fire Catering. They had big dreams for the business but the pandemic put them on hold. Jade and Steven say they’re glad to see things returning to normal.
“We were starting to build momentum and looking into expansion of our business,” said Jade. “We’re really thankful to see that it is thriving as it was at that point and starting to really have us revisiting the thoughts of expansion.”
Jade and Steven say it’s good to see people making up for the lost time.
“It’s great to see the community back out and doing things and not living in fear and being able to get out and enjoy life together,” said Jade. " I look forward to seeing how it continues to grow.”
As large events return businesses say they’re starting to get their momentum back and their calendars are filling up fast.
“It’s kind of the joke right now. A lot of people are saying wow are yall busy and you say yeah! we’re busy,” said Markwood. “ We’re just kinda getting back in the swing of things so I think that we kind of forgot what that felt like for two years and so it’s really nice to be back and in full swing.”
As travel restrictions loosen here domestically and internationally experts expect to see a surge in destination weddings this year.
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