Industry status

Local wedding vendors weigh in on industry status, seeing surge in bookings

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) – Brides-to-be in central Illinois had the opportunity to plan the wedding of their dreams with the help of approximately 40 event and wedding vendors.

The bi-annual Elegant Bridal Expo on Sunday afternoon was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington.

A local events coordinator and owner of Bird Nest Events, Hannah Francis, said the wedding industry is booming as wedding season approaches.

“So the wedding industry is definitely [seeing] tons and tons of bookings,” Francis said. “I think everyone kind of held back because of the pandemic.”

She said small, intimate weddings are increasingly becoming a trend.

“Many venues have seen a decrease in the number of guests people invite,” Francis said.

Other vendors included florists, caterers and ordained ministers.

Janet Brotherton, owner of Lindsay Lane Bridal, said her business was now stable after the financial hit from the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“[2020] was tough, but 21 was the best year we’ve ever had and I’ve been in business since 2005,” she said, “so we’ve seen a remarkable recovery.

Brotherton said the wedding industry still faces many problems due to global supply chain issues. There are often delays in shipping.

She also said the natural gas shortage affects not only the cost of transportation, but also what you wear down the aisle.

“We are seeing prices go up because, as people don’t realize, gas prices not only affect transportation but also manufacturing. Because when you have a dress that has beads or sequins or beads, those are petroleum by-products. So of course that’s going to drive the prices up on that.

More information about the Elegant Bridal Expo vendors can be found here.