British Columbia Wedding Industry: Revenue Could Reach $1.5 Billion, Survey Finds

A new survey suggests that wedding industry revenues could reach $1.5 billion in British Columbia this year.

After two years of strict restrictions on wedding celebrations, the wedding industry in British Columbia is back, surpassing pre-COVID levels.

A new investigation by HelloSafe finds that the industry has already generated $145 million in revenue in the first half of 2022. The website, which has been comparing insurance and financial products since 2021, predicts the industry will register $1.5 billion in revenue. income this year.

From January to June 2022, HelloSafe reports that 9,864 weddings were performed due to postponement or cancellation in the past two years. This is an increase of 2.9% compared to the first half of marriages celebrated in 2019.

For a wedding planner in Vancouver, it was “heaven and hell”.

Nicky Lau, owner and main event planner of Unique eventssays it’s heaven because “nowadays we can actually have weddings”.

“It’s incredible right now. It’s non-stop: weddings every weekend, even on weekdays too. So the demand for weddings is clearly increasing. This could be due to the accumulation… the last two, three years,” Lau said.

“Next year is actually very stable like this year. I feel like the whole wedding industry is going up in terms of sales and quantities and stuff, so people want maybe celebrate more these days.”

The main challenge for Lau’s customers has been the ongoing complications of air travel: flight delays and cancellations.

“Vancouver’s family come from all over the world. We’ve noticed there are some cancellations like last minute because people will just say, ‘I can’t go. And flights don’t fly there. And so we still have lingering challenges because of COVID.

For last-minute cancellations, though couples still have to pay for services like catering, Lau says there are solutions to compensate guests who ultimately couldn’t attend the ceremony.

“I would say at least 5-10% of people don’t show up for the wedding. Unfortunately, they are not able to get that money back. So we normally find a few solutions: some places let them take [the food] go. We usually pack it for them. …Or, if some venues don’t allow it, we normally make sure these meals are served during dinner so at least someone else can have more food.”

Lau is not alone in being flexible when providing wedding celebration services with COVID-19 continuing to pose hurdles.

Cristie Rosling of Umbrella Events in Vancouver says the first full season of “post-pandemic” weddings has brought unforeseen hurdles for the team.

“COVID management is always an ongoing issue. Unfortunately, we have encountered situations where our clients have contracted COVID days before their wedding. Last minute pivoting in planning is part of the job, but it’s so sad to d ‘have worked with our clients planning the wedding of their dreams, and they can’t even attend.’

That being said, Rosling says none of his clients canceled; instead, she says they switched to an outdoor wedding and hosted a reception for their guests, although they couldn’t be there themselves.

Like Lau, Rosling says their backlog from previous years is all but cleared.

And while wedding planners must continue to work around an ongoing pandemic, Rosling says some weddings have been canceled for reasons unrelated to COVID.

“Some couples have called off their weddings entirely or have changed their wedding plans so that they no longer marry in Vancouver. three years on their marriages. It’s a little sadder than usual when we can finally celebrate their marriage, and then we have to separate,” she says.

Although Lau hopes another lockdown doesn’t happen, he says One&Only Events has a company-specific policy for future strangers.

“We actually honor the deposit and they can use that credit as a future booking if they want to reschedule and postpone the wedding with us. Or they can give it to someone else, and they can use that credit. So it’s not stuck with them. So at least they know the money doesn’t just disappear.”

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