Weddings were never cheap even before COVID-19 hit, and two years of the pandemic hasn’t made them any cheaper.
As restrictions continue to loosen in Manitoba, demand for events is rising, but the industry still has a number of hurdles to clear before it’s back to normal.
“We’re struggling to bring staff back, we’re seeing supply chain issues, increase in labour costs, product shortages, flowers have gone up due to inclement weather impacting supply,” event planner Emma Singh told 680 CJOB’s The Start.
“We’re seeing, overall, an almost 20 to 40 per cent increase on almost every budget line for an event.”
Singh said the industry has had to learn to become adaptable and flexible over the past couple of years — and to have contingency plans, as things can change on short notice.
“Things are continually changing,” Singh said. “We do have to follow the restrictions as the government and our health care puts them in place. That’s very important. We’ve had to scale our planning services in order to be adaptable to this.
“The wedding vendors especially are continuing to change and have to modify their services of what they can do and this is affecting rates across the board as we move forward.
“The last time most people held an event was in 2020 and there’s been considerable inflation since then.”
Event planner Courtney Parker of Zairalyn Events pivoted to hosting smaller-scale, pop-up weddings during the pandemic, but says she’s hoping with changing restrictions, her business can get back to some semblance of normalcy.
“I’m crossing my fingers that couples can have the full-day wedding, with a high number of guests, they have been looking for — and that whole large dream wedding they’ve been looking for,” Parker told 680 CJOB’s Connecting Winnipeg.
“I definitely have high hopes, but you never know with the restrictions changing constantly.”
Parker said a number of last year’s weddings have been rescheduled to 2022, in the hopes they’ll be able to go ahead, but she’s also expecting a bit of a rush as restrictions go away.
“With restrictions now lifting at the middle of March with no masks, who knows what could be coming,” Parker said.
“I do hope for the best for weddings.
“Manitoba is known for certain events like socials or weddings in the summer — because we have such a short summer, people want to have that gorgeous wedding.”