MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Brides see differences when it comes to saying “yes.” The coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of things and weddings are no exception.

Organizing a wedding can already be stressful for some brides. Add in ever-changing restrictions, delays and supply shortages, and you get the experience of today’s brides.

“I got engaged about a month ago,” Kamryn Harvey said. “It’s a bit overwhelming just because there’s so much that comes into play that I didn’t really realize.”

Change happens quickly and often, and it’s a challenge Gulf Coast suppliers also face.

“Initially we had a lot of cancellations,” said Leticia McLaughlin, owner of Bella weddings by the sea. “March, April, May, tons of refunds, but in June during the pandemic, we started getting brides from everywhere.”

Wedding shows have also taken a big hit. Virginia McKean, owner of Marriages to brag about has seen a drop in emissions since the start of the pandemic.

“Weddings to Brag About has grown from the largest bridal show in the United States per capita to a room-sized show,” McKean said. “We used to have between 119 and 137 vendors at one of our shows, and we averaged 300 brides at every show we ever did.”

The show is now quite different. “We haven’t done a show in two years,” McKean said. “It would have been our 22nd year of production since we started Weddings to Brag About, but we lost two years due to Covid, so now we’re in our 20th year of production.”

The show is back, and so are a lot of weddings. “Everyone is catching up now, so we have all the weddings that have been postponed and plus the new weddings,” Wesley Lowe said.

Bride Taylor Stanley is getting married this fall. “We got engaged last October, so we kind of started planning for a year,” Stanley said.

Industry experts told WKRG News 5, align your suppliers is their number one recommendation for the big day.

“We see brides booking beach weddings two years in advance,” Mclaughlin said.

Bride Kamryn Harvey still has plenty of time left, but she said she was already starting to feel the deadline approaching. “We’re probably about a year away because we’re thinking about April of next year, so I’m afraid they’ll all be booked,” Harvey said.

If you’re not sure which date you need to book, the second recommendation is for you: check in and see how far you have to get things done.

Some things now take longer, and it may be different for every vendor, including Bonnie Carter, who owns I do wedding and formal.

“It currently takes six to nine months to get wedding dresses that have been affected by the pandemic,” Carter said.

Our third recommendation, and arguably the most important, is to have fun, but don’t go overboard with your budget. One thing that makes brides a little more individual is the dresses they choose. “Black is here,” Carter said. “It’s a very strong fashion this year.”

Flowers are also experiencing several different trends. “It’s feathers, so we get some really cool stuff, and that’s why I added the feathers to this one,” Mclaughlin said.

Whether you choose a different dress or unique flowers, choose what makes you happy on your special day!

“Take the moment to really enjoy the new season of your life because things are about to get really crazy,” Harvey said.

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