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Post-Pandemic Bridal Boom Has Anxious Couples Paying More At Altar

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- We're seeing the busiest wedding season in four decades with millions set to say "I do" -- we're talking a 15 percent jump in weddings. But why are we seeing such a hike in the number of people getting hitched and will that change the cost?

January 2019 had one special moment to remember that turned into three years Jasmine Campbell will never forget.

"We were just halted at every turn: 2019 because of planning, 2020 shut us down, 2021 no options were available. Here we are, 2023, and we're just hoping we can get through it at this point," said Jasmine Campbell.

Campbell is one of a record number of brides finally planning to tie the knot.

"During the pandemic, I did maybe two weddings, and post-pandemic, I'm doing 18 to 20 weddings," said Shaquarrius Calloway, a wedding planner with Shaquarrius Calloway Events.

Wedding planners have been whisked off their feet. According to The Wedding Report, 2022 is expecting 2.5 million weddings. the most since 1984.  According to The Knot, 75% of couples who got engaged in 2021 have already set the date with October 22nd being the most popular.

"Oh my God, it's nonstop because I have a full-time job during the day," said Maya Dennis.

Dennis is the co-owner of Our Place Event Space and Kitchen, one of the newest venues to open in Old Sacramento. She's already had to turn some couples away so she doesn't overbook.

"It's been such a blessing because we've been getting multiple calls and inquiries -- people wanting to tour the venue, book the venue," Dennis said.

But while the number of weddings winds up, so does the cost. The Wedding Report says, with vendors taking advantage of higher demand, couples will spend 10-15% more. So a $24,000 wedding pre-pandemic will be more like $27,000 now. But brides and event planners are still looking on the bright side remembering love and community sit at the center of every wedding.

"Just hang in there. It's happening," Campbell said. "It may not be happening the way you saw it, but don't give up. Have your special day. Celebrate your love and your life and your family and just see it through."

"While the money is great and I need it to survive, I'm more community-focused and I think it's going to make everyone happier," Calloway said.

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