COVID-19 and weddings: What's changed, and what trends may stick
VANCOUVER -- The pandemic brought a lot of stress for couples who were planning to marry, and to businesses that cater to weddings. Now, there’s hope on the horizon, but as weddings ramp up again, you’ll see some changes.
As more people get vaccinated, some couples are making plans for 2022 when we’ll hopefully be able to gather for celebrations. But things have changed and there are new trends in the wedding industry.
If you attended a wedding during the pandemic, chances are you participated in one of those new trends – online weddings.
Wedfuly took off this past year. It’s a company that plans and executes virtual nuptials. For couples who didn’t want to postpone, it was perfect. And Caroline Creidenberg, the company’s CEO, says it could be here to stay.
“The wedding we did this summer – they had five people on site, and 700 attending virtually. She always wanted intimate and he always wanted a huge blowout party,” she says. “This was the perfect marriage – no pun intended – of their needs and wants.”
Jenna Bocskey and her partner, Adam, wanted the real thing, so they postponed their scheduled event not once but twice, and had a legal ceremony in the meantime. She says it just wasn’t the same.
“I didn’t get to wear my dress, I didn’t get to celebrate with all the people that we loved,” Bocskey says. “We drove home and we were both in the car and we were kind of like ‘OK, that was it.’ Just driving home together, nothing special, no honeymoon.”
Vancouver boutique Park & Fifth pivoted from mostly bridesmaid dresses to an emphasis on bridal gowns last year when weddings started getting cancelled. Their online business took off, co-owner Brooke Johansen says, and now they’re selling their Elopement Collection around the world.
“Brides were completely moving it to 2021 or 2022, or they were deciding ‘You know what, I really want to get married, regardless of the pandemic. I’m scrapping my big planned wedding and I’m just going to elope at the courthouse or have a little backyard elopement.’”
Park & Fifth’s three locations have seen a big jump in online orders, and the Elopement Collection is off the rack – meaning the dresses don’t need extensive alterations or fittings.
As in-person events bounce back, newly engaged couples are competing for venues with many others who postponed. 2022 could be the busiest year many wedding planners have ever seen.
Jenna and Adam are having a full ceremony next year, even though they’re already legally wed, because they still want the big day.
“We just wanted to have the party that we wanted with all the people we loved and being able to hug and not distance and things,” Bocskey says. “We hope by next July people are going to feel a little bit better being in a smaller space. Hopefully.”