Navigating it all
Although we’re wedding photographers around here, we’ve seen a few things. I often joke with couples when I chat with them on the phone, “we’re not exactly the photographers that just show up on your wedding day”. The truth is that a big part of how we photograph is about you being about to be fully present with the people you love. Being able to savor each moment of such an important day (or days). I know from experience that the only way to let that happen is if you’re not so stressed that you can’t think straight. This is why we love being helpful if we can in helping you navigate the wedding planning aspect of things (not as planners by any means) but as people who have seen a few things and can tell you where you might want to avoid stepping.
When it comes to wedding planning it’s a bit of the wild wild west out there these days. Wedding planning is hard enough but add in a global pandemic, global supply chain issues, and staffing shortages and it’s been a whole new ball game. The challenge that unfortunately I’ve seen over and over again (pandemic or not), is that as a couple planning your wedding day it’s easy to get swept up in working so hard to plan the perfect event that by the time you finally get there you’re completely exhausted, stressed, and burned out. There really should be a warning label on those engagement rings. 😉 The good news is that with the right support and choices it doesn’t have to be that way.
Recently a magazine reached out to ask some questions specifically about the “wedding boom”, they were looking for industry leaders who could shed some light on what this means in real time for couples planning their wedding day. I thought the questions were great ones and something that might be helpful here as well. My number one bonus piece of advice? Hire a well-qualified wedding planner. They will save you time, money, and most importantly peace of mind so that you can focus on what this is all really about. Something you can’t afford to miss. 😉 I’m happy to share our favorites with you (whether you’re our couple or not).
Q: What is the wedding boom?
Couples are hearing the term “wedding boom” a lot but what they might not realize is what is happening is a culmination of a number of different things. In 2020 the vast majority of weddings were moved, postponed, or radically reimagined. That put a huge strain on 2021 and even 2022 weddings. On top of that just the weight of what we were walking through as humans got many people thinking… and proposing to each other, which brought a massive new number of engaged couples on the scene. All looking for those same dates. All of a sudden, boom.
Q: What should a couple just starting out in the planning process know about it when it comes to hiring vendors?
As crazy as it sounds, don’t rush. We’re talking to a lot of couples right now that are feeling almost panicked in securing their wedding professionals and I get that. The truth is that the great teams, especially the big ones (venues, planners, photographers,) will go fast. But here is the major downside to rushing: you might choose the wrong ones. No matter what is happening in the wedding industry it’s important to realize that a great team around you can make or break how smooth and specifically stress-free your wedding day is. I think the balance here is this, vet, vet, vet, your prospects, that comes first. When you know you want to work with someone then get that contract signed because, yes, dates are going really fast.
Q: Should couples be concerned with shortages due to the pandemic and the boom? Why or why not?
I would say aware more than concerned. There really isn’t much you can do about it and wedding planning can be so stressful as it is. So panicking about whether or not you’re going to find what you need before you even look is a waste of your resources. Just take it one day at a time, and book your priorities first.
Q: Do you think the wedding boom will trickle into 2023? Why or why not?
Absolutely, I”m sure it’s hard to imagine how that would work if you’re not familiar with the wedding industry in general but I’m seeing it already. We typically have couples reaching out to us a year to two years out. Right now we’re having couples calling us in a panic when their wedding date is 2.5 years out hoping we have their date and wanting to sign contracts before they have even signed with their venue. I think there is a bit of a scarcity feeling that’s hit the industry and I think that’s going to take a while to work itself out. Especially in an industry where you book professionals 2-3 years out and buy your dress a year to a year and a half. Time just works a little differently when it comes to planning a wedding.
Q: If someone is wanting to jumpstart planning for 2022 or 2023, what are some things they should consider being flexible on?
Your date, and specifically as Saturday wedding day. So many things can open up for you if you’re willing to do a Friday or Sunday wedding. Or heck, plan a destination micro wedding, getaway somewhere amazing you’ve always wanted to go and get married on a Tuesday. A lot of this panic we’re seeing is about being able to do things exactly as you’ve seen before, if you can think outside of the box a bit a whole lot opens up to you. The other thing to keep in mind is that supply chains are tough in our industry too, so I would say in this current market it’s not really too early to plan anything. You might come up against obstacles you hadn’t considered and if you have extra time you have the ability to fix them.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Stay true to your original values. No matter how beautiful of an event you’re trying to plan, in the end, you’re planning a wedding. A day that’s supposed to be about the two of you as a couple, your families, and the people you love. The most opulent party on the planet that forgets what’s important in the midst of all of that is just that, a party. Your wedding celebration should be much more than that. Also, hire a wedding planner. 😉