‘People are ready to party’: Summit County wedding planners see a boon for business

Members of a wedding party hold flower arrangements from Petal and Bean in Frisco. Summit County wedding planners and florists are seeing business boom after the COVID-19 pandemic put major events on hold.
Visual of the base camp / courtesy photo

After nearly two years of COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings and events, wedding planners are starting to see business pick up.

The wedding industry has been hit hard during the pandemic. Wedding planners, florists and venue organizers had to adhere to strict restrictions on capacity, spacing and masking, which deprived ceremonies of fanfare and celebration.

In June 2020, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment limited wedding ceremonies and other events to 50% capacity, capping the total number of attendees at 50 people. However, receptions were subject to stricter regulations, limiting the number of people based on a space calculator for indoor and outdoor events.



Many 2020 couples have found themselves completely rethinking parties and postponing them until big events feel safer. Others opted for smaller gatherings with fewer than 10 people. It has been a stressful time for professionals, especially those who experience destination weddings in Summit County.

In 2022, that all changed.



“2022 is bananas,” said Elizabeth Long, owner of Distinctive Mountain Events in Breckenridge. “It’s crazy. People are ready to party.

Long said she’s been having a banner year, with couples wanting bigger and more elaborate celebrations, and she’s not the only wedding planner benefiting from the uptick in business.

Kayle Burns, owner of Petal and Bean, said her flower arrangement and event planning business in Breckenridge is fully booked from Memorial Day to Labor Day, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels.

Members of a wedding party hold flower arrangements from Petal and Bean in Frisco. Summit County wedding planners and florists are seeing business pick up after the COVID-19 pandemic put major events on hold.
Visual of the base camp / courtesy photo

Burns and Long noticed a big difference in the number of people planning to attend Summit County weddings.

“People haven’t done things for so long, so they’re finally ready to get out there, travel and host events,” Burns said.

Long said she sees “yes rates” hovering around 80% to 90%, when they were normally around 60% to 70% during the pandemic.

Wedding planners have also held larger weddings, sometimes with as many as 200-250 people. Couples are opting for more space, more flowers and more food after being at home for so long.

Many couples who postponed their wedding in 2020 because of the pandemic got married in 2021, Burns and Long said. However, these marriages were still affected by COVID-19 as the delta and omicron variants soared and restrictions remained in place.

“For the summer of 2021, (the pandemic) was definitely on everyone’s mind,” Long said. “It was hidden. It was something that was still there.”

Although 2022 may be without restrictions, the pandemic remains a concern for some couples. Long said she’s seen a trend of couples opting for larger dance spaces, which wasn’t as common before the pandemic.

Planners have also seen a move toward using online services to manage save dates, invitations, and other communications with guests. But without restrictions, planners feel more confident than they have in the past two years when it comes to demand for goods and services.

“Even in 2021, we had to talk about restrictions, and we don’t talk about it anymore,” Burns said. “Things are as normal as they come.”

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