Puget Sound wedding industry springs back to life ahead of state reopening

Wedding bookings are already beginning to fill up. (Heather Townsend, courtesy photo)

At a wedding dress boutique in Seattle, Stacey Gimmestad looks over her sparkling, lacy inventory between visits with brides.

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A lot of brides.

“They’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting,” Gimmestad said. “They’re like ‘we just want to do this.’”

La Belle Elaine’s Bridal is seeing a surge of business, as is Holly Olsen’s Perfectly Posh Events planning company.

“I think it’s just going to be a very, very busy summer,” Olsen said.

She was so busy, KIRO Radio was only able to speak to her by phone as she dashed from one appointment to another.

Arista Catering owner Brett Willard also confirmed the wedding industry is back and booming.

“The last two weeks, holy cow!” Willard said.

Between Sunday and Tuesday of this week, he says he’s seen more business than he did in the entire month of February.

He says everything picked up shortly after the governor announced the state would fully reopen on June 30.

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“Probably since Memorial Day, our inquiries just exploded,” he said. “Everybody wants to do all the things at almost the exact same time.”

After a year when wedding venues and vendors were shut down by the pandemic — some permanently — those who remain are scrambling to meet demand.

That’s seeing postponed 2020 weddings getting re-booked and 2021 nuptials scheduled.

Gimmestad said some couples are being flexible, “doing events on a Thursday evening, a Friday evening, a lot of Sunday events, just to find venues and vendors that are available.”

Others are being patient and waiting until they can have the exact wedding of their dreams.

But don’t wait too long — vendors and venues say they’re quickly filling up their 2023 calendars, and are eager at the chance to do business and bring smiles.

“People are just deciding it’s time to have a party,” Willard said.