Wedding planners struggling because of flower shortages

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Augusta, GA (WJBF)- Summer is not just about vacations, swimming and grilling with friends. For many event planners it’s their busiest season of the year– wedding season. But the ongoing pandemic is affecting the way they do business.

After the pandemic caused most weddings in 2020 to be cancelled, wedding season is in full swing.
However, shortages in flowers and other material event planners need has made their jobs more difficult.

“We find that if we’re up front and honest with them of what we’re facing, in general, they’re understanding,” said Kate Bailey of Kate Bailey Events.

The event planning industry was hit hard during the peak of the pandemic. Bailey said brides had hard decisions to make last summer about their weddings.

“We were really moving on a dime. We were constantly changing dates, venues, locations. All of our brides were pivoting. And we had everything from brides who decided to elope and decided to forgo their wedding celebrations to brides that moved their date seven times,” she explained.

Bailey said the uncertainty was tough on her business but they adapted. She said she had one main concern during weddings that have taken place in the last year.

“We, on our side of things, as a business owner, my first and foremost concern was my staff and all of the vendors that I’ve worked with for many years, their staff as well.”

Right now, event planners are dealing with shortages that are affecting what they can and can’t do for their brides.

Kevin Bellinger of Kevin’s Events Floral and Decor said his vendors keep him updated on what’s available.

“When my wholesaler reached out to me and said, hey, we’re having an extreme flower shortage, don’t guarantee certain colors, or certain flowers to clients because there’s no…we can’t say they are going to be of quality work,”

A lot of flowers used by event planners are ordered from other countries like Ecuador and Holland. With borders still closed because of the pandemic, flowers aren’t as readily available as they have been in the past.

Bellinger agrees with Bailey saying honesty with his brides is the best policy.

“And if you go back and look on my Facebook page, my social media page, I put out a post, I think it’s April the 5th, that detailed what the flower shortage was and it was addressing to all of my clients,” Bellinger said. “To say that we are going to do our best to make sure we give you the blooms that are going to be what we show you for your preview, but if it happens to change, we’re gonna have at least your colors in mind.”

And flowers are not the only things that are harder to come by for event planners.

“The biggest trend that we’ve seen that has hindered the wedding industry has been the lack of staff for other vendors i.e. catering, hotels,” Bailey revealed.

Bailey said that as more and more people go back to work, they are seeing those staffing issues resolve themselves and that more United States growers are planting wider varieties of flowers to help fill the void left by those shortages.

Both Bailey and Bellinger ask brides to be patient and understanding with their wedding planners who are working as hard as they can to make sure their clients have the best wedding day possible.


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