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“It looked different every week,” pandemic causing wedding backlog

Couples hoping to get married this year now must postpone plans.
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 8:51 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - It’s the day some have always dreamed of, but it may have to wait longer than they thought.

Weddings are catching up in 2021, as couples who planned to tie the knot in 2020 postponed the event to this year.

But that means pushing back everything, including plans for people who had hoped to get married this year originally.

Taylor Lowe and her husband got married at Castleton Farms in June of 2020, just as restrictions started to loosen, but not without lots of thought.

“The day-of it was still like, ‘are we really doing this?’ I think the number one thing were our grandparents and the unknown of what could happen.” she said.

Lowe says she considered all the options before deciding to cut down her guest list and add several COVID precautions like sanitizing stations, masks and making it fully outdoors.

“It was a surprise for everybody, so week by week, we just had a plan of either to reschedule the wedding to next year -- that was the number one on my list at first just because we didn’t know what’s going to happen,” Lowe said. “Maybe just to have a ceremony, and just have family there -- or just to get through with it. And so every week we would re-evaluate.”

Lowe says another factor for going through with her wedding was that most of the vendors she had planned on for her June date were already booked through 2021.

According to a report from theknot.com, nearly half of all engaged couples in 2020 decided to postpone their ceremonies to 2021, and many made plans quickly during lockdown in early 2020.

The report says not only are weddings back this year, but that it will be a consolidated period of celebrations.

And because of that, things like venues, caterers, photographers and planners already full through this year and into next year to catch up.

Castleton Farms in Loudon is a popular outdoor wedding venue for couples in East Tennessee.

Executive Director Danyelle McGrath says the pushed-back plans could continue for a few more years, and doesn’t expect the industry to level out until 2023.

She says it’s driving some people to book so quickly, they’re visiting the venue without being engaged yet.

“It’s kind of a trend we’re starting to see a lot of couples that are in serious relationships, they might know that its coming, but he hasn’t got down on one knee and popped the question yet,” said McGrath.

McGrath says her best advice is to stay flexible with what you want, or have the patience to wait it out.

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