MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Brides are seeing some differences when it comes to saying “I do.” The coronavirus pandemic changed a lot of things and weddings are no exception.

Planning a wedding can already be stressful for some brides. Throw in constant changing restrictions, timelines and supply shortages, and you get the experience of today’s brides.

“I got engaged about a month ago,” said Kamryn Harvey. “It’s a little overwhelming just because there’s so much that goes into it that I didn’t really realize.”

Change happens fast and often, and it’s a challenge that vendors along the Gulf Coast face as well.

“Initially we had lots of cancellations,” said Leticia Mclaughlin, owner of Bella Weddings by the Sea. “March, April, May, tons of refunds, but June during the pandemic, we started getting brides from everywhere.”

Wedding shows also took a big hit. Virginia McKean, owner of Weddings to Brag About saw a decline in shows since the pandemic began.

“Weddings to Brag About has gone from the largest bridal show in the United States per capita to a show that’s a room-sized show,” said McKean. “We used to have like 119 to 137 vendors at one of our shows, and we averaged 300 brides at every show that we ever did.”

The show is now much different. “We haven’t done a show now in two years,” said McKean. “This would have been our 22nd year of production since we first started Weddings to Brag About, but we lost two years because of Covid, so now we’re in our 20th year of production.”

The show is back, and so are a lot of weddings. “Everybody’s making up for lost time now, so we’ve got all the weddings that were postponed and plus the new weddings,” said Wesley Lowe.

Bride Taylor Stanley is getting married this Fall. “We got engaged last October, so we kinda started planning a year out,” said Stanley.

Industry experts told WKRG News 5, getting your vendors lined up is their number one recommendation for the big day.

“We’re seeing brides booking up beach weddings two years in advance,” said Mclaughlin.

Bride Kamryn Harvey still has plenty of time, but she said she’s already starting to feel the deadline approach. “We are probably about a year out because we’re thinking April of next year, so I’m worried about them being all booked up,” said Harvey.

If you’re not sure about when you need to book, recommendation number two is for you: check-in and see how far out you need to get things done.

Some things now take longer, and it can be different for each vendor, including Bonnie Carter, who owns I Do Bridal and Formal.

“It is taking six to nine months at this time to get bridal gowns that has been affected due to the pandemic,” said Carter.

Our third and arguably most important recommendation is to have fun, but don’t go overboard with your budget. One thing making brides a little more individual is the dresses they pick. “Black is here,” said Carter. “It is a very strong fashion this year.”

Flowers are also seeing several different trends. “Hers are feathers, so we’re getting some really cool stuff, and that’s why I added the feathers to this one,” said Mclaughlin.

Whether you pick a different dress or unique flowers, pick what makes you happy for your special day!

“Take the moment to really enjoy the new season of your life because things are about to get really crazy,” said Harvey.