Customers ‘have a wallet’ to cut the dream event, the store has a headache because of the supply chain
Nicole Brandfon and her fiance, Adam Alonso, will board a plane from Florida to South America early next year for their wedding. The flight abroad wasn’t part of their original plan, but it saved them money.
The couple, engaged since June 2021, have dreamed of having a wedding in Miami, where they live and work. But when it came to planning, the two quickly realized the price was out of their reach. There are very few vacancies available for the late 2022 or early 2023 timeframe.
Brandfon, 29 years old, is currently the Account Director at a public relations firm. She said the two spent three to four months looking at lots of different locations and realized they couldn’t manage a wedding in Miami.
Nicole Brandfon and fiance Adam Alonso are planning to have their wedding in Colombia, instead of Miami, because it is more affordable. Photo: Nicole Brandfon.
Brandfon and Alonso’s decision to marry abroad is just one example of how couples are managing to cope with the rising costs of wedding planning.
Wedding service companies are also overwhelmed, as demand is pent-up due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They are also facing difficulties from the supply chain causing shortages. At the same time, inflation increases the cost of everything from food to labor.
As a result, many couples are having to make trade-offs and rethink priorities, such as choosing the wedding dress of their dreams or a bar over gorgeous floral decorations.
Brandfon and Alonso will wed in February 2023 in the Caribbean coastal town of Cartagena, Colombia. Now they can have someone to plan their wedding. The couple also plan to treat a variety of dishes in a full-seat dinner.
“The truth is, if we want to add something, it will probably cost a few thousand dollars more, whether in Florida or anywhere in the US,” Brandfon said.
Cut everything you can
According to research firm The Wedding Report, nearly 7 million couples in the US will get married in the next three years. The pandemic caused the wedding to be delayed. In 2022, it is expected that there will be about 2.5 million weddings, up 30% from the previous year and the highest number in the past 4 decades.
Over the next two years, this number is expected to decrease slightly, but not by much. Americans are expected to plan 2.24 weddings next year and 2.17 million the following year.
The amount of money that couples spend to organize their wedding is also increasing gradually. According to The Wedding Report, in 2021, on average, couples spent $27,063 on their wedding, up from about $24,700 per couple in 2019. In 2020, when the pandemic broke out, many couples had Choose a smaller ceremony, have fewer formalities, and spend an average of $20,286.
As events ramp up again, couples are looking for categories that can be cut.
Kim Forrest, senior editor at WeddingWire, said that more and more couples are choosing to hold their weddings on weekdays. This offers a cost advantage. Some venues offer discounts for midweek events.
Forrest also notes that weddings held in the South tend to be less expensive than those held in the Northeast. Cities like Boston and New York drive up the national average.
Shane McMurray, founder of The Wedding Report, says wedding costs this year are expected to be “much higher” than in recent years. Much of this is due to rising food, labor and transportation costs. In addition, service providers also have the ability to set their own prices when there is a high demand for bookings.
“These are the things people care about most: the food, the bar, the photography and of course the location. The number of guests increases and that’s going to cost more,” he said.
That means couples who accept sacrifices choose other places when planning. This will cause damage to some service providers. For example, couples may not have to pay the event organizer, as long as they are willing to do it themselves.
According to data from The Wedding Report, couples spend less money on spa and beauty treatments, hostess and parties for wedding guests. McMurray says categories have the flexibility to find less expensive options that still get the job done.
WildBride, a wedding dress shop in San Francisco, is seeing increased demand for apparel and the complexity of its supply chain. Photo: Buena Lane Photography.
Service providers are forced to raise prices
Providers are really struggling to meet demand, knowing that many couples find it difficult with time and money.
Samira Araghi, founder and owner of wedding dress shop WildBride in San Francisco, says the 2022 wedding season is “booming” after a recession caused by the pandemic.
That means her WildBride store has more business opportunities. There are moments during the pandemic when the whole society seems to have reopened, and couples are not free to hold larger gatherings. But it’s been a tough recovery as new variants cause spikes in spikes.
The most pressing problem facing the store right now, says Araghi, is getting the finished product in the mail. She also noted that many vendors have shut down. Some fabrics, outfits and styles are out of stock. “Supply chain issues are a big deal right now,” she said.
WildBride began looking for solutions by selecting older styles of dresses or models that could be purchased in bulk. Some dress models will be discounted depending on condition. This can be an attractive option for price-sensitive customers.
Araghi said she hasn’t yet been forced to raise prices amid widespread inflation, although she knows it’s happening at other vendors like florists and jewelry stores. However, as shipping costs continue to rise, Araghi says price increases are inevitable.
Will the boom tend to wane?
James Marcum, CEO of weddingwear firm David’s Bridal, thinks the wedding boom and consumer sensitivity to high prices won’t go away anytime soon. That’s why the company invests in loyalty programs and vertically integrated supply chains.
Marcum said he has begun to notice some brides hesitate to splurge thousands of dollars on a dress. David’s Bridal has a pretty extensive selection, with prices ranging from $70 to $2,000.
According to The Wedding Report, brides spent an average of $1,499 on a wedding dress in 2021. That figure is expected to reach $1,527 this year.
By 2024, The Wedding Report predicts the number of weddings held in the US will drop to nearly 2018 levels, at 2.14 million weddings. Couples can rest assured that the venue can then be easily booked. But the price at that time could not be known in advance.
According to CNBC
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