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Southern Arizona wedding industry recovering from pandemic

Wedding at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
Posted at 6:49 AM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 09:49:02-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN)  — The Catalinas are a dream backdrop for many on their wedding day.

"People are really drawn to the desert. We also have this trend happening with desert and cactus decor being a part of weddings. We have the absolute perfect backdrop for that," said Owner of Peace of Mind Event Design and Wait Staff, Mollee Richey.

Despite the pandemic, Richey helped plan 16 smaller weddings in 2020.

"A lot of things happened as far as small, intimate ceremonies with a small reception to follow," said Richey.

In 2021, interest in weddings is exploding. Richey has planned nine, so far, and has another 18 in the books through the end of the year.

"Probably two or three months ago, people really started realizing that they'd be in a position to move forward. Definitely all the Fall weddings for 2021 selected to move on as planned," said Richey.

Local vendors and venues, like Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, are filling up fast.

"We typically gets inquires for prime dates. That's in October, November, March and April. We used to only get a couple of inquiries for those prime dates. Now, we're getting up to six or seven inquires for dates that have been sold out for over a year and a half," said Richey.

Wedding plans for 2022 are happening just as quickly. For that reason, Richey recommends engaged couples to start planning their special day plenty in advance.

"The other piece of advice would be to really focus on what's important to you. If that's the venue, or the photographer, be sure to get their availability. Then base your final wedding date on that," said Richey.