Husband kisses wife on cheek.
Linsey Huffaker photographs Emily and John Faughn at their wedding in Adams on May 22, 2021. Photo courtesy of Linsey Huffaker.

The Coronavirus created a massive need in the wedding industry with rescheduled weddings and new 2020 engagements leading to an increase in demand and price increases. 

The influx of weddings has affected wedding vendors and doubled their business. 

“I had 10 weddings scheduled last April through August, and every one of them needed to be reconfigured, ” said Linsey Huffaker, a Nebraska wedding photographer based in Lincoln. “The thing is, I’m only one person. I can only do 1 wedding each Saturday. I had to ask my brides to choose a Friday for the reschedule as to leave my Saturdays free.”

Schae Jouwstra, owner of Kinflower, a floral company in Lincoln, also worked to reschedule her clients. 

“I was quite open and relaxed about rescheduling, probably more than I should have been at the time,” Jouwstra said. “I really worked to fit in each of my clients that rescheduled, and that’s why I ended up with such a full schedule.”

Some vendors were not able to reschedule their client’s weddings and issued refunds. Others took alternatives. Huffaker rescheduled some of her clients for two separate days, one for the wedding, another for the reception or sent an associate shooter in her place if she was unable to schedule them. 

“Most of my brides decided to do a half and half day,” Huffaker said. “They still got married on their original date with close family and then had a reception and/or vow renewal scheduled at a later date. This was a lot of work on my end with contracts, calendars, keeping it all straight.”

The rescheduled weddings in addition to the new bookings, led vendors to booking their max availability.

“I took on a larger number than I ever have at 28 weddings, with many weekends having more than one wedding,” Jouwstra said. “Because of rescheduling, I was forced to schedule differently in order to accommodate my clients and other vendors’ availability.”

Many vendors have also struggled with supply shortages, due to the high demand. For Jouwstra, ordering flowers has been a disaster. 

“Flower prices have doubled. A specific rose variety that I purchased last year for $45 a bunch is now going for $75 a bunch, if I am even able to get them,” Jouwstra said. The demand and the lack of crops planted have created a shortage of staple flowers, such as white roses. These flowers are needed for every recipe.

If flowers are unavailable, Joustra does not have anything for her employees to design and she is forced to cut back the hours that they are depending on.

Weddings have also affected the personal well-being of vendors. 

“I have not been able to take a paycheck since May. The costs of flowers have eaten into my profits in a way where there is nothing left over for me after all of the additional costs,” Joustra said.

The coronavirus has increased the resilience of wedding vendors. “It has made me stronger, and I feel like if I can survive that I can do anything. So it’s not all negative,” Huffaker said.

Some other positive impacts include moving into larger commercial spaces, hiring more staff and delegating tasks. 

For Joustra, she has been able to book her ideal clients. 

“The clients that I have booked seem to be really invested in my work as a whole and are more dedicated to my design aesthetic in comparison to last year,” Jouwstra said. “It seems as though the people that have reached out and end up booking with me are much more in tune with the Kinflower brand that I have established.”