Wedding venues booking years out due to postponed 2020 dates

MADISON, Wis. — Hundreds upon hundreds of weddings were postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. Madison wedding venues are seeing the increase in demand this year as things start to return to normal.

“It’s been absolutely insane. I’m really grateful for how busy it’s been, but it has been almost overnight in regards to busy,” said Jackie Hibbard with Event Essentials.

Hibbard, who has been with Event Essentials for the past eight years, said the pandemic provided her with a nice break from the chaos of wedding setups. But now that she’s back in businesses, the amount of work she’s doing on a daily basis is higher than ever. This weekend alone, she said her company is doing “200, if not more.”

Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club’s Director of Catering Julie Woodward said they’re seeing an increase in wedding bookings as well due to rescheduled dates from the pandemic. Woodward said out of all the weddings that were planned for 2020, “95% of those needed to reschedule because they couldn’t have the gathering they wanted to have for their wedding. Five percent of those did go ahead with their date and they had a small 10-person wedding.”

Woodward said typically, people can book nine to twelve months out to get a wedding date they want but now, many people are waiting at least 18 months.

Hibbard said, “I have heard from multiple people that vendors are booking out to 2022 to 2023 at this point.” She added that some couples are still waiting to reschedule since we aren’t entirely out of the pandemic just yet.

“We’ve been seeing a trend in people waiting to make orders just out of fear that there will be another surge,” Hibbard said.

The Monona Terrace in Madison is also seeing an increase in booked wedding dates for this year and next.

In a statement, Community and Public Relations Manager Kristen Durst wrote, “Our wedding business is going well at Monona Terrace, we have three weddings this weekend alone!  For 2021 total we have 46 weddings, that is on par with a normal non-pandemic year. Eighteen of those weddings were delayed because of the pandemic. Brides can hold our space, and often do, up to 18 months in advance. We usually contract a year out.”

Hibbard and Woodward suggest that couples planning their weddings now should call the venue first to select a date sooner rather than later.