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The 2022 Wedding Boom: How to Make It Work for You

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The Wedding Boom of 2022 is upon us. Learn 3 ways to navigate the surge with less stress as you plan your wedding!

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How bad is the 2022 wedding boom and, more importantly, what does it mean for you and your partner as you plan your 2022 wedding? These are common questions that I’m hearing from nearly every couple I encounter in my work as a professional wedding planner. If they’re planning a wedding to happen in 2022, they’re worried about The Boom.

How bad is the 2022 wedding boom?

Not as bad as you’d think but worse than you’d like. 

If you want to geek out with me, read this article. I go into the data behind the boom (and how, in my opinion, it’s lacking). 

For everyone else, here’s the headline: COVID messed up a lot of things and that includes weddings. The core premise behind the boom is that all of the couples who wanted to get married in 2020 and/or 2021 shifted their weddings to 2022 and that’s what’s causing wedding vendors to raise their prices and have more limited availability.

This isn’t not true but, as with all things, it’s much more complicated than that.

There are chronic staffing shortages throughout the service industry to contend with as well as international supply chain issues.

And, notably, a lot of very tired people who are feeling trapped in an industry that hasn’t supported them and in many ways, actively harmed them and their families during a global pandemic.

All of this is far beyond your control so let’s ask the second and arguably much more important question.

What does the 2022 wedding boom mean for you and your partner?

The 2022 wedding boom is an opportunity for you and your partner. Yes, you read that correctly. Despite whatever you might have read elsewhere on the internet or heard from friends and family, the 2022 wedding boom can actually mean good things for you as you plan. We just have to change how we approach it.

1. Get Real About Your Wedding Budget

First, use the boom as an excuse for you and your partner to get real about money. For years, the conventional wisdom around wedding budgeting has been “Here are the 15 vendors couples consider for their wedding. Hire all of them.”

That’s how we got to a national average of between $19,000 and $34,000, which, from where I’m sitting, is a big chunk of change. So rather than sign up for that, work with your partner to figure out who you actually want to hire vs. who you’re expected to hire. You can also consider what to DIY vs hire out.

Having honest and ongoing conversations around the financing for your wedding will set you and your partner up for success throughout your planning. And, as a bonus, it’ll help you navigate the higher prices we’re seeing across the board as vendors more seriously prize their time and talent.

2. Find a Planning Pace that Works for You

Second, use the boom as a chance to get better at managing your energy. I don’t know about you but I do not have the reserves that I had before COVID; this means I have to be more judicious in how I spend my time and use my brain power. If this is you too, my rule of thumb for any couple planning a wedding is to research, interview, and hire one vendor a month — even right now. 

There are two main exceptions to this advice:

1) if you’re getting married in a shorter window of time and have a longer list of vendors. (For example, if your wedding is in six weeks and you want to hire 10 people, speed up the process.)

2) if you fall in love with a particular vendor and can’t imagine having your wedding without them; hire them!

3. Be Kind and Considerate

Third, the wedding boom offers you a great chance to get some seriously good service if you do one very important thing: Be nice. Wedding vendors are service-minded folks; we literally devote our careers to helping others, which is no small feat after the past two years. 

We are so used to not being considered by our clients that if you and your partner treat us like fellow human beings, you’ll stand out. This doesn’t mean you’ll be entitled to treatment that violates our boundaries, but it does mean you will get overall better treatment because you respected us. Just think about how you react to your own boss. Who are you willing to go the extra mile for and who do you only do the bare minimum?

4. Go Easy on Yourselves

Remember: The advice to be nice also applies to being nice to yourself. It’s very easy to beat ourselves up all of the time and particularly when planning a wedding. Give yourself space and grace to feel however you might be feeling. When you’re tired, rest. If you need help, ask. 

And if it all starts to feel overwhelming, go back to your wedding why, focus on what matters, and feel free to cut the excess.

We don’t have any control over the wedding boom but we do have control over how we take care of ourselves — and those are lessons that will serve you long after your wedding is done.