In this post(ish)-pandemic world, the number of weddings to happen in 2022 is expected to skyrocket to the highest it’s been in over 30 years. This has caused a lot of strain and shortages in supply and services, like textiles, florals, even sensor chips for cameras. This has increased the prices of many goods and services, and when you’re planning a wedding, this all adds up! Read on below for some tips on how to navigate wedding planning in this wedding boom!
#1 – Start Wedding Planning Early
I know you’re probably just SO EXCITED about being engaged, and you just want to celebrate that. But it’s so important to start having these wedding planning conversations with your new fiancé ASAP! Find an evening, sit down with a bottle of wine, and start envisioning your wedding. Start chatting about venue locations, the size of your guest list, vendors you’re already in love with, and dates that you might be looking at.
#2 – Prioritizing and Budgeting
As I mentioned before, the cost of goods has gone up, and it’s important to stay within your budget (also create a budget!). Create a list of priorities, things that you and your fiancé ABSOLUTELY LOVE, and would not want to compromise on. For example, you each write down two things that you want the ABSOLUTE BEST for your wedding. This may be photography, the venue, the florals, the wedding dress, the food or signature cocktails (the list goes on!). After you have booked in your venue and secured a wedding date, contact these priority vendors next, just so you know you’ve got them! Similarly, maybe there are other things that you don’t really care for in your wedding, or things that you can be more flexible on.
#3 – Flexibility in Wedding Date
In contacting venues, keep an open mind and have several wedding dates that you may be okay with. Contact your favorite wedding venue and see if any of those dates work. If they do, then you can use this location and date to contact your other vendors. If it doesn’t, you can contact the next venue on your list with your few date options.
Book your wedding night hotel! As travel opens up again, it may be tougher and tougher to get accommodations. Make your reservations ASAP! And this includes your guests who may have to travel to attend as well (look into creating a wedding block with your hotel!).
#4 – Contacting Vendors
Once you have secured a wedding venue, contact the priority vendors that you absolutely love. These may be your favorite creatives that you followed on Instagram for a really long time, or categories of things you prioritize (see point #2). Get in touch with them as soon as possible! Often, your wedding vendor has worked with other vendors too, and they may be able to suggest someone for your other categories. This might give you some ideas on who to contact next.
#5 – Hire a Wedding Planner
I will have a future blog post about this, but organizing all of these logistics can be quite the nightmare, especially if you’re not used to event planning. It is particularly overwhelming when you have a larger wedding, over 70 people. Hiring a wedding planner can really help manage all of these moving parts (when is the cake arriving, what does the timeline look like, etc). A day-of coordinator may be helpful to keep everything from track while you can sit back and enjoy one of the best days of your life.
#6 – Declining Vendors
If you’ve ever decided to go with someone else, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact all the other vendors that you’ve contacted to let them know. It’s so important not to ghost your vendors so that the date can be immediately released to another couple. We won’t take it personally, I promise!
#7 – Lock them in ASAP!
Once you found a vendor that you love, and the budget works out, and they’re available for your date, sign your agreement and send your deposit ASAP! That’s the only way to truly lock them in for your wedding day, so definitely be prompt about it! Once everything is signed and sent, that’s another thing off your to-do list, and you can focus on planning other things (the much more creative and fun things!).
#8 – Tell your Friends!
As I mentioned, the number of weddings will be at an all-time high. This means that your friends and family will have many other weddings they will need to attend as well. There are only so many weekends in a year! If you really want someone to be there, let them know your date ASAP, even if it’s just a text in casual conversation. If possible, send out your save the dates as quickly as possible as well! This gives people ample time to book time off work, save that date from other events, arrange for child/pet care, book travel arrangements, etc.
If you have a wedding party, let them know ASAP as well! As mentioned before, there are supply shortages and shipping delays, so if you want them to be in a particular wedding party look, people will have to start shopping for colored dresses, shirts and ties as soon as possible.
#9 – Be patient with your vendors!
There’s been a lot of challenges of all sorts during this pandemic, and your vendors have had to do a lot of crisis management in the past 2 years. Please be kind and be patient with all of your vendors as they navigate through these supply shortages, a packed timetable and often double, or triple the workload.
#10 – Start thinking about honeymoon destinations!
In this new reality, there are many procedures and documents required for travel. If you are planning to get away after your wedding, do your research on the entrance requirements of your destination country — vaccination records, PCR tests, quarantining requirements, etc.
Stay up to date with COVID rules of your area and create contingency plans. My couples have created multiple plans for weddings from 10 guests, to 50% capacity to up to their full guest list. Be prepared for these changes, and explain to your guests ahead of time in case these do need to happen (e.g. maybe no more plus ones?). Having a wedding planner can be so helpful for navigating through these changes as well! In addition, keep in mind the procedures your guests will need to attend your wedding. For example, you may need proof of vaccination, inform your guests of indoor masks rules, and provide hand sanitizer
These are new times and your vendors will thank you for being proactive, patient and understanding!