By Marie Saavedra

CHICAGO (CBS) — This time of year is traditionally wedding season, but you wouldn’t have known that in 2020. Many couples traded big venues for small ceremonies or even Zoom.

But now relaxed rules mean the big day can be big again.

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“I think if I hadn’t been marrying the right person it would have been a lot harder,” said Paige Stoub.

Stoub and Paul Frede are Chicagoland natives, current New Yorkers and newlyweds. They’re one of millions of couples who planned the big day for 2020, and it didn’t happen. 

“We were having a large wedding, 250 people. It just seemed irresponsible,” she said.

So the couple traded their Pilsen rooftop bash, for a very intimate ceremony on their original date last July. Their story is that of the wedding industry the last 14 months — delays, cancellations and empty venues. 

“It was very difficult keeping the business going, said Cera Stan, owner of the Stan Mansion in Logan Square.

Stan said she had to postpone more than 78 events.

According to The Wedding Report, a market research firm, the industry suffered $30 billion in losses last year. But in the last two weeks, after capacity limits increased and restrictions for the vaccinated relaxed, business is back to booming. 

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“The amount of emails that we get and phone calls, last night I was here til 9pm at night,” she said.

Stan’s also noticed some other trends post pandemic. While there are still bookings a year or more out, most people want to get hitched much sooner and not always on a weekend.

“Now you see more Tuesday weddings, Thursday weddings,” she said. “Before everybody wanted to do it on a Saturday if possible.”

They’re tired of waiting, and ready to party. 

“We want to celebrate! You know, we want to have the wedding that we planned,” said Stoub.

Stoub and Frede will mark their one year anniversary this July with the soiree they hoped for, surrounded by family and friends. 

“We got two weddings!” she said.

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“Yeah, we’re kind of getting the best of both options,” Frede said.

Marie Saavedra