Wedding industry booming as Upstate couples forced to get creative

GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – According to local wedding planners and brides to be, more Upstate brides than ever are saying ‘yes to the dress’ and getting married!

Local businesses–telling FOX Carolina that all these couples planning their big day around the same is creating competition for dates, space, and dresses as they head to the altar.

It’s no secret the pandemic has played a role in this boom, but those we spoke to say the jam-packed nature of things isn’t doing anything to dim their excitement.

“We’re engaged, getting married in a few short months. Like 121 days. Not that I’m counting or anything!” exclaimed future bride Haleigh Bishop.

Bishop told FOX Carolina she’s over the moon to be marrying her future husband Blake in October, especially after all the effort they’ve put into planning.

“I think flexibility is key,” she said.

She added she feels lucky to be getting married on a Saturday, all things considered.

“I think a lot of Brides are having to do Thursdays and Fridays,” Bishop said.

“Everything’s been booked up for my date, so it’s been hard to find vendors available, especially for everything specific I want,” she added.

“It’s been really, really intense lately, which is a good thing for us,” said Audry Dow, bridal consultant and store manager at The Dressing Room South in downtown Greenville.

We caught up with her and store owner Amelia Horr Thursday as they helped Haleigh pick out the perfect gown for her wedding day.

Dow says it’s not just venues that are hard to pin down right now; shipping times for dresses are also longer than usual too.

“I think people aren’t afraid to plan weddings any more,” Dow told FOX Carolina. “They’re not afraid the world is gonna shut down again.”

“Business is up two-fold, both in traffic and sales,” added Horr.

Amelia says she believes COVID has played a big role in all this. She says some brides may have even gotten married on paper during the pandemic, but are now looking to have that big family party to celebrate their unions.

“We’ve actually changed our business hours to accommodate additional brides,” Horr said.

She and Dow both say their message to anyone thinking about marriage right now is: plan way ahead.

“A lot of our brides are doing non-traditional days of the week,” Dow said. “I have many that will do a Friday or Sunday. Even some do midweek. They’re getting really creative.”

Wedding venues FOX Carolina reached out to say they’re having peak days 4 or 5 times a week now, starting as early as Wednesday and Thursday. Some also say they’re booked out through the end of the year.