The wedding industry in the Netherlands is making a comeback after the pandemic

CHARLESTON, SC (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 weddings in the United States in 2022. Industry experts said that was the highest number since 1984.

“I would say it’s at least 50% busier for everyone, just with the influx from previous years and all the cancellations,” Taylor Krauser said in describing 2022.

Krauser is a Charleston-based arts destination photographer. She’s been photographing weddings since 2016, but when the pandemic forced many couples to postpone their big day, she had to see her business in a new light.

“I had to make it more online, so incorporate more zoom calls, make people feel comfortable booking me without meeting face-to-face,” Krauser explained.

Now that many couples have rebooked their dates in 2022 and 2023, Krauser’s business, Taylor Jordan Photography, is booked almost every weekend.

It’s a similar story for Patrick Properties Hospitality Group. Couples looking to swap vowels can choose from their five historic downtown Charleston homes, including the American Theater and Lowndes Grove.

Event planner Abby Frye said between the five venues they expect to have over 300 weddings this year. Most of these customers travel to walk the aisle.

“I would say about 90% of our guests are from out of state, we also have a lot of international couples coming in,” Frye said.

As Patrick Properties resumes business, others are just beginning to rise, such as Admiral’s House in North Charleston.

Nestled under Spanish moss in Riverfront Park, the venue was built in 1905 but waited over a century to start hosting weddings.

Since her first wedding in March 2021, the house has quickly become a top destination for engaged couples.

According to Whitney Engel, the Venue Hall Manager for the Riverfront Park venues, they have around 100 events scheduled for the rest of the year. Of these, 89% are marriages.

“We have a very busy year ahead of us and a very busy 2023 as well. And we have even started booking until 2024 for weddings,” Engel said.

Officials said weddings in North Charleston have a positive impact on the city. Amy Heath, the city’s director of tourism, said the national average cost of a wedding was $32,000.

“To do the math at 100 weddings a year, about 32,000 times. That’s great business and a great economic engine for the city,” Heath said.

Although getting to the altar takes a lot of time and planning, bride McKenzie Kelly says it was worth it.

“It will definitely be worth it to realize the whole vision and obviously marry the person I’ve been looking forward to marrying for two years,” Kelly said.

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