SEATTLE — After the number of weddings held plummeted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts in the industry are predicting a boom for 2022. There is projected to be over 1 million more weddings this year than two years ago.
That means additional challenges for couples who may have been waiting years to celebrate with family and friends.
Monica Wilcox and Steve Proudlock of Kirkland met in 2018. He proposed the following year on the Fourth of July. The couple planned to get married in the summer of 2020.
"Then COVID,” said Wilcox.
The pandemic meant they had to reschedule, only to have COVID cancel their event a second time.
“It was a roller coaster, on again and off again," Wilcox recalled.
Finally, they just went for it. The couple was married at the courthouse in Redmond. However, they still are planning on a redo of their "I dos" so family and friends can celebrate with them. They realize their big day is happening in a year that is seeing a wedding boom, and the landscape is looking different.
"The cost of catering has gone up,” Proudluck said.
Experts agree that anyone planning a wedding in 2022 should expect to pay more, including Wendy Wojcik, owner of Weddings with Wendy.
"You are going to be paying, probably I would say, 5% more than you would have a couple of years ago, but that's just because inflation for those products have gone up,” said Wojcik.
Wojcik said she is coordinating 40 weddings this year. She plans to take part in the Seattle Wedding Show this weekend and is expecting to see more evidence of the year's high demand.
According to the Wedding Report, the number of weddings plummeted in 2020, dropping to less than 1.3 million. The current forecast for 2022 is that there will be nearly 2.5 million weddings.
Wojcik said she’s currently seeing challenges ranging from supply chain issues to staffing shortages.
"A lot of venues had to close, unfortunately, because they just couldn't get the staff to serve the guests and to take care of them which makes it even tougher to get a venue because there's less of them,” said Wojcik.
Wilcox and Proudlock do have a venue and a date set for April. They say their two-and-a-half year wedding journey left them with a valuable lesson.
"Have a plan,” said Proudlock.
"Have a plan, but be flexible," Wilcox added, "because you never ever know what's going to happen."