Local wedding industry booming amid eased restrictions

Industry experiencing busy wedding season
Updated: Jun. 5, 2021 at 8:54 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - After a year like none other, the wedding scene is officially back in action.

With COVID-19 in the rearview and restrictions lifted, many couples are cashing in on the chance to say, “I do.”

But for some, it’s a tough path to navigate before even walking down the aisle.

“There are a lot of photographers now that are booked out and weren’t available for August even though I inquired back in January,” said Bailey Graddon, who is getting married this summer.

Photographers in the area are busier than ever.

“We’re seeing reschedules from last year and already scheduled weddings for this year,” said Summer Lambert, a photographer for The Story Creative. “So it’s double time. We are seeing more weddings on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I’ve even had a Tuesday wedding.”

And the ring industry is trying to keep up with the demand.

“Ring sales are up and engagement ring sales are up,” said Josh Perry, manager of Perry’s Emporium. “It’s causing a little bit of a shortage in the marketplace right now. So it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you’re thinking about getting a ring. Now is the time to do it before we run out.”

Bridal shops are ready to help brides finally find the perfect dress.

“They look through all these styles,” said Katy Shores, who is a stylist and content manager at Camille’s of Wilmington. “They’re willing to try on just about anything because they’re just so excited. Even if it’s not what their original vision was, they’re just so open to trying new things because they finally can.”

And with wedding invitations flooding mailboxes, many are using their vacation time to attend the ceremonies of their loved ones.

“Not a lot of free weekends in the near future, which is a good problem to have,” said Graddon.

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