So, you’re on the verge of wedding planning, or becoming engaged. Congratulations…and buckle up! Though a wedding has never been an easy event to plan, today there are of course a whole new host of considerations to take your stress level just a little higher.
To understand the complexities of wedding planning at this very moment we spoke to Stacey Watson Earle, founder and creative director of Toronto-based Watson & Co. Events. Here’s what Watson says you can expect.
What is the current wedding situation looking like for the rest of this year and into 2022 and 2023?
Busy, busy, busy! I rebooked almost all my 2020 and 2021 clients to September and October 2021 in an abundance of caution with the hopes re-opening runs smoothly, and so far, we are on track. Rules shifted for the summer season and dancing and slightly larger weddings are once again happening. Many of my clients are asking guests to be vaccinated in advance of the wedding to mitigate risk, so it’s nice to see so many people working together to ensure their wedding is a safe, joyful experience for all guests.
Looking ahead, 2022 and 2023 are stacked. Venues and vendors are booking up. Inquiries are pouring in. Couples who’ve put off their weddings so they can ensure their full guest count can be invited have rebooked into 2022. Essentially, we’re seeing 18-months of backlog, in addition to newly engaged couples, compressed into the next two years. If you are looking to get married, book your wedding as soon as possible and give yourself lots of time to plan and find vendors.
For those newly engaged, or who soon will be, what are your tips for planning?
The most important thing to focus on in the next couple years is your timeline. As it’s going to be difficult to secure vendors in the next couple years, it’s important to get a head start on planning. This is where hiring a planner can really pay off. We have been through it all in 2020 and 2021: planning and rebooking multiple times and dealing with COVID safety protocols and regulations. It’s always a great investment to have a planner, but today it will help save heartache, stress and money should any unexpected problems arise.
My best advice is to find a venue. If you can’t find a traditional venue for your preferred date, think outside the box. Hire your key vendors—planner, photographer, videographer, florist. Finally, start shopping for your wedding day fashion. The more time you have the better.
Do you recommend people continue to think small weddings?
The intimate, heartfelt weddings we’ve been doing are special and beautiful, and I think 2020 has paved the way for intimate weddings to become a norm. I am also incredibly hopeful couples who want big weddings will get them in 2022 and 2023. If you want big, dream big for next year.
Are destination weddings back?
We are easing back into it. I’ll personally be travelling to the Ireland and Grand Cayman between September 2021 and February 2022 and feel very safe doing so with the proof of vaccine requirements, PCR testing and masking laws in those locations. These weddings present unique challenges and are some of the more complicated events to navigate during COVID. Working with professional planners and travel agents is incredibly important. The key is to be flexible, respect regulations and let the experts guide you through the planning process for your day.
Feature Image: Victoria Priessnitz, Unsplash