Wedding industry picking up steam, yet local event planners are noticing changes

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Posted at 12:42 PM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-12 09:31:06-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – With COVID restrictions lifted, the wedding and event industry is starting to get busy with eager couples.

Kelsey Leeper, the venue manager for the Historic Post Office in Hampton, said, “While we are ecstatic that we are back in business with no COVID restrictions, we are still suffering from the lack of financial aid towards the wedding industry for all the canceled and postponed events the last two years.”

Couples seem to be more flexible about the time of year they’re hosting a wedding, according to event planner Apryl Roberts, who runs Memorable Events by Apryl.

Roberts recommends brides give themselves a year to plan and research, and also suggests having a budget limit ahead of time.

While most venues have lifted mask mandates, Roberts said that guests at a wedding last weekend decided to wear face masks anyway. She did say that more people are wanting a traditional wedding instead of “micro weddings,” where the number of guests was very much limited due to COVID restrictions.

“We are seeing smaller weddings and many more weekday weddings," Leeper said. "It seems like, since the pandemic, that wedding guests are more likely to cancel last minute as well.”

As for those planning, Roberts recommends that those on a tight budget check whether bridal shops have a consignment section with discounted dresses. She said sometimes it’s not advertised.

Though many bridal expos are held in January and February to plan for the upcoming season, there are a few events in the spring and summer in Hampton Roads.

There’s an expo advertised for March 27 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Click here for more information.

There’s also a Summer Social held in July for those planning a non-summer wedding. Find more information here.

Virginia Beach is also hosting a bridal expo in June. Click here for details. The Chesapeake Conference Center also has wedding specials.