LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Weddings were put on hold in Vegas, along with everything else, when the pandemic hit. But good news, locals in the industry say wedding bells are ringing again. 13 Action News reporter Joe Bartels says happy couples are flocking to Vegas, where you can have your wedding cake, and eat it too.
"If you were to take a Coke bottle and just shake it and keep shaking it during that pandemic. Now you've let that top go, it's like... It's crazy. The wedding industry is exploding right now," says Veronica Markowsky of Creative Bridal Wear.
She says the pandemic was scary. She didn't know if her small business would make it. But as things start to get back to normal, she admits she's having trouble keeping up with demand.
"They're calling a day ahead, we just booked a chapel and we need everything done. Can you recommend hair and makeup, can you recommend flowers, do you know a limo company... I think people are really ready to take the next step and they're ready to do it very quickly," says Markowsky.
People like Jim and Britt from New York. The happy couple is visiting Las Vegas for the very first time.
LET'S GET MARRIED
"He said let's go to Vegas for your birthday and I was like, Okay! Then he said to me a few weeks after we discussed it, let's go get married! And I'm like, are you serious?" says Britt Ferguson.
Her fiance, Jim says it just made sense to walk down the aisle during their visit.
"Just seems like a good time. We can have some fun. I like to play poker. She likes the slot machines," says Jim O'Riley. "It's like, I'm mesmerized by the lights. I'm mesmerized by the action. The number of people on the street. The things I see on the street," says Ferguson.
Jim and Britt are tying the knot at Chapel of the Flowers, where couples are saying 'I do' in all five of their locations.
"We're getting busier and a lot of the weekend dates are getting booked up... There are weekend times available, but they're getting filled very quickly," says Director of Sales Jose Alonzo.
He says couples are making up for lost time and looking to be joined in matrimony, right away!
"Sometimes we're doing this within two weeks or even a week. That timeline has definitely shrunk for us. Which adds more speed and multitasking that we have to do as far as accomplishing these dreams for them. But it's definitely doable," says Alonzo.
SURPRISED BY CHANGES
He says their meeting demand. But couples have been surprised by some changes, like food prices.
"Certain menus have had to change. We have a lot of vendors that we work with when it comes to restaurants. Menus have had to change to try to keep things cost-effective. Certain things just because it's a popular offering, have had to go up in price," says Alonzo.
LOCALS GETTING MARRIED
Chapel of the Flowers and Creative Bridal Wear says it's not just out-of-towners, but locals who are also getting married. Brides and grooms everywhere know, just about anything you can imagine, is possible in Sin City.
"I think a lot of people know now that Vegas is anything you want; you got your photos, you got your flowers, you got your dresses, your hair and makeup. Everything you can plan with a touch of a button. Come down here grab your marriage license and go," says Markowsky.
That's been the experience for Jim and Britt. They're excited for their big day and Jim says the pandemic put everything into perspective.
"With COVID, it made us realize what's really important... So we said okay let's go and get married," says Jim.