The wedding industry has been irrevocably transformed, and many professionals have had to roll with the punches and subsequently pivot to remain afloat. Although we may no longer be in the eye of the storm, it’s safe to say that the majority of business owners are continuing to adapt and monitor ever-changing shifts within the industry.
Because of this, you may be wondering–which shifts are here to stay as we pull back the curtain of 2022 and beyond?
Pandemic shifts in the wedding industry
Perhaps some of the biggest changes that wedding pros have encountered are the varying mandates from state to state. As couples continued to cancel and postpone their events, there was an equally large number of those that were flexible with their plans. So, what does that mean for lasting shifts in terms of wedding planning?
Nora Sheils of Bridal Bliss and Rock Paper Coin notes, “A big shift in the wedding industry is that we are seeing smaller guest counts. A trend that was mandated in 2020 and 2021 is now one of choice in 2022. Some couples are opting for intimate celebrations in which they can spend time spoiling their guests. We also predict that the other component of these smaller celebrations, the digital invite to those guests who are unable to attend in person, will continue on as a must-have in 2022.”
New trends as a result of COVID
The silver lining of being forced to get creative with offerings is that industry pros found new ways to customize and embrace these trends. Even if they began as precautions, the new trends we’re seeing have staying power as we continue to plan celebrations into the coming year.
For Bri Marbais of The Bridal Finery, it’s going to be all about outdoor weddings. “Outdoor wedding ceremonies have always been a popular choice for couples, but now outdoor reception space has become just as important. As a result, outdoor open space concepts, whether a terrace, balcony, backyard, or beach, have become the hot trend for wedding venues.”
Jaclyn Watson of Jaclyn Watson Events adds, “Another trend that is not going anywhere anytime soon is elopements. When the pandemic happened, couples had to get creative and decide if they wanted to get married that year or simply elope. Many opted to elope or downsize their wedding. This is a trend that continues to grow.”
Business changes for the better
Needless to say, the pandemic upended nearly everything for business owners. It forced many of us to take a look internally at how to better safeguard ourselves, our clients, and our employees, and it ultimately shed light on a lot of changes that needed to be made.
Sheils states, “Signing contracts and making payments online has never been easier with platforms made specifically for the industry. COVID forced the wedding and event industry, which was mostly in the dark ages when it comes to tech, to shape up or ship out! Vendors are booking more business, and by streamlining their processes, they have a better work/life balance. That will absolutely carry on into the coming wedding seasons!”
Marbais notes that flexibility is key. “We, as wedding professionals, no longer live in a black and white world… everything is grey! Over the last two years, we’ve had to adapt, change, and transform more times than we can count in order to keep the needle moving forward. It really forced us all to take a step back, understand that things will change, and learn to roll with it.”
The main lesson of all of this is that not all change is bad. In fact, when you realize that there are plenty of opportunities for growth, the pandemic shifts can only propel you upward from here if you’re willing to put in the work to get there.