FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – As the CDC has significantly lifted COVID-19 restrictions since last summer, the country has experienced a “wedding boom,” leaving bridal shops in high demand – and boutiques. Fort Wayne is no exception to this trending rule.
“It’s usually a pretty slow time for us and we’ve been incredibly busy with a lot of excited brides ready to say ‘yes’ for sure,” said Kirsten Bohnke, director of I Do Bridal Boutique. “This year it has definitely bounced back from last year, brides don’t care if their weddings take place or not.”
Bohnke said she noticed “a lot more” brides getting married this summer than in the past. The sales of his shop have increased by 50%.
Lori Pontsler, a marriage consultant, said she has found many brides who had smaller ceremonies last year, who choose to have larger ceremonies a year later.
“So it’s pretty fun to wear your dress twice,” Pontsler said.
This boom has also had an impact on some local wedding venues. Bohnke said she learned from chatting with clients that some sites were already booked “quite far” in advance.
“I know some places are booked until 2023 now because all of the brides from 2020 have entered 2021, pushing brides off to 2022 and so on,” Bohnke said.
For example, Union 12 in Whitley County during peak wedding season, April 1 through October 31, is already booked for most of 2021 and 2022.
However, not all local sites are experiencing this same surge.
Kruse Plaza in DeKalb County opens in August 2021 for guest lists ranging from 100 to 425 people.
The Landmark Center is in a similar boat with several openings still available for this summer. Its employees attribute this to the fact that some people are still wary of large crowds.
“People don’t feel very safe, especially with their loved ones and older relatives,” said Leslie Velchiz, the site’s customer service coordinator. “What if COVID got worse? They constantly ask these kinds of questions, especially when it’s time to sign a contract.
I Do Bridal Boutique is currently holding a sample sale for brides who want to make a quick purchase. For more information, click here.