“One major trend we’re seeing is couples really want to personalize their experience, and the meaning and emotions around weddings seem to be heightened,” Zola spokeswoman Emily Forrest said.
“Everyone has been through so much, and couples are really thinking about what this day means for them, especially since this might be the first time they will be back together in person with all of their friends and family,” Forrest said.
While inflation has affected prices for some products and services, Forrest said even before the pandemic, an estimated two-thirds of couples end up going over their budgets for what she called “such an important event.”
Chicago bride Courtney Lee, who along with groom Alexander Garcia welcomed 130 guests to their April 9 wedding reception at The Rookery in Chicago, said getting engaged in December 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, added an extra layer of anxiety.
“We did get stressed out when Chicago implemented the vaccine mandate, and we thought we’d have to get vax card info from everyone, but other than that, it’s been fine,” Lee said.
Inflation caused some sticker shock when Lee was selecting her flowers and discovered the $1,000 the couple had budgeted was unrealistic, she said.
“Fortunately, we were able to adjust our budget, because the flowers ended up costing $4,000,” Lee said.
Jennifer Martin, a virtual stylist with Prix Fixe Party, said those tying the knot during the pandemic are not scaling back their expectations and instead are determined to host a party that will be equal parts wedding celebration and long-awaited reunion for family and friends.
“Now, along with people happy about everything opening back up, there is a lot of pressure to have a wedding that is Instagram and Pinterest worthy, and couples are looking for ways to get that look,” said Martin.
“Some will spare no cost or effort, while others who can’t afford it are finding a way by going heavy with the DIY.”
Martin has been busy helping couples across the U.S. — including Ambrozewski and Cooperman — plan their weddings with her remote services, which she said helps keep expenses down, especially given the impact of inflation and rising fuel costs.
“I am seeing some couples who really waited for a long time to get married, and are now feeling like, ‘Let’s do it! Budget? What budget?’” Martin said. “But the pandemic has not been friendly financially to everyone, and some couples are working with a smaller pocketbook. But they still want a wedding and to be married, which is what really matters.”
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