How the Delta Variant Is Affecting Wedding Season

Despite the raging variant, which prompted the C.D.C.’s recent recommendation that all Americans, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in most of the country, asking for proof still feels uncomfortable to some. Brides like Mariah Hughes of Bangor, Maine, would rather use the honor system.

“I think I’ll be able to make an educated assumption about whether my family and friends are vaccinated,” she said. Ms. Hughes and her fiancé, Stephen Cormier, had planned to be married in September but pushed their date to next June because the photographer they wanted to work with was booked solid. They are less frustrated than relieved. “With the Delta variant so prevalent, we feel like we made the right decision,” she said.

Not that she, or anyone, can count on Covid being history next year. In Denver, Brittney Griffin, the venue director at the wedding site Blanc, is prepared to start pulling out masks again even though vaccination rates are high in Colorado. “We haven’t had to yet,” but new mandates could be coming, she said. “Sadly we’ve already been through this before, so if it becomes a requirement again, at least we’re prepared.”

Niche vendors like McKenzi Taylor, the founder of Cactus Collective Weddings in Las Vegas, may be one of the few whose business picked up because of Delta. Ms. Taylor plans small weddings in remote outdoor settings.

“We’re usually people’s second choice,” she said, meaning that most couples who contact her do so because Covid spoiled their original plans. She saw a 30 percent swell in bookings with the onset of the virus in 2020. Now, business is booming again. “Unfortunately, I think we’re in a whole new cycle with Delta. I’m getting a lot of calls about, ‘How quickly can we get married?’”

Timing may not be everything, though. “Four years from now, we’re still going to be having breakthrough infections,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. “It’s still going to be an issue.”