As the pandemic continues to sweep through America, the country’s $74 billion wedding industry is feeling the effects of it all. Over half of Americans say they plan to cancel their weddings, and around 63 percent are postponing their big day. As couples focus on regaining their deposits and crafting alternative wedding plans, vendors and wedding planners are having to quickly adapt their strategies to ensure their survival during the industry upheaval. From arranging venue tours for those planning their weddings to designing pandemic-safe alternatives for couples wanting to recite their wedding vows, here is how some of the wedding industry is weathering the storm.
Wedding Venues And Planners Begin To Turn To Socially Distanced, Remote And Discounted Ceremonies
For the small percentage of couples that are choosing to stick to their date or looking for alternatives, vendors are embracing remote options such as Zoom, micro, and socially distanced weddings. Wedding planners are now helping couples plan the perfect Zoom wedding – the new normal for wedding ceremonies. Meanwhile, wedding venues are now offering socially distanced options with 10 or fewer guests. For those in the midst of their wedding planning, venues are also offering virtual wedding venue tours and planning sessions to help couples make a decision and keep their wedding plans moving forward.
Wedding Dress Retailers Hit By The Logistics Delays Begin To Turn To Off The Rack And Special Occasion Stock
Even for those organizing their nuptials during the pandemic,
securing the perfect wedding dress remains a staple, and many brides
are making use of virtual appointments. Company data by TieTheKnot
showed the average cost of a wedding dress in 2019 was $1,600, with 95
percent of brides buying new dresses. Even though the online wedding
dress market is expanding, in-store fittings continue to be the popular
choice among brides. Yet with the impact on the logistics and shipping
industry leaving wedding dresses in short supply, wedding dress retailers are having to come up with alternative options for brides looking for their perfect dress.
to the American Bridal and Prom Association, up to 80 percent of
western style gowns are manufactured and shipped from China – the
starting point of the pandemic. This has meant severe delays in not only
manufacturing, but also in the shipping timelines, leaving wedding
dress retailers with no merchandise for fittings and sales. In response,
they are turning to their warehouse inventory and sample pieces to keep
brides satisfied. This has meant a limited selection for brides and
their sizing criteria. All American wedding dress designers are also
capitalizing on the unsatisfied demand by striking up new partnerships
Wedding Venues Begin To Cope With Unprecedented Losses With Layoffs, Loans And Insurance
from the wedding planning website TieTheKnot indicates that over 45000
weddings were initially planned for the period April to May 2020. With a
significant percentage of couples choosing to cancel or postpone their
wedding, wedding venues are now left with hefty losses. Even with the
choice to postpone and not cancel, wedding vendors are still left to
cover spent fees and overhead costs, such as the labor already put in or
loan payments for wedding venues. With the disruption to the wedding
industry looking to extend as far as 2022 wedding venues are now having
to juggle additional wedding postponements alongside new bookings for
their 2021 calendar. As a result, they are now turning to short term
cost control measures.
So far, industry giants like Zola have laid off 20 percent of their staff and
chosen to cut the salaries of those they are keeping on board. Smaller
wedding businesses like wedding planning coordinator Aloha Bridal
Connections say they have had to cut their staff by 80 percent in a bid
to survive. Many vendors are also relying on the reimbursement of
wedding insurance – a standard requirement for most wedding venues
alongside federally funded small business hardship schemes.
Wedding venues and caterers are also going have to redesign their food and beverage services to ensure the safety of their customers. For caterers, this may mean additional costs, but for the wedding clients, it could be seen as a sign of reassurance. With the aftermath slated to last a while, the wedding industry is gearing up for this to be the new normal for a while.