CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – After the pandemic forced many couples to postpone their weddings, the wedding industry is making a comeback two years later.
The Wedding Report predicts there will be nearly 2.5 million U.S. weddings in 2022. Industry experts said this is the highest number since 1984.
“I would say it’s at least 50% busier for everybody, just with the influx from the years prior and all of the cancelations,” said Taylor Krauser when describing 2022.
Krauser is a Charleston-based fine art destination photographer. She’s been shooting weddings since 2016, but when the pandemic forced many couples to push back their big day, she had to see her business through a new lens.
“I had to make it more online-based, so integrating more zoom calls, making people feel comfortable with booking me without meeting face to face,” explained Krauser.
Now that many couples resaved their date in 2022 and 2023, Krauser’s business, Taylor Jordan Photography, is booked nearly every weekend.
It’s a similar story for Patrick Properties Hospitality Group. Couples eager to exchange vowels can choose from their five historic homes in Downtown Charleston, including the American Theater and Lowndes Grove.
Event planner Abby Frye said between all five locations, they expect to have more than 300 weddings this year. Most of those clients are traveling to walk down the aisle.
“I would say about 90% of our clients are from out of state, we do have a lot of international couples coming in as well,” said Frye.
As Patrick Properties is getting their business back, others are just getting off their feet – like the Admiral’s House in North Charleston.
Nestled under the Spanish moss in Riverfront Park, the venue was built in 1905 but waited more than a century to start hosting weddings.
Since its first wedding in March 2021, the home has quickly become a premier destination for engaged couples.
According to Whitney Engel, the Venue House Manager for the Venues at Riverfront Park, they have about 100 events scheduled through the rest of the year. Of those, 89% are weddings.
“We have a very busy year ahead of us and a very busy 2023 as well. And we’ve even started booking into 2024 for weddings,” said Engel.
Officials said weddings in North Charleston are making a positive impact on the city. Amy Heath, the city’s Director of Tourism, said the national average cost of a wedding is $32,000.
“Doing the math at 100 weddings per year, approximately times 32,000. It’s a great business and a great economic driver for the city,” said Heath.
While getting to the altar takes a lot of time and planning, bride McKenzie Kelly said it is all worth it.
“It’s definitely going to be worth it to have the entire vision come true and obviously get to marry the person that I’ve been looking forward to marrying for the last couple of years,” said Kelly.