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Wedding surge good for vendors, bad for couples

Couples from 2020 and 2021 are all vying for the same dates thus helping the industry recover but making it tough for brides to plan.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Wedding season is typically in the summer, and weddings are typically on the weekends -- but not anymore. 

With weddings basically canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, both vendors and brides are doing all they can to make up for the lost time. 

"Being a bride in 2020 into 2021, I am ready to get it over with," Erica Malang said.

After dating her fiancé for 6 years, Erica had carefully picked Labor Day 2020 for their wedding. They had a mini wedding that day with just 12 people. Now, she has a new date that's very hard to come by for the big celebration. 

"It's definitely been frustrating, emotional trying to plan things you can't control," she said. 

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"Everyone from 2019 [and] 2020 has rescheduled, sometimes two and three times," said Nathan Hoffman, a wedding planner who runs To Gather Weddings. "All the newly engaged couples are finding a little bit of a battle. Everyone is fighting for the same time."

Wedding's aren't just for weekends, either. Hoffman said every day of the week is busy now. 

"Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday is happening, which we’ve never seen before," he said.

As a wedding planner, Hoffman works with all kinds of vendors and venues. He said the industry is back and it’s the economic comeback wedding vendors have needed.

One such vendor is Vinny Esposito, who owns Split Second Sound and provides DJs to events across the region.

"We were on pace for a record year before it all shut down and completely blew up," Esposito said. "It is a pretty wild whirlwind again right now."

They are once again on pace for a record year with 600 weddings on
their calendar.

"It's been pretty crazy with people booking and I think a lot of
people in the industry are being overwhelmed right now," Esposito said.

Hoffman has had the same experience.

"It' is definitely back in full swing, but a little different," Hoffman explained. "People are zeroing in on what's more important."

In many cases, the final wedding could be a lot different than the original dream. Something Malang can relate to. 

"Planning a wedding, you envision a big day with fireworks, sparklers," Malang said. "As everything has unraveled in the past year, you take a step back and realize what's important is marrying the one you love."

If you're planning a wedding, experts had this common advice

  • Think off the beaten path.
  • Explore alternative venues such as gardens, breweries, restaurants.
  • Be flexible.
  • Consider a small wedding now with a big party later, possibly on your first anniversary.

Contact Michelle at mboudin@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.