Gillian Russo and Michael Giurlando were married on May 15 at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The event was planned by NK Productions Wedding Planning.

Image: Hunter Ryan

Wedding ceremonies, like so many group events, were disrupted and delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but now they're back in a major way. Postponed and rescheduled weddings are crowding the calendar along with events that were already booked for 2021, creating a busy time for couples and those who work in the wedding industry.

Last year, according to a survey of more than 7,000 couples conducted by WeddingWire and The Knot, 57 percent of engaged couples pushed back or canceled their ceremony and reception.

New Jersey couple Gillian Russo and Michael Giurlando were among that group. Their Sarasota destination wedding was originally scheduled for April 20, 2020, then was pushed back to November 2020. Finally, on May 15, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, they were finally able to tie the knot. The couple is thrilled their big day finally came together, and Sarasota’s customary hot May weather even held off to allow the couple and their 100 guests a perfect day.

Other than the temperature, Nicole Kaney took care of the rest. The founder and owner of NK Productions Wedding Planning, which plans roughly 100 weddings a year, says her company postponed roughly 40 weddings due to the pandemic, but is making a strong comeback.

“It’s very, very busy until June," says Kaney. "Some brides have had one or two postponements, so we’re doing all we can to accommodate them. All the March, April, May and June weddings scheduled for 2020 are happening now. We already had a busy spring, but now we're accommodating way more.”

While most couples still won’t dare to book a wedding in July, August or September because of the hot weather, Sarah Benham, the owner of The Copper Acorn, a local wedding ceremony and reception staging company, is using the time to ramp up for a double-whammy wedding season that will kick off in October. The Copper Acorn usually serves roughly 100 weddings a year, but in 2020 that was cut in half.

The Copper Acorn uses vintage furniture and wares to stage photo shoots, lounge areas and more, as pictured here at a Powel Crosley Estate wedding in Sarasota.

“This fall is going to be really crazy, because October through December is already very busy, and on top of what would have been, it’s going to be doubled with all the reschedules,” she says.

She’s taking the summer months to hunt down more unique, vintage furniture to add to the company’s collection.

For those looking to book a wedding date this fall, both business owners suggest moving quickly. “Fall will be crazy,” says Benham.

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