By Rebecca Padgett Frett
According to a popular wedding website, The Knot, some 2.6 million weddings, many of them postponed due to the pandemic, will occur in the U.S. in 2022. If you’re one of these 2.6 million couples, congratulations! Try not to be daunted by that number. While there are multitudes of couples vying for the same weekends, venues and vendors, you can have a blissful wedding weekend despite the surge in weddings and disruptions caused by COVID.
If you are recently engaged and set on a 2022, even a 2023 wedding, it’s best you start your planning as soon as you finish reading this. You’ll likely need to think outside of the box as there are only 52 weekends a year and countless vendor options.
Creativity is key. Look into nontraditional venues, have flexibility with your date by considering weekdays and colder months, expand your locale range, cut your guest count and have flexibility with your vendor options.
We saw a rise in intimate and small weddings in 2020 and 2021. Small weddings are still in vogue and may be easier to plan and accomplish in 2022. Smaller weddings allow you to explore more venue options and truly focus on an elevated guest experience whether that be a five-course, chef-prepared meal or personalized luxury gifts.
Along with smaller weddings, outdoor ceremonies have become popular for two reasons: They are more pandemic friendly and offer options including farms, national parks, local parks, gardens, fields, backyards and more.
While we have learned much about navigating COVID in the past two years, the pandemic is still present. You as a couple have the right to decide what you are comfortable with at your wedding. To keep things safe, you may require social distancing, masks, vaccinations or COVID tests.
Despite the pandemic, many couples desire an international destination wedding. Be aware that travel bans and regulations are continuously changing. You may wish to enlist help from your wedding planner or travel agent in staying on top of developments.
If planning on your own, it’s wise to look at how the country you intend to visit has handled COVID regulations thus far. This can give you an indication at to how they will handle infection spikes in the future. If you’re still iffy on travel, consider “transporting” your guests through your setting, décor, food and cultural influences.
Couples should be mindful, too, of supply chain issues. You may experience delays related to deliveries of décor, clothing, florals and food. Work with your planner and vendors to discuss whether certain price increases are in your budget or can be mitigated through other choices.
Communication is key with vendors and guests. It might be best to invest in a wedding planner who can help you deal with the fluid and busy business of wedding planning in 2022 and 2023.