TAMPA, Fla. - Planning a wedding is no small task. Throw in a pandemic, closed venues, travel restrictions and guest limitations on top of the usual stress, and pretty quickly that dream day can turn into a nightmare.
"For a lot of these brides and couples, they’ve been looking forward to this date and now all of a sudden they can’t have this date and we have to find another date, and in some cases a third date," said Lindsay Jimison, owner of Events by Lindsay J.
For 13 years, Jimison has helped brides plan and prepare for their big wedding day.
"You become, as a planner, really emotionally connected to your clients," said Jimison. "They all become like my friends."
So those calls to brides letting them know their big day wasn’t going to happen were difficult.
"It’s like telling your friends, ‘I’m sorry we can’t do this, we have to move,’" Jimison explained. "I cried with them. They’re crying and I’m crying, it was emotional."
She became like a therapist, walking hand-in-hand with her brides through the unknown. But even though their weddings weren’t happening, things didn’t slow down on the wedding planning front.
"We were having to sit there and essentially double plan events because we were having to call all the vendors," said Jimison. "It was like having to put together a jigsaw puzzle of who was still available on these new dates that we were looking at [and] who was not."
Jimison took it day by day with her brides. Some still had small ceremonies, while others decided to push their big day back to this year.
"We are absolutely predicting a double planning year," said Jimison. "Brides that were engaged and held off on moving forward until they felt more comfortable, plus the weddings that held off that are now moving forward with new dates and just new brides."
As life returns to a sense of normalcy, brides are ready to celebrate. However, that also means vendors are getting hard to find.
"You are competing with brides who have moved their dates, you’re competing with new engagements," said Jimison.
So, the seasoned wedding planner had some advice now in the middle of planning their day.
"Definitely do not wait. Go ahead and move forward. Pick your date. Be flexible," said Jimison.
It was a wedding season unlike any other, followed by what could be the busiest wedding season she’s seen yet. However, Jimison welcomes the chaos, ready to make her brides’ dream day finally become a reality.
"They’re still cautiously moving forward but optimistically moving forward," she said, "which is exciting for me as a planner to see our industry coming back."