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Kansas City wedding industry rebounds, faces shortages

Claire and Derek Dosterschill
Posted at 4:30 AM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 08:02:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City's wedding industry is booming, but vendors say they are facing supply shortages as they try to keep up with the growing demand.

Last year, the pandemic forced many couples to postpone their weddings.

Claire and Derek Dosterschill were among that group. They were supposed to get married on Oct. 3, 2020.

"One of the hardest things about it was not being able to predict what was going to happen," Claire Dosterschill said. "So we just felt like it was in the best interest of everybody to go ahead and postpone."

That decision meant going back to square one; finding a new date, contacting their vendors and finding new vendors if their old ones weren't available anymore.

But with so many weddings postponed, the Dosterschill's were suddenly competing with twice as many couples for those vendors.

Shelley Rundberg, who owns Couture Wedding Flowers, said she's already had to turn down 50 to 100 weddings this year because of their full schedule.

For her, supply is also an issue. The pandemic forced some farms to cut workers or shut down, leading fewer flowers grown. The wildfires in California last year also destroyed many plants, particularly the eucalyptus crops, which are popular for weddings.

Rundberg said they're even having trouble finding vases because of the glass shortage.

She urges couples to be flexible and use their resources wisely.

"If you're getting married when local flowers are available, take full advantage," Rundberg said. "Let your wedding vendors get creative. Let them do their job for you and don't stress out about it."

Wedding planner LaTasha James said flowers aren't the only product in short supply. A meat shortage is driving up catering prices and a glass shortage is leading to higher alcohol costs.

James recommends writing down a budget before beginning any wedding planning. She also said to be cautious of any deals that seem too good to be true.

"Be careful for people who are trying to grab a buck because they know that you're desperate and you're in need," she said. "You want solid vendors who are not new to the game or not new to the market to be able to help guide your day."

James suggests checking online reviews and asking other vendors for their recommendations.

For those who had to move their wedding to a new date, communication is key.

"I have some girls that have had to move their dates three times," James said. "So good communication, good patience, understanding that you're not the only bride and just making sure that you're being kind to your vendor team and understanding that they're humans."

For the Dosterschill's, all of the tough decisions and moving schedules finally paid off, when they got married on May 16.

"At the end of the day, like the small things really aren't going to matter," Claire Dosterschill said. "And what's important is your love and your marriage, and you're spending the rest of your life with your partner."