After weddings in many states around the country came to a standstill last year, 2021 is poised to be one of the busiest years for couples reciting their vows as large gatherings are slowly being allowed to take place. Today let's take a look at how pricing has and will be affected by postponements and the need for recouping what's been lost.
A recent survey by The Knot found that 47 percent of couples who planned to wed in 2020 are now planning to celebrate in 2021 or later. Also, more than one-third of couples who got married in 2020 plan to hold a second celebration in the future with loved ones.
Wedding planner Melissa Reinke of Sweet Blossom Weddings reveals that she's seen some vendors already booked into October 2022. The price of weddings goes up every year, and with demand so high, couples should expect to see an increase in costs this year and beyond.
“Yes, there's definitely been an increase in pricing in vendors and venues,” explains Reinke. “Not only do we need to make up for this past year of not working, but we also need to recover the costs of moving weddings at no additional cost and now not being available for new business which equals new income!”
In addition to recovering from the havoc COVID-19 wreaked on businesses, the cost of certain items vendors need has also gone up. For example, flower farms lost acres of product due to canceled and postponed weddings, leading to an increase in floral prices. In turn, florists have had to charge more to cover the added cost. “I can imagine other things will cost more, so fees will be going up,” says Reinke.
This will be especially true for couples that are continuing to postpone until things fully go back to “normal,” notes Renee Sabo of Urban Soirée. “The added fee(s) will be to help cover many things such as the opportunity costs lost with holding multiple dates, natural increases in vendor and venue pricing that happens year to year, the added admin with re-booking, and so much more depending on the business.”
Of course, vendors don’t want to overprice their services and risk losing out on potential business. However, with the increase in demand, some may need to hire additional staff and supplies to pull off the expected quality of their services. Once a vendor figures all of this out—any rise in cost for supplies, extra help required, etc.—they can then come up with a fair increase that can be easily explained to clients during an initial planning meeting.
How Planners Can Help
With wedding dates getting snatched up at a rapid rate, planners are advising their clients to book vendors ASAP—and lock in current prices before they go up again. While there's typically a standard for when you should hire vendors, such as booking your planner and photographer at least 12 months in advance and holding off on other vendors such as hair and makeup closer to the wedding, that's all out the window in this post-pandemic scenario. “I'm telling my couples to book their vendors as soon as they're ready to ensure they have their dream vendor team,” says Reinke.
And according to Natalie Pinney of Whim Events, planners should also encourage their clients to budget a certain "contingency" amount while planning during the pandemic. This will help with costs if they need to postpone or move to a new date—as some vendors have fees.
Hero photo courtesy of Captured by Martina