Wedding industry reels during busiest season in almost 40 years

LINCOLN, Neb. – Americans are expected to host 2.5 million weddings in 2022, making it the busiest wedding season since 1984.

Couples who got engaged before or during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those newly engaged, are all competing to get the best vendors and best dates before anyone else.

“Just brides and grooms this year have it kind of rough because not only are they going against the normal wedding industry, but they’re going against everyone who has been planning their wedding for two to three years,” said Nicole Mushaney, manager of Tip Top Tux on Pine Lake Road.

Because so many couples had to continuously push off their big day during 2020 and 2021, Mushaney said it is always tough to walk into an appointment because she does not know if the couple have been planning for years and just “want to be done with it” or if they are newly engaged and are excited to start planning.

Shelly Richardson, owner of a local event planning business, said that many couples have had to start looking at weekday weddings and vendors that are farther away because demand is so high.

This high demand is exacerbated by backorders on many key ingredients to a perfect wedding day, such as attire.

Richardson said wedding gowns are taking several additional months to come in, and Mushaney said inventory is sparse.

“Shipping, as well as supply and demand, is huge,” she said. “Manufacturers stopped making things for a long time. That really affects what we can sell, what we can rent, what we have available and things like that.”

Richardson said, “If you haven’t started planning your 2022 wedding, I highly recommend looking at 2023 dates.”

While this may sound daunting, with a little compromise and extra effort, engaged couples will still be able to have the wedding of their dreams in 2022.

“Anything is possible,” Richardson said. “Just because you’re competing with this influx of couples and an influx in the industry, doesn’t mean you aren’t going to have a beautiful day and that it’s not going to be perfect for you.”

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