Our thoughts on the New Zealand wedding industry with Covid-19

It has been a crazy year for the New Zealand wedding industry, and this is only the beginning of a major shift in the way we do things as life in New Zealand begins to return to some form of new normality. For wedding couples, wedding planning with uncertainty will be difficult and stressful. In order to survive and take care of each other in this terrible pandemic, social distancing is a must, followed by the importance of keeping the virus out of New Zealand until a vaccine is developed. We might ee the following trends over the next few years.

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Limited overseas wedding guests, only if we can achieve a Trans Tasman bubble

New Zealand will be moving to Stage 2 of the Lockdown plan within a few days, where social gathering of up to 10 people can still take place. However, with the border being closed to foreigners for a foreseeable future, many wedding couples find it difficult to plan a wedding knowing that many of the families and friends will not be there to celebrate the big occasion. If we can achieve a Trans Tasman bubble, it would make a huge difference to the wedding planning. Most overseas guests are from Australia so this will bring huge relief to everyone involved. However, if the 14 days quarantine remains in place, this will deter many from making the trip. International travel maybe back on the agenda sometimes in 2021, but only time will tell.

Elopement and Destination Weddings

Due to the uncertainty in planning, elopement and destination weddings will likely to be on the rise. With the involvement of very few wedding vendors, more certainty will take place, and the couples can splash their wedding budget on more luxury items that they normally would not be able too. Helicopter rides to remote locations around the New Zealand rugged landscape will sure to feature in many wedding images over the next few years.

Wedding videography will be important

Wedding photography has always been one of the most important item on a wedding budget, and for my couples, wedding videography is often viewed as a luxury. Due to the pandemic and the inability to have close friends and families around, the desire to the share the epic moments will be even more important than before. Full wedding ceremony and reception speeches will be a must, as well as beautiful wedding highlight videos or film will be on the top of the wedding wish list.

Wedding streaming could be an in demand service

With the advancement of technology, especially the speed of internet, either in 4G or wifi, wedding live streaming might take off in 2020. Certainly, this is a niche opportunity for vendors who are willing to learn and upgrade their technical skills for this service. There will be more video gear, more technical know how, more things that could go wrong. However, if done successfully, it will offer such an amazing option to allow brides and grooms to immediately share their wedding vows and wedding moments with friends and families from around the world.

Lower wedding budgets might be on the card

The New Zealand average wedding cost in around $30,000 to $35,000. The economic uncertain may significantly reduce this budget for many. While weddings are once in a life time moments, the fear of job loss, rising in unemployment, country debt, and the just pure uncertainty about the pandemic, many will watching their wedding budget much more tightly.

No more overseas wedding clients and the lost of vendors

As noted in this news article from Stuff, many wedding venues significantly rely on overseas clients for their wedding bookings. Kauri Bay Boomrock with wedding venues in Auckland and Wellington said they need $250,000 just to stay afloat until the end of May. We are aware that several New Zealand wedding venues have closed permanently already.

While the wedding industry is huge in New Zealand, with some 20,000 weddings every year. many wedding vendors are sole traders or very small businesses. For venues, the owners are the occupants and thus will be constantly exposed to many strangers. This is also true for the likes of photographers, videographers, make up artists, etc. Vendors will be putting themselves at risk weeks in and weeks out. For many, the fear of the virus and the uncertainty will be too much to bare.

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There will be a lot of weddings in 2021

Due to the huge amount of postponements during the later part of the 2020 summer weddings, most of these will be pushed into the 2020-2021 wedding season. We will see many mid-week weddings due to the lack of availability during the weekend bookings. This will mean a long and busy wedding season for the wedding vendors, especially the popular and well known ones. So please, be kind and be patience with everyone involved. It will be stressful, but rewarding.

In Conclusion

Weddings will still go ahead, people will still get married, but things will definitely change. We will loose some wedding vendors, especially wedding venues, but there will be opportunities for new wedding locations to be found and be offered. New Zealand as a whole has done extremely well to contained the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it is only the beginning of the fight, and our lifestyle will be dictated by what is happening around the world also. Planning for weddings in 2022 might be a bit more comforting with more certainty. For many, the celebration of their union will still take place and they will be determined to make the best of the situation. Our only advice is to remember the main reason why you are getting married, and that the whole process is a journey. So it is important to make sure the journey is enjoyable and fun, and allows love and happiness to shine through everything that you do.

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