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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Dress shops, florists and more wedding vendors seeing surge in business

The COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of couples to cancel or postpone their weddings in 2020. Now, things are starting to look up for vendors.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Wedding vendors are expected to thrive this year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced many couples to postpone or completely cancel their nuptials in 2020. 

According to the Wedding Report, a surge in weddings is expected to happen in 2022, with many couples booking vendors now.

A lot of these vendors are small businesses that rely on the wedding industry to make the most of their money. Some found ways to get creative in 2020, but now businesses are slowly inching back to normalcy.

The owner of Weddings by Design and The Tux Shop, Melissa Alger, said the shop is almost where it was pre-pandemic.

“We had a lot of brides that just pushed their weddings back and a lot of them now are going on," Alger said to Local 5's Lakyn McGee. "So, we’re just now able to get those brides through the door that were supposed to get married last year.”

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Weddings by Design closed its doors for five weeks. Now, business is thriving.

James McGowan and Gabbie Ledbsna got engaged in 2020. They pushed their wedding back to 2022 in hopes of normalcy. 

"We tried to stay clear of 2021 because we weren’t sure if COVID was going to work out," said Ledbsna. "Also, everyone that had their weddings canceled in 2020 pushed to 2021.”

“We are super busy," explained Kelsey Bown, the bridal shop's manager.

"We had actually, I felt terrible for one, she found out two days prior to her wedding that she tested positive for COVID," said Bown. "But things are getting back to normal."

Eli Fox is a photographer and videographer in Des Moines. He said he is hoping his business is on track to come out of the pandemic stronger than ever. 

"We've been getting calls just for people to plan for after the pandemic because they wanted to get their photoshoot," Fox told Local 5's Jon Diaz.

Meanwhile across town, event florist Sophie Ballmer said she's also experiencing growth in her business. 

"For 2022, I'm booking out further than I ever have before," Ballmer said. 

It's a welcomed trend for these vendors, and according to event planner Sue Bennet, it's a nationwide trend. 

"We've had the biggest April that we have seen in our company's history," Bennet said. "Everything from DJ to flowers to photography and a lot of it is last minute. People are just really excited that they can celebrate and gather with their family and friends."

A word of advice for those looking to get married in 2022— start booking before vendors fill up with clients. 

RELATED: Brides and grooms look to move forward in 2021

Watch: Iowa couple recreates wedding photos 50 years later