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Bride-to-be Susan Yildiz never pictured getting married on a Monday, yet that is exactly what she is doing after the “emotional rollercoaster” of COVID-19 restrictions forced rescheduling.
Ms Yildiz, and her partner Joshua Staikuras, are one of many couples who will celebrate their nuptials on Easter Monday in 2022 to keep their venue and guest list, and not delay other life plans further.
Joshua Staikuras and Susan Yildiz are preparing for their wedding next year. Credit:Paul Jeffers
“We want to start a family. My family is much more important than this wedding, but at the same time you put your heart and soul into this thing,” she said.
“For that one day I just want it to be magical, I want to experience what every other [bride] experiences.”
Throughout lockdowns some couples eloped, live-streamed weddings or held micro-events, but many more held off, meaning there is now huge demand for venues, celebrants, photographers and caterers.
The squeeze has limited availability and pushed up prices on weekends, so for many couples, the solution has been to move their nuptials to a weekday.
Births, Deaths and Marriages statistics show 310 weddings were recorded in Victoria in October compared to 3180 in the same month of 2019.
“There’s a lot of people that have postponed and put off weddings that had been booked over the last 18 months,” said Yarra Valley wedding venue Bramleigh Estate owner Mary-Anne Lowe.
“You’ve also got all the people that have decided to get married over that period of time that didn’t want to make any plans because of the uncertainty, and then you’ve got the natural engagements that are happening now that are still booking for that period of time as well.
“It’s almost like the perfect storm for the wedding industry of supply and demand that is making next year the busiest year that we’ve probably seen in two decades.”
Ms Lowe said post-lockdown flexible working models meant people could prioritise their attendance regardless of the day.
“Let’s face it, in the world we live in now, with flexible working and working from home, I think employers know that there has to be a better work-life work balance for everyone, and being a part of someone’s celebration is really important,” she said.
“It’s just a celebration of love. They happen seven days a week now.”
Wedding Films videographer James Jack said he was looking at three years worth of weddings in one year.
“I’ve had clients who have postponed weddings four or five times, a lot being terrified of COVID and not wanting to go ahead and spread COVID to their loved ones,” Mr Jack said.
“December, January and onwards, I’m literally working more than I’ve ever worked in my life before. It’s just back to back to back.”
Ms Yildiz said she was concerned holding her wedding on the Monday of a long weekend would mean her 250 guests would have to take time off work or away from their holidays.
“I know I’m going to have a few guests leaving early from the wedding because the next day is work, but I guess there’s also going to be an amount of people that are going to stay to the end,” she said.
“I sent everyone a message, ‘look, I’m so sorry, but this is the only day that’s available,’ and they replied, ‘it doesn’t matter what day it is, we’re going to be there’.”
For Ms Yildiz and Mr Staikuras, it is now a matter of waiting for the big day to arrive.
“I’m so excited, I just want to marry this guy and share our bonds,” Ms Yildiz said.
“I want to be celebrating that one special day with my closest. I just want to dance all night long with these people, because for us our family and friends are very important.
“Josh and I have been together for a very long time and our families have known each other for such a long time. We’re ready for our journey to begin.”
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