Planning a wedding in the midst of a global pandemic is truly being an optimist. It is an uncertain and scary time for everyone. That especially goes for those trying to plan the most important and momentous day of their life. The wedding industry has had to make drastic pivots to not only keep their client’s plans in motion but also to keep their jobs afloat.
At the beginning of the pandemic, weddings came to a sudden halt (as did everything else!) and couples were forced to postpone, and some cancel, due to not being able to host their original guest count. It was an extremely sad and, quite frankly, stressful time for couples and vendors. Couples who cancelled lost their deposits towards executing their wedding day.
Restrictions and protocols keep evolving as the pandemic unfolds. Future weddings may need to execute safety precautions including temperature checks sanitation stations, and rapid COVID tests. This adds to the wedding planning effort. As a result of all of these added safety measures, new areas of attention, and financial losses from the 2020 season, may see vendors raising their pricing.
Just like any other profession, wedding vendors working in this industry full-time and having months with no weddings was devastating. The downturn of the industry, for the foreseeable future, may force price increases to ensure survival as this may be the only way many will be able to stay open during this time.
While there’s an expected increase in prices from one year to the next in any industry, including weddings, the pandemic has especially opened the eyes of vendors in the industry.
Vendors now realize that they have to be even more profitable in order to run a business that is sustainable through stressful times. As many weddings from 2020 were postponed into 2021, that automatically created a very full wedding calendar for 2021, which created a situation where vendors will be stretched to their limits in the upcoming wedding year. It will take additional staffing and manpower to be able to support a robust calendar of weddings and events over the next two years.
If you’re in the midst of planning your 2021 or 2022 wedding, it’s true that you might be facing higher prices than if you were wedding shopping in 2019 pre-pandemic. In addition, you are dealing with an uncertainty with regards to restrictions and rules with regards to gatherings. Here are two important pieces of advice to help you navigate the COVID landscape.
Hire a Wedding Planner, Stat!
While forgoing a wedding planner and attempting to coordinate all of the planning that goes along with your big day yourself might seem like a good way to cut costs, it’s actually a fast way for them to add up.
Wedding planners have relationships with vendors so they can not only better negotiate on your behalf, but also utilize their industry discounts You’ll also save money because your wedding planner has the experience and insider knowledge to guide you through all your decisions and what your best options are including what’s cost-effective and/or a good value and what you may not need at all.
If you give your wedding planner a budget, they are more likely to stick to it than you would alone because of their enhanced knowledge of how to plan a wedding.
Prioritize Your Guest Count
The most uncertain variable is what the government will allow for the number of guests allowed at a wedding. Prioritizing your guest list ahead of time will certainly help not just cut costs but be ready for whatever restrictions are in place.
So much of the planning process is guest-count related, so when you reduce your guest count, all those costs also go down, since you need less space, less food, fewer drinks, fewer rentals, fewer centrepieces, fewer favours. In these new wedding times, however, reducing your guest count can also mean doing a virtual wedding or a hybrid wedding instead, and having virtual guests is a great way to reduce your overall costs without reducing the actual guest count.
With the overcrowding of demand for weddings in the next two years, you may consider an alternate week day for your wedding. Sure, a Saturday night wedding might be optimal, but it will also cost you the most money when compared to any other day of the week. To help cut down on costs, choose a date that is lesser in demand.
A weekday, for example, will many times save you money on not just your venue, but with other vendors as well because weekends are in high demand. In addition, picking a wedding date in the offseason for the area you’re getting married in will also help your costs as those dates will also be in low demand.
You can always upgrade, but vendors can’t downgrade once a contract is signed. Secure your venue based on your minimal prioritized guest count, lowest catering package, or minimum dollar amount based on the specific space that you want to secure.
This way you have the option to grow into your truly desired number of guests when the time comes, but you won’t need to worry about meeting a certain number which you may not be able to have.