By Ashton Brooks Logan
Summer is upon us and love is in the air, and apparently the cost of love is increasing.
According to TheKnot.com, a new trending wedding-planning app, there are 2.6 million expected weddings for 2022. This is the biggest year for weddings since 1984.
“You know, during COVID, we were cooped up in our houses, we were shut down, we couldn’t do anything,” said Caroline Haynes, an University graduate student who is getting married in Oxford this summer.” “I think a lot of people are like ‘c’est la vie, let’s get married, life’s short and we don’t know what is going to happen next year.’ ”
Haynes and her fiance, Joseph Wright, are set to be wed on July 16 at Paris-Yates Chapel on the University of Mississippi’s campus with a reception to follow at the Isom House.
According to Shane McMurray, founder of The Wedding Report, expenses for getting hitched will drive up the average cost of a wedding this year to around $27,000, up from roughly $24,000 pre-pandemic.
This is no surprise to Oxford event planners and venue coordinators, so they have planned ahead to accommodate their clients.
“We tend to help people,” said Kelly Bell, the venue manager of the historic Isom House. “If they are 50 people or less, we cut the price in half to accommodate them.”
Bell saus the busy wedding season has her staff encouraging brides and grooms to book or secure a date with a deposit as soon as possible.
With all the craziness that this wedding season is bringing, many are hiring event planners to aid in the chaos.
Ellen Thomas, an event planner in Oxford, launched her career in Nashville, where she planned weddings, corporate events and music industry events for some of the top music labels and artists in the United States.
“Obviously, everything is more expensive because that’s the world we are living in,” said Thomas. “Food is going up, flowers are going up, your venue, price is going up. Every year they do, I think this year it is even more”
Thomas says that because of COVID and this season, her busines has skyrocketed as many of her wedding parties did not cancel but simply moved their date.
“It’s such a blessing,” said Thomas. “Yes, I did slow down, but I really think that one of them canceled, two maybe, but it was just moving all of those into another year.”
Both Bell and Thomas encourage brides and grooms to plan so everything is there the day of the wedding and runs smoothly so that the couple can enjoy their special day with loved ones, family and friends.