Wedding bookings and costs up in 2022 after COVID-19 postponements

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 10:30 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - From something blue to the “I do,” couples booking their dream venue are not only having to start planning earlier,but also save more for their big day.

After being forced to cancel because of the pandemic, many couples are getting geared up to walk down the aisle this year.

But with that higher demand, there’s more competition for wedding dates and venues.

″It has increased dramatically this year so we’re pretty much up to our pre-COVID levels right now and getting busier,” La Mariposa general manager Steve Brennan said.

Wedding bells are ringing quite a bit more this year. Brennan says they moved around 75 weddings that were scheduled during the pandemic. Next Saturday, will be their final, rescheduled COVID wedding.

Meanwhile, new bookings are through the roof.

“If you want a Saturday, it’s like a year and a half. I have people calling for 2024 already. We really haven’t started booking 2024 because we really can’t predict the food costs and things like that so we’re waiting on 2024. But we’re booking a lot of 2023 events and that’s filling up pretty rapidly,” he said.

Brennan says they’ve had to bring on new staff to help deal with the increase. One of the new staff members is Kacie Jacka, the event manager at La Mariposa.

“We’re getting just so busy because everything kind of came to a halt here in 2020 because of the pandemic and now we’re in the recuperating season of that and we are just booking weddings left and right,” Jacka said.

She says she gets anywhere from 50-100 calls a week for new bookings.

Sheila Millette, owner of Kingan Gardens, says supply chain and gas prices are driving up wedding prices.

“Everything that we use to supply our venue, from toilet paper, paper towels, plastic things, food, everything that we use for the venue has increased,” she explained.

Though weekends are typically the most desired days for weddings, Kingan Gardens offers their venues to engaged couples every day of the week. She says weekdays are also booking fast. They’ve had to increase their cost about $600 per wedding, but if you book during the week, you’ll be able to save a little.

“If they love the venue, most of them will switch to a different day. We do Monday through Sunday, so we’ll do any day of the week and we do discounts for weekdays so even if their heart was set on a Saturday in November, sometimes they’ll take a Thursday or a Monday just to be able to do it,” she said.

Millette’s advice for couples looking to get married is to be flexible and pick a date and venue as soon as possible.

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