- Couples are embarking on extravagance and luxury after enduring long pandemic lockdowns.
- Wedding planners have seen their income soar with the surge in reservations and more expensive requests.
- Ultra-luxurious wedding planners say couples are now inviting fewer guests, but offering even more luxurious experiences.
From llamas, exotic cars and speedboat rides to flower arrangements that cost over a year in tuition on the ceiling, an unusually lavish wedding wave is giving the wedding industry a cash boon that has been severely missed during COVID-19 lockdowns.
“It’s the roaring twenties for weddings,” said Alicia Fritz, owner and wedding planner to A Day In May. “In 2020 we have been prevented from bringing together and celebrating happy times, and weddings are one of those pivotal times where people are truly present, filled with love.”
More couples are getting married in 2021 than in any year since 1984, and the rush for post-vaccination marriages has exploded professionals in the wedding industry, from mere survival in the coronavirus pandemic to the surge in increasingly expensive inquiries, reservations and ceremonial benefits.
“They’re going to do it all,” said Marisa Guerrero, vice president of Debbie’s Bloomers. “They want unique touches and a special wedding that’s different from what they’ve seen in other places.”
Couples pay a premium on statement structures like flowered arches and chandeliers, snapping photos on llamas, driving in exotic sports cars, and splurging on unusual wedding buffets like donut walls and bars of mac and cheese.
With customers spending an average of around $ 5,000 on flower arrangements, almost double the amount from 2019, Guerrero said she works seven days a week and often up to 12 hours a day to keep up with the torrent. of requests. The trend can be seen with other wedding providers, who told Insider that their revenues jumped 40-50% from 2019.
However, those planning weddings for millionaire and billionaire clients with seemingly bottomless budgets say they haven’t seen increased costs per wedding, which often cost millions of dollars each. Instead, couples often invite fewer guests, but provide a more lavish, bespoke experience for those who are successful.
“We’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Alison Laesser-Keck, Creative Director of wedding planning company Alison Bryan Destinations.
Some of the big-ticket weddings included meals cooked by Michelin-starred chefs, speedboat rides through scenic Utah canyons, paid accommodations, and performances by celebrities like Miguel and Janelle Monae. His clients typically work in finance or entertainment, and some are well-known.
“They are doing well and they want to treat their guests,” Laesser-Keck said. “It’s about knowing how to take care of our family and friends and provide them with an experience they could never have on their own.”
Sarah Crowell, the senior planner for Mavinhouse Events, said she has seen an increase in multi-day weddings, where activities traditionally reserved only for the wedding party – like sunset sailboat rides, brunches and hikes by the sea – are open to the entire guest list. .
This thriving wedding season is the result of weddings being postponed from 2020 and people looking to spend the money they saved on family celebrations after more than a year of quarantine, the people said. marriage professionals.
The deluge of bookings has also enabled some salespeople to change their business and their personal lives.
Angela Lauren, owner of Angela Lauren Photography, has gone from struggling to keep her business alive during the pandemic in search of a home, and Teresa Eoff, owner of Figure Eight Events, said the additional income could kickstart his business out of his studio garage and into a warehouse space.
The demand can far exceed what businesses can handle. Over 90 requests per month have been sent to Laesser-Keck each month since January.
“We opened investigations and within a week we got enough business for the next two years,” Laesser-Keck said. “The demand for all businesses is through the roof.”