Wedding Boom Planning Guide

How to Plan a Wedding During the Wedding Boom 

You just got engaged. Friends and family are flooding your phone with texts of congratulations and questions about the big day! Planning a wedding should be fun, right? What you didn’t expect was that you would be entering into the chaos of the ongoing wedding boom.

The COVID-19 pandemic is under control right? We can have big weddings again, right? Yes, BUT the effects on weddings are not over. For example, you might face the unexpected battle of finding and booking available (and reliable) wedding vendors. Couples who couldn’t get married in 2020 are tying the knot this year, couples who already planned a 2021 wedding are getting married and newly engaged couples are booking vendors – all at the same time. This year is now multiple wedding seasons combined into one, which has resulted in a wedding vendor booking frenzy! Here are our tips on how to plan a wedding during the wedding boom.

10 Tips for Wedding Planning During the Wedding Boom

Tip No. 1: Hire a professional wedding planner

Wedding planners are your buffer between wedding planning chaos and cheer. Can’t find a photographer? Don’t panic and hire some random person that you recently saw on Instagram. A professional wedding planner will help you secure the best and most reliable local vendors to ensure your wedding weekend goes off without a hitch. 

“Seasoned professionals are going to take this wedding influx in stride and have a larger network of vendors at their disposal to lend a hand where needed,” Meagan Culkin, owner of Magnolia Collective event planning company says. “I have had several clients who became too stressed and literally stopped trying to book vendors, so I had to reach out to vendor friends 2-3 weeks before the wedding to find things like rentals, photographers, and in one case … a band.”

Tip No. 2: Book your priority vendors ASAP

Book your priority wedding vendors as soon as possible, delaying will only move you further down the waiting list. Such as securing a venue for your ideal wedding date and dress shopping. Originally, ordering a wedding dress could take up to six months. But due to warehouse shortages, wedding dress shipments are now arriving up to eight months out. This also includes bridesmaid dresses which typically could be ordered two to three months out, but are now backed up four to five months out. Hair and makeup stylists and popular DJs might be booked a year to 18 months out. (Again, hiring a planner will help you with this process because they have the inside scoop).

Tip No. 3: Carefully read all of your wedding vendor contracts

This is something you should always do; but it is especially important now. Know and understand all of your vendor’s cancellation and rescheduling policies. Ask questions and make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for! If this sounds like a dreadful task, return to Tip No. 1. 

Tip No. 4: Consider electronic communication with your guests 

In addition to beautiful, custom made wedding stationery, use electronic communication to keep your guests in the loop. When it comes to communication, more is always better. Especially if you need to reschedule any of your wedding events due to booking issues or COVID-19 guidelines. 

Tip No. 5: Be flexible

Create a wedding boom back-up plan. Give yourself options. Just because one vendor is unavailable or several details must change does not mean that your wedding will be anything less than meaningful and beautiful. 

Tip No. 6: Be intentional

The pandemic has taught us many big-picture lessons about perspective and what matters. Make your wedding day a personal experience for your guests, after all they love you and are making stressful decisions about whether or not they can attend and support you on your big day. 

Tip No. 7: Budget accordingly

Understand that vendor prices are likely to be higher due to supply shortages, shipping delays, high-demand and money lost in 2020 due to COVID-19. Average weddings in the Triangle area of North Carolina typically range between $25,000 and $50,000.

Tip No. 8: Expect higher attendance

The rule of thumb used to be that approximately 80% of your invited wedding guests would attend. Today, couples are seeing 90-95% of their invited guests attend. This is happening for several reasons: people took weddings for granted in 2020, people are ready to attend events again and more and more people are getting vaccinated. Note: Do not forget to account for guests’ plus-ones if you have invited them or allowed for it.

Tip No. 9: Be realistic with your timeline

In general, give yourself more time than you think you’ll need for each part of your wedding planning journey. Doing this will help close the window on wedding planning panic and stress. 

Tip No. 10: Lastly, use our wedding planning resource guide

Over the past 35 years we have created a long list of some of the best vendors in the state! Visit our vendor guide to easily find more information about local professionals that we would personally recommend to you. Click here to visit our NC Wedding Vendor Guide!

Words of Wisdom from Meagan Culkin, Owner of Magnolia Collective 

Meagan Culkin, owner of wedding and event planning company Magnolia Collective, has some important tips to share with couples planning in the midst of the wedding industry boom. 

  • Expect for vendor communication to be slower. This can be difficult to understand for couples who booked before the pandemic and are now seeing slower communication patterns.
  • Delayed communication can also be due to the fact that planners are waiting for responses from venues, rental companies or other vendors (who are also backed up).

“It’s a domino effect,” Meagan says. “Just because you don’t hear from us within the hour doesn’t mean we don’t have your back or are forgetting about you and your wedding.”

This can be frustrating for couples who have already booked or are looking to book new vendors. While some companies are able to hire seasonally to accommodate the influx of weddings and events, not all are able to hire. Navigating this new reality is something that everyone is learning and adjusting to each day.

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