Jordan Cloch, 27, and Taylor Hoch, 28, toured Walden Thursday, just a couple weeks after getting engaged. They don’t plan to get married until the fall of 2022 but figured there would be competition for dates from pandemic-delayed weddings.
“We wanted to get started right away,” said Hoch, of the West Loop. .
Companies in the wedding industry said couples seemed optimistic about larger events even before Chicago announced the new rules.
Natalie Bauer, who co-owns Bella Bianca Bridal Couture, with locations in Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace, and a Bella Bridesmaids store, said she’s seeing groups with eight or nine bridesmaids.
At ECBG Cake Studio, in Edgewater Glen, owner Erin Martin said people planning fall weddings have started requesting four- and five-tier cakes, after a year when most wanted only one or two.
Stationery shops and planners, meanwhile, say many couples are ordering invitations for everyone they hope can attend and sending them out in phases.
“It’s kind of like the Hunger Games … if someone declines, you invite the next person on the list,” Alvarez said.
Even if weddings can be larger, planners and couples are still coming up with creative solutions to navigate restrictions that can change at any moment. Wedding planners said they encourage couples to share plenty of information about how they’re handling COVID-19 precautions on invitation inserts and frequently updated wedding websites.
That helps people who are still being cautious decide whether they’re comfortable attending and warns those who may be more cavalier about masking and social distancing what to expect, said Lauren Kay, executive editor at The Knot.
Couples are also considering hiring a person at the venue to help monitor masking and distancing so the couple doesn’t feel pressured to confront friends and family, she said.