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  • Alexis Alvarez

US99 Interview: How Wedding Planning Has Changed from 2019 to 2020 to 2021 and Beyond

Wedding planning changes in 2021 2022 2023

Our CEO, Alexis Alvarez, sat down with Melissa & Austin at US99 to talk about how couples planned Chicago weddings in 2019 and 2020 and how they're planning in 2021 and beyond.

Q: So, how have things been with couples getting back into wedding planning again?

A: 2019 was the land of should-haves & have-tos for weddings. Couples had clear-cut lists on what vendors they wanted to hire and who they wanted to invite for their celebration.

Then 2020 completely flipped that on its head.

Now that we’re starting to emerge from the thick of the pandemic, it’s been so interesting to see how couples have begun moving forward. There have been so many unexpected and special shifts in the wedding world thanks to the pandemic.

Q: What are some of those differences you’ve seen?

A: Couples have developed crystal clear boundaries -- what they want and what they don’t want. Couples are moving away from this “have to” or “should do” mindset and embracing the individuality of their big day. Say goodbye to the cookie-cutter wedding planning experience!

Couples are really looking to hire the vendors that they WANT to hire. Our team recently chatted with a couple that really cares about giving their guests a special experience, and they plan on funneling a majority of their budget into food and music to make this happen. They might not spend any money on decor because it’s just not something that is important to them.

Another shift has been with guest count. The pandemic gave couples the permission to say I don’t want to invite my great Aunt’s third cousin and are instead being more conscientious about who they’re inviting. We’re even seeing this with couples whose weddings are (hopefully) not affected by the pandemic in 2022 or 2023.

Q: In your work in weddings from 2019 until now, have you seen an uptick in wedding budgets?

A: For some couples, there have been shifts with their budgets. But for the majority, it’s more about how they’re spending their budget, rather than increasing or decreasing the amount.

Q: And where are you seeing those budget shifts for what couples are spending on? Is there a certain area they’re pulling back on?

A: That really just depends on the couple. For a couple this doesn’t care as much about the experiential factors, they may put more money into getting a venue that really fits their vision. They might allot more of their budget towards floral and stationery so they can really achieve that look they're going for.

Overall, planning and budgeting have really become more priority-based than it ever has been. Rather than saying these are the vendors you’ll need to hire and we’re going to hire every one of them, it’s becoming so much more about where the couple’s priorities lie.

Tune in next week to US99 for more of Alexis’s tips, tricks, and trends!

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