Is your mailbox flooded with save-the-dates and wedding invitations? If it seems like everyone is rushing to the altar this year, you’re not imagining things. In the wake of major world-changing events (and subsequent nuptial cancellations) over the past two years, many couples are deciding to make 2022 their wedding year. In fact, a whopping 2.5 million weddings are expected to happen in the United States this year — the most since 1984.
If you’re among those walking down the aisle in 2022, competition from your fellow brides and grooms for venues and vendors will likely be fiercer than ever before. Another speed bump down the road to the altar? Higher prices as a result of inflation.
If you have some questions and concerns about pulling off your dream wedding in our new reality, here’s what to expect and how you can adapt.
Mind the calendar
It’s particularly important to book your venue and other vendors in advance as you’ll be competing with couples who planned to get married in 2022, plus those who postponed within the past two years.
While elements like the venue, catering and officiant might be obvious, don’t overlook other details that also need advanced planning. For instance, if you need transportation for you or your guests in the form of a limo or shuttle bus, that should be booked about five months in advance. Handing out favors? Plan to purchase them about three months ahead of the big day to allow enough time for personalization or special packaging.
Have a backup plan for your backup plan
Your wedding is about you, your spouse and celebrating your love, so don’t stress over minor snafus. Always have a backup plan and know that everyone in attendance wants you to enjoy your day to the fullest — and they won’t care if details pivot from your original vision.
Because of the high level of competition for all things wedding, it’s important to manage your expectations and remain flexible. If your first choice is not available, be prepared with a few alternatives. If you’re willing to get married on any day besides Saturday, it will be easier to snag that in-demand venue or popular DJ, and you might save some money, too. And don’t be afraid to think completely outside of the banquet hall. If you’re running into booked venues left and right, consider a backyard wedding, or look into public beaches and parks.
A big lesson learned during the pandemic is the importance of adaptability. Wedding planning can be high-stress, and the more you’re willing to adjust, the easier it will be. Zero in on what matters to you most and recognize you may have to let some things go. If your officiant is running late, keep your guests occupied with a pre-ceremony impromptu happy hour. Spill on your gown during the reception? Photo editing can do wonders, so focus on having fun and realize your album will be picture-perfect, even if it was less than ideal in the moment.
Stay organized with a website
A wedding has a lot of moving parts, so it can be difficult to keep track of it all. Creating a wedding website is one good way to remain on top of things. Your site can serve as a way to communicate details like venue information or directions on booking accommodations to your guests. You can easily create your site for free on sites like The Knot, Zola or Minted.
With flexibility being the name of the game, a website becomes even more vital as an easy way to keep everyone informed. Whether you’re making a last-minute change to the ceremony time or need to add information on group transportation, you can use the website to keep everyone up to date. Scrapped the band in favor of a free Spotify playlist? Invite your guests to make song requests through the site.
Reevaluate your budget
The events of the past two years have motivated many people to reassess their financial habits. A wedding can be a significant financial commitment, and you may feel differently now about how much you want to spend on the day, as well as which aspects are most important to you.
Determine what kind of wedding you want to have. The type of event you envision may have shifted from your initial thoughts. Maybe you thought you wanted a traditional affair in your hometown only to realize you’d rather get away from it all with a destination wedding. Factor in the higher costs associated with inflation, since your big day could call for additional budgeting.
Whether you go fancy or casual, far-flung or close to home, you can take steps to save up for the wedding of your dreams. Figure out your budget priorities, and identify areas where you might be able to cut back in order to splurge on those that matter more to you. Find creative ways to cut costs and save, like thrifting and upcycling.
Saving and planning for a wedding together can be great practice for managing your finances as a couple for years to come. Figure out each of your money styles, and determine what works best for you as a team.
Make wedding magic this year
As we gather with our friends and family in person again, it may be the ideal time to plan a wedding. The world has changed in significant ways and we’re all navigating new and unique challenges, but they won’t stop you from having the wedding you’ve been dreaming of.
Use our buckets tool to start saving for your big day.