By Marilyn Patterson
It’s that time of year again, and, no, I don’t mean autumn. It’s engagement season!
According to Wedding Wire, 40% of proposals happen annually from November through February, and 2022 is already shaping up to be a big year for weddings. It is projected that nearly 2.5 million weddings will happen in 2022, according to The Wedding Report, a market research firm. That is the largest number of weddings in a single year since 1984.
If you think a wedding may be in your future, here are some pro tips to help you thoughtfully prepare for what’s ahead with wedding planning in a pandemic-informed world.
Scheduling a date
The pandemic-induced reduction of weddings from 2020 and 2021 forced couples to seek dates in 2022. While 2022 gives you an additional bonus Saturday, the most popular weekend dates are filling quickly for many wedding venues and vendors.
Pro tip: Increase your options by considering a non-traditional wedding day and/or month, such as weekdays, winter months or Fridays and Sundays. As you identify the perfect venue, you may also find that your wedding vendors can be more flexible and offer more for your money on a slower day and month.
Beautiful weddings rely heavily on the unique products and services that are provided by the creatives in our communities. Everything from fashion to florals, stationery to culinary delights and entertainment to transportation are curated to bring your dreams to life. The economic realities of supply and demand and the impact of supply chain deficiencies are destined to send shock waves to your budget. Brace yourself.
Pro tip: Before you spend the first dollar, be crystal clear on your priorities for your wedding experience. Guest count has the biggest effect on costs. Invest in at least one consultation session with a seasoned professional wedding planner to gain some time-tested advice.
Wedding planning can be a stressful time, especially if you attempt to take on creative and logistical tasks that you have limited experience in dealing with on your own. Inevitably attempting to do it yourself will require more time, skill and patience than you might have anticipated. Subsequently, you’ll spend more money than expected. For many, this is the most important day of your life. Is it worth risking relationships and reputation with DIY projects and illequipped project “leaders?”
Pro tip: For elements of the wedding that are important and you value, hire a professional if you can’t control the outcome. Contractually, you can hold them accountable for the desired results. Peace of mind has value, so curate your vendor partners carefully.
Wedding professionals really want to help you create the dream day that you envision and will work hard to go above and beyond expectations. The pandemic initially stopped all categories of event professionals from exercising their livelihood. So, as they’re back in business, help them help you by continuing to practice safe protocols.
Following years of declining wedding numbers, Shane McMurray, founder of The Wedding Report, said, “The surge is really coming on next year.” We’re ready, are you?
The wedding aisle is about to get crowded, but with thoughtful planning, your special day can still be remembered as the best uniquely-you experience ever.
The writer is the chief experience organizer at Joyous Events LLC, an event management and production company headquartered in Old Town. She also serves as the executive director and producer of First Night Alexandria.