Couples who went ahead and got married during tighter pandemic times with few to no guests and are now in their second go-around with larger groups are also contributing to the rush. They compete for services with those who had always intended to marry this year. “We’ve been out of trucks for some dates this year and it’s never happened before,” said Ben Goldberg, co-founder and president of the New York Food Truck Association. “Our phones ring nonstop with clients looking to host weddings they had to postpone during COVID.”
“We see a lot of last minute bookings with shorter scheduling windows,” said Anna Noriega, owner of luxury company Alorè Event Firm in Miami. “With increasingly widespread vaccinations and on-site COVID testing available for events, we have seen an increase in customer numbers and a surge in bookings. “It’s just a very big part of our culture,” Balagopal said of the extravagance. “In the end, it was really important to our parents.”
Now their big celebration takes place on August 15 outdoors at their home location in Park City, Utah, with around 230 guests and multi-day events, including seven clothing changes for the bride and groom. Many of their relatives in India are not allowed to travel to the United States. Above all, she is past the frustration phase of being a pandemic bride.
She and Suhaas Prasad, 33, met in 2014 and got engaged in May 2019. They planned a traditional South Asian Indian wedding last August in Utah, where Balagopal grew up, with 320 guests and events over five days. But they couldn’t get there under the pandemic restrictions. They decided to have a small sunset ceremony this month with less than 10 people in attendance at Muir Beach near San Francisco. This is where they had their first date and where Prasad proposed. Namisha Balagopal, 27, of Emeryville, Calif., Is among the double brides.
The boom is also active in wedding and bridesmaid dresses. “The wedding is going to be so much fun. It’s just deferred gratification at this point, ”smiled Balagopal.
“Couples get super creative and have ceremonies on Thursday evening or Friday afternoon just because of the number of people getting married this year,” Lord said. “We know that 90 percent of brides this year are looking to get married in outdoor locations,” where there are fewer restrictions. “Going forward, it will be an unprecedented wedding season this year,” said Maggie Lord, vice president of David’s whose online wedding planning guide, Rustic Wedding Chic, was acquired by the company. David’s has been tracking vast data on marriages during the pandemic. Economy chain David’s Bridal, with 282 stores in the US and more in the UK, Canada and Mexico, has 300,000 dresses in stock in part due to the drought of weddings in 2020.
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