Record 2022 weddings predicted, area venues booking fast

Wedding venues and vendors are booking up fast for 2022.

Dayton Arcade Event Director Shannon Lindenauer said this is the busiest she’s been since entering the industry.

“We are completely booked for Saturdays in 2022, and are pretty well booked on Fridays as well,” she said.

Pandemic postponements are expected to help drive a record number of weddings this year, according to The Wedding Report.

Nationally, the market report forecasts 2.47 million weddings this year, up from 1.27 million in 2020 and 1.93 million in 2021. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, The Wedding Report ballparked 2.13 million weddings were held.

Carli Dixon, owner of The Brightside Dayton, said the event venue is hosting a record number of weddings this year.

“We’ve only been in business four years, so we’re in part of a growth cycle anyway, but we are fully booked for Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for the rest of the year and have 45 bookings for 2023 already,” Dixon said.

The high number of weddings may have a lot to do with the aftermath of COVID, Dixon said. With many choosing to stay in more and spend less, she said this time may have allowed some people to save up in preparation for a wedding.

“I also think after a year or two of not coming together, it’s had a more profound affect on us than maybe we realized, and that desire to be in community and with others is more prevalent,” Dixon said.

Lindenauer said because may couples had a small ceremony and are following up later with a bigger party that they got creative with the ceremony, and she’s been enjoying seeing unique elements and styles with people’s plans.

Vendors repeatedly gave two tips for couples getting married this season: line up your plans early and keep an open mind.

“Book your vendors early, because people are already booking up,” said wedding planner Rachael Zink, who owns Happily Ever Events and works in the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus areas.

“If you fall in love with a particular venue, securing the date is more important than it’s been in the past,” Dixon said.

Zink said she sees people branching out beyond traditional options, and enjoying trying different things.

“I just got off a meeting with somebody that said they were having Chick-fil-A at their wedding, Bill’s Donuts, and LaRosa’s Pizza and that sounds like an amazing night,” Zink said. “If you’re finding that vendors are booked up, just think outside the box.”

Dixon also encouraged people to think creatively.

“We’ve had great success with Thursday night weddings and Sunday morning brunch weddings,” she said. “I think detaching from having all those expectations of it being an all-day Saturday situation really frees up the vendors and there’s a lot of flexibility and ease that comes from considering that option.”

For people still looking for somewhere for their ceremony or reception, Valerie Claggett, permit coordinator at Five Rivers Metro Parks, said they have options throughout the parks system

Those considering a wedding at a park should pay heed to the rules and regulations, she advised, and first understand what requires special permits and what might not be allowed.

Five Rivers has a list of recommended wedding locations at, from overlooks to gardens. But she also encouraged people to call 937-274-3127 and talk through options.

“We have so many options in natural settings and it’s really fun for me to work with people, and understand what they’re looking for and find good solutions,” Claggett said.