FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As the CDC has dramatically lifted COVID-19 restrictions since last summer, the nation has seen a ‘wedding boom,’ leaving bridal shops in high demand— and boutiques in Fort Wayne are no exception to this trend.
“This is generally kind of a slow time for us and we have been insanely busy with lots of excited brides ready to say ‘yes’ for sure,” said Kirsten Bohnke, the manager at I Do Bridal Boutique. “This year it’s definitely bounced back from last year, brides are no longer concerned about whether their weddings are happening or not.”
Bohnke said she’s noticed “a lot more” brides getting married this summer than in the past. Her boutique’s sales are up 50 percent.
Lori Pontsler, a wedding consultant said she’s found a lot brides who had smaller ceremonies last year, are choosing to have bigger ceremonies a year later.
“So it’s kind of fun you get to wear your dress two times,” said Pontsler.
This boom has impacted some local wedding venues as well. Bohnke said she’s learned from talking with customers that some venues are already booked “pretty far out” in advance.
“There are some places I know are booked out through 2023 now because all the 2020 brides moved into 2021, pushing the 2022 brides back and so on and so forth,” said Bohnke.
For example, Union 12 in Whitley County during peak wedding season, which is April 1 through October 31, is booked through most of 2021 and 2022 already.
However, not all local venues are seeing this same surge.
Kruse Plaza is DeKalb County has reception openings as soon as August 2021 for guests lists ranging anywhere from 100 to 425 people.
The Landmark Center is in a similar boat with having several openings still available for this summer. Its employees attribute this to some people still being wary of big crowds.
“People are feeling, not very secure, especially with their loved ones and older loved ones,” said Leslie Velchiz, the venue’s customer service coordinator. “What if COVID gets worse? They’re always constantly asking those type of questions, especially when it’s time to sign a contract.”
I Do Bridal Boutique is currently running a sample sale for brides looking to make a quick purchase. For more information, click here.