KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After a year of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are scrambling to tie the knot.
Carlson knows the trends. She opened her wedding business in 2019 and has seen a serious uptick in her own bookings
"We're getting so many bookings for 2022 that my calendar is already so full, Carlson said. "Which is super exciting."
However, some couples are extending their engagements and pushing off the date even later.
"I just booked a wedding for July 14 of 2023. Then, I got an inquiry the other day for November 11 2023," Carlson said.
This extended planning is not surprising to the wedding industry. When the world shut down in 2020 for COVID-19, precautions required social distancing and small social circles.
The pandemic prevented many couples from holding their dream wedding.
According to Carlson, many rescheduled for 2021- which led to the increased business at the beginning of the year.
However, the bookings coming in now are from newly-engaged couples that grew their relationship during the pandemic.
Data released by the Wedding Report shows weddings took a dip in 2020, down to only 1.3 million ceremonies.
In 2021, there will be an estimated 1.9 million weddings. In 2022, that number is predicted to jump to 2.5 million, nearly doubling the amount in 2020.
The uptick has caused for some new trends in the wedding industry.
"There's a lot of brides who are booking during the week now," Carlson said.
It is no longer irregular to have a wedding on a Thursday, Friday, Monday or Tuesday.
"Yeah, it's all over the place," Carlson said.
Often, venues offer cheaper prices during the week.
According to the Annual Wedding Report, 15% of couples in 2021 are looking to cut back on their wedding costs.
Another new trend is a shorter, more intimate guest list.
"People have realized that you don't have to have 200 people there in order to have a meaningful event," Carlson said, "You can have 60 of your friends and family, and the bride and groom actually get to talk to multiple people."
While the number of weddings continue to skyrocket, Carlson ensured that Tennessee's wedding industry is well-equipped to tackle the demand.
"There's so many vendors in Knoxville, there's so many caterers, there are so many photographers that I don't want brides to stress as much as I feel like social media is making them stress," Carlson said.