Some couples will finally be able say yes to their wedding this summer after sometimes two years of waiting. After two years of severe health problems, the industry is experiencing strong demand for wedding organizers. According to INSEE statistics, civil unions are at their lowest level in 2020-2021. Only 150,000 marriages were recorded in 2020, and 214,000 in 2021. The average for all years is around 230,000.
Clement Tournier (president of Upse), notes that there will be a recovery in 2022 with many weddings. It is a biased resumption because many of the postponements of weddings starting in 2020/2021 are causing this. Virginie Mention (President of Assocem), says that 50% of marriages in 2022 will be postponed.
It's jammed traffic for professionals. "The schedule was very full, so we had to decline any new requests. Claire Pennarun is the manager of Maison Pennarun in Quimper, and vice-president responsible for CSR at Traiteurs de France. In order to absorb high demand, service providers were forced to offer wedding dates throughout the week in some cases... but not always convincing customers. Pennarun's order book is full up to October 31, so Pennarun has decided to limit the number of congresses and seminars that take place in September and October.
The severe summer labor shortage is a major problem for service providers, especially in the catering industry. "About 25% are on seasonal contracts. We would love to recruit more but qualified cooks are a rare commodity. The teams are experiencing big days," laments Claire Pennarun.
Therefore, professionals are forced to work harder but cannot be guaranteed financial stability at the end. The deferrals for this year replace the real contracts of 2022. Virginie Mention says that some will only collect the balance of 2020-2021, rather than the entire amount of a marriage. There are many events that can be organized with a distorted turnover because professionals have already taken deposits and signed contracts with different fees. Clement Tournier says that there is a lot of moral and psychological fatigue.
The average number of marriages in 2022 is expected to be the same as the pre-Covid years, despite the strong demand. Clement Tournier says that the season will end sooner than usual, in September. This is because the bride and groom are always afraid of an epidemic resumption during the fall and of having the event cancelled or postponed. According to Stephane Souban (organizer of the Wedding Fair on Franceinfo), professionals expect a boom in 2023 when there could be "approach 300,000." Clement Tournier confirms, "There are already rooms and caterers, as well as DJs, that are ready for 2023."
The Assocem recommends that the 2023 bride and groom make arrangements now to choose the right service provider and be open to working during off-season times. Virginie Mention adds that for couples who have to make arrangements last-minute, they can use the address book of a wedding organizer to assist them.